Preston Athletic 5
Vale of Leithen 5
EoS PREMIER DIVISION
DAVE RYCE reports from Pennypit Park
FIVE goals apiece! Sounds like an absolute cracker doesn’t it? Trust me, it wasn’t.
Both teams fighting back from two goals down and an equaliser in the fourth minute of injury time from 10-man Preston may sound like something from Roy of the Rovers, but in truth both teams barely got off the drawing board.
All 10 goals were either the result of some seriously sleepy defending, or the kind of penalty area stramash in which the ball could have just as easily been booted clear as poked into the net.
Preston took the lead on 22 minutes, Sean Martin threading a ball through to Chris Inglis who ran on to find the net, and doubled their advantage when Vale’s Jack Blaikie sliced a clearance into the goalmouth and Gary McCormack managed to get his head to the ball.
Vale pulled a goal back just before half-time when Danny Noon got the last touch in a goalmouth scramble, and nine minutes into the second half the same player equalised, when Athletic keeper Liam Robertson spilled a Kayne Paterson shot into his path.
Two minutes later, Wayne Sproule put Vale ahead for the first time as he ran through an absent Preston defence to touch home.
And the 62nd minute saw the game’s best goal – if that can be considered a compliment – as Blaikie supplied a composed finish to a long ball.
Vale’s lead was shortly to disappear as McCormack slid home his second of the afternoon and Kevin Morrison forced an equaliser home from a corner.
Seven minutes from the end, Blaikie guided a Jerry Draper free kick into the net to put Vale ahead again and Preston were immediately reduced to 10 men as McCormack picked up a second yellow.
Just as it looked like Vale would hold out for the three points, an almighty goalmouth melee ended with Ross Colquhoun bundling the ball home to ensure the points were shared.
Vale of Leithen: S. Inglis, J. Paterson, J. Draper, R. McKenzie (K. Paterson), J. Blaikie, C. Inglis, W. Sproule, C. Gordon, D. Noon (S. Devlin), S. Moffat (M. Smith), M. Cairney.