Vale and Gala ring the changes

THERE’S been a stench of mediocrity around Vale of Leithen of late, writes John Slorance.

Last Saturday, however, the Innerleithen outfit came out of the garden smelling of roses following their resounding 6-1 victory over Lothian Thistle/Hutchison Vale.

Reflecting on his club’s change in fortune, prior to their away meeting with Gretna 2008 this weekend, Vale secretary Alec Currie told TheSouthern: “A few changes have been made within the club.

“Kerr Dodds has stood down as co-manager as he just wants to play for the side and not be involved in a managerial role. Brian McGinley, who has great experience, is now Vale’s co-manager, along with Fraser Ogilvie. We have also brought in two new boys, Aaron McWilliams and Ryan McKenzie, who are on loan from Musselburgh Juniors.

“All this shuffling about worked for us against Lothian Thistle/Hutchison Vale.”

Currie is under no illusions, however, regarding the work his team still have to do if they want to survive in the East of Scotland top flight. He added: “Last week was only one game and we are well aware of that. It will be a difficult match against Gretna.

“We turned them over 9-1 at Gretna last season and in no way am I expecting anything like that to happen this time around, but I am hoping for a win.”

Vale have Ryan McKenzie suspended.

Currently without a manager, Gala Fairydean are set to tackle Kelso United at Netherdale.

Kelso boss Prof Blaikie told us: “Although we lost to Whitehill Welfare I was pleased with our performance. We played well and at half-time I thought we were in with a real chance of pulling off a shock. If we play the same way again on Saturday then I will be happy.

“We don’t really know what to expect from Gala, though, due to Garry Fraser and James McLean having packed in.

“That was a real surprise and Gala will miss them as they were doing a great job with a young side.”

The Tweedsiders are without Damien McNulty, but have John McCutcheon and Graeme Gillie back.

Hawick Royal Albert are without suspended pair Ronald Fleming and Sean Loughlin for their away bottom-of-the-table clash with Ormiston. Defender Greg Young has been released at his own request.

Steadily improving Peebles Rovers are away to Easthouses Lily, where manager Jason Girdwood is hoping his team can keep up their recent form.

“Things are coming together for us and it’s important for us not to lose any more games and focus on beating the teams around us in the league.”

Selkirk take on table-topping Coldstream at Yarrow Park.