The football season may just have begun but it’s all hands on deck for Vale of Leithen on Saturday as they take on South of Scotland side Wigtown and Bladnoch, writes John Slorance.
The Scottish Cup first round preliminary tie will be played away from home and is a game of vital importance for so early on in the term as there is a lot at stake.
Doing well in the Scottish Cup means a lot for finance and prestige no matter what the stage may be.
And, apart from heading into unknown territory, the Vale also go into the game under new management.
The Innerleithen outfit kicked off the season with former Berwick Rangers manager Iain Little in charge.
Little however, has decided to take on a coaching job with Heriot-Watt University.
Vale have not let the grass grow under their feet though by immediately appointing a new manager in Mickey Lawson.
A one-time Stirling Albion, St Johnstone, Raith Rovers and Berwick Rangers player, Lawson has a wealth of experience as a manager as well in having had spells with clubs such as Spartans and Whitehill Welfare.
Talking of his side’s current situation Vale vice chairman Stuart Robertson said: “Ian Little got a good package offer from Heriot-Watt University as a coach which he decided to take.
“We have brought in Mickey Lawson to replace him. Mickey is a very experienced manager, he knows football inside out and I am confident he will do a job for the Vale.”
Glancing ahead to Saturday’s cup tie, Robertson added: “Apart from knowing they play on a tight park, I don’t know much about Wigtown and Bladnoch.
“Our director of football Mark Lamb watched them playing last Saturday and we have had a full report on this. It’s a massive game and one we will be going all out to win.”
Vale slumped to their third successive Lowland League defeat of the new season when going down 2-0 to Lawson’s former side Whitehill Welfare at Whitestone Park last Saturday.
In a tight game two stunning late goals from Sean Wringe and Callum Connolly broke the home sides resistance and moved the visitors up to fourth place.
Last Wednesday Vale were sunk by Selkirk 4-1 at Yarrow Park.
Vale’s Alan Flanagan had managed to score in the early stages, but the sending off of Daryl Devlin, on receiving a second yellow, killed any chance the visitors had.