'I'll never stop working to try and get survival' - Vale of Leithen boss Michael Wilson defiant despite 2-0 home loss to Dalbeattie Star

Vale of Leithen manager Michael Wilson is refusing to throw in the towel in his side’s battle against relegation from the Scottish Lowland Football League, despite Tuesday night’s 2-0 home defeat to Dalbeattie Star.

By Craig Goldthorp
Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 11:59 am
Updated Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 12:02 pm
Vale of Leithen manager Michael Wilson
Vale of Leithen manager Michael Wilson

After not recovering from conceding two goals in the first 25 minutes – the first of which was an own goal by captain Michael Robertson – bottom club Vale slumped to a loss which leaves them six points adrift of second bottom Gretna 2008 with four games to play; Gretna have only three games remaining but a vastly superior goal difference.

Vale gaffer Wilson told the Southern Reporter: “We lost two goals from setpieces. I’ve still not lost a goal from open play.

"It was just corners where we’ve not picked up properly and it’s so infuriating because it’s the basics of not picking up your man and not following your runner.

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"Apart from that we were really comfortable again. I had three or four new signings in and in the second half Jordan Hopkinson – newly arrived along with fellow recent additions Connar Dyat, Jude Mothersole, Stephen Anderson, Kyle Mitchell, Callum Mitchell and James Pringle – was one on one with the goalie and the goalie made a good save.

"If that goes in it’s game on. We battled, huffed and puffed but we just couldn’t get a goal but it’s coming. I just hope it’s not too late.

"Until it’s mathematically impossible we’ll keep going.

"I definitely think we have the squad to get seven points from our remaining fixtures and potentially overtake Gretna.

"The boys I’ve brought in are not just for this season but next season as well.

"It’s going to be tough. I know everything that’s gone on and I know people are thinking there is no chance of us surviving.

"But I’ll never stop working and trying hard to try and move us forward and get us better.

"The new boys have all bought in, they are all up for it and will do everything they can to keep us in the league.”

Vale’s search for points continues with two home league games over the next few days, against Broomhill this Saturday and Caledonian Braves next Tuesday.

On facing a one-off play-off against local rivals Gala Fairydean Rovers for a place in the Lowland League Cup quarter-finals after the teams finished dead level in their section, Wilson added: “We will find out on Monday via a coin toss if we’re going to be playing at home or away.

"A derby game is a bit spicier but it’s another game for us to get together as a squad.

"Did I expect us to qualify from the group? Probably not, but we’re there, we have a chance and it just shows the improvement of the boys in the short time that I’ve been there.”