Stressless Vale cruise to win over sloppy Souters

Jim Young scoring the opening goal for the vale
Jim Young scoring the opening goal for the vale
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Selkirk arrived at Victoria Park on Saturday still waiting for their first Lowland League victory of the season, writes Dave Ryce.

They will have to wait a bit longer as Vale claimed the three points without much stress.

A two-goal gap between the sides at the halfway stage was a bit of rough justice on the Souters, as they appeared to be the more enterprising side, with Phil Addison in particular, looking like the key that would unlock the Vale defence. But ultimately sloppy defending and a willingness to give away possession far too easily proved to be their downfall.

Vale went ahead after 12 minutes when a John Ross Kerr inswinger found Jim Young running through a static defence to sidefoot the ball past a helpless Gregor Amos from close range.

The visitors were looking none too comfortable with the balls Vale were playing into the penalty area and the second was another case in point as midfielder Ross Aitchison slid in to find the net as the Selkirk defence hesitated for reasons unknown.

After a first half notable for its paucity of clear-cut chances, the second 45 saw the game open up considerably, with Callum Peoples bringing a save from a previously underworked Vale keeper Graham O’Brien, while poor first touches by John Ferguson and Scott Gormley saw Vale fail to make the most of good opportunities.

In the 73rd minute, Addison pulled a goal back for Selkirk that carried some good fortune. The striker’s shot was on target, but O’Brien looked destined to have it covered before it took a wicked deflection off a defender’s foot and spun away from the keeper to nestle in the net.

Vale restored their two-goal cushion within two minutes. Keith Lough had been causing no end of trouble down both flanks and a long pass forward was the cue for the midfielder to take off on a mazy run that took him past three opposition players before cutting inside and calmly slotting the ball into the far corner.

Vale of Leithen: G. O’Brien; T. Aitchison, D. McAleavy, D. Aird, J.R. Kerr, D. Rennie (C. Brigain 60), R. Aitchison (S. McCulloch), S. Moffat (S. Gormley), J. Ferguson, K. Lough.

Selkirk: G. Amos; D. Johnson (F. Anderson), K. Munro, B. Milven, A. Hay, R. McManus, L. Stephen, J. Watt (S. Ferguson), C. Peoples (C. McLeod), J. Crolla, P. Addison.