Vale of Leithen 0
Whitehill Welfare 3
KING CUP QUARTER-FINAL
DAVE RYCE reports from Victoria Park
VALE rounded off a miserable March by crashing out of the King Cup at the hands of Whitehill – the third time the Rosewell side have ended Vale’s interest in cup competitions this season.
An encouraging midweek performance against Stirling University led to some optimism that they might break their Whitehill hoodoo, but the game turned on an incident in the 35th minute when defender Ricky Miller was red-carded and, facing the majority of the game short-handed, the Innerleithen side ultimately proved second best to the visitors.
Vale had a great chance to take the lead in the sixth minute when they were awarded a penalty after Whitehill defender John Hall was penalized for a shove on Scott Moffat.
Jordan Hall stepped forward to take his fourth penalty in five games, but his low effort was blocked by the knees of keeper Darren Walker.
Whitehill passed up their own chance from the spot in the 36th minute.
A header from Andrew Kidd came back off the crossbar and sparked off an almighty scramble in the penalty area, during which Miller handled the ball on the line, taking his inevitable red card without protest.
This gave Wayne McIntosh the chance to put his side ahead, but he produced an almost identical penalty to Hall’s earlier one – a low, too-central shot which hit off the legs of the keeper.
Things went downhill for 10-man Vale at the start of the second half as Whitehill hit them with a two-goal burst.
In the 51st minute, James Young rose to meet an Alex Munro corner and bulleted a header into the net.
Two minutes later, striker Aaron Somerville produced a moment of magic against his hometown team, receiving the ball from McIntosh and side-stepping a challenge, before unleashing a glorious shot from 25 yards right into the top corner.
Whitehill grabbed a third in the 75th minute to put the outcome beyond doubt, a long ball forward catching Vale out at the back and allowing Somerville to take possession and draw Weir off his line before slotting it into the far corner.
Vale of Leithen: C. Weir, J. Paterson (S. Robertson 85), R. McKenzie, R. Miller, P. Lee, P. Greenhill, A. Martin, J. Hall, S. Moffat, R. Gaylor (S. Sproule 58), J. Lauder.