Threave Rovers 0
Vale of Leithen 1
SCOTTISH CUP FIRST ROUND
DAVE RYCE reports from Meadow Park
Travelling to a Scottish Cup tie shouldn’t really include passing a sign that says, “Welcome to England: you are now in Cumbria,” but such was the fate that befell the Vale bus en-route to Castle Douglas on Saturday.
A quick U-turn later they were back on the right road and fortunately the team coaches proved better than the team coach driver as a Danny Noon goal four minutes into the second half saw Vale safely through.
Patience was the name of the game for Vale as Threave flooded the midfield in an attempt to restrict Vale.
A blank scoreline at half-time suggested they had got their tactics correct, but it was obvious that Threave would be unlikely to be to be able to sustain the level they had played at in the second half, whereas Vale had more in their locker than they had so far shown.
That suspicion was proved correct with an explosive start to the second half by Vale, which saw them take the lead.
A darting run down the right by Wayne Sproule saw the winger fire a cross into the middle and striker Noon rose to direct a powerful header into the net.
The goal opened the game up, forcing the Castle Douglas men into a more attacking formation, which suited Vale just fine as they found much more space to operate in.
Chances to extend their lead fell to Scott Moffat and Noon, but both shot over from good positions.
Noon then fed the ball out to Sproule on the right and his cross found Chris Gray unmarked at the back post, but the midfielder somehow headed over.
There was a spate of yellow cards as the tackling got meatier than the half-time pies.
Threave’s Darren Kerr was cautioned for upending Kerr Dodds in the 72nd minute and 10 minutes later earned himself another yellow for chopping down Wayne Sproule, leaving Rovers to play out the last eight minutes with 10 men.
It meant curtains for the South of Scotland League side – as well as manager Davie McVitie who resigned immediately after the game – with Vale’s destination now the second round. If the bus driver can find it on his satnav.
Vale of Leithen: S. Inglis, C. Gordon (S. Sproule 54), J. Draper, R. McKenzie, J. Blaikie, C. Inglis, W. Sproule, K. Dodds, S. Moffat (K.Paterson 70), D. Noon (M. Smith 83), C. Gray.