Vale edge tight derby thriller

Vale v Peebles.
Vale v Peebles.

Vale of Leithen 2

Peebles Rovers 1


MAURICE GORDON reports from Victoria Park

VALE finally overcame a battling Peebles side in an entertaining cup tie which produced some excellent football despite a heavy pitch and a downpour at the start of the second half.

The hosts certainly had the better of the pressure and possession, and created more scoring chances over the piece to deserve their narrow win, thanks to a late goal from substitute John Ferguson.

From the off, Vale posed a threat with a couple of good efforts from Steven Radzynski, before coming close to breaking the deadlock after 19 minutes when Scott Moffat made a menacing run into the box and drilled the ball just wide of the post.

Peebles replied with a Greig Shortreed free kick that found Nicky Cairns, who also sent the ball just wide.

Shortly afterwards, Radzynski missed another good chance to put Vale ahead, while just before half-time, from a Jordan Hall pass, Scott Devlin was just off-target with a curling shot from 20yds.

Shortly after the break Radzynski thought that he had scored when he blasted the ball into the net from close in, but he was adjudged to be offside.

Vale continued on the attack as Moffat and Hall almost broke the deadlock with good efforts, but it was Peebles who opened the scoring on the hour mark against the run of play.

A Michael Holness corner kick picked out Andrew Williamson, who was on target with a header before Paul Lee deflected the ball past his keeper Chris Hill from close range. Straight away at the other end, Moffat was foiled by a fine save from John Nisbet.

But Vale were deservedly back on level terms after 65 minutes when, from a Hall left-wing cross, Moffat calmly slammed the ball past the helpless Nisbet from 10yds.

Vale continued to press and, after making a terrific run, John Ferguson cut in from the left only for his shot to be deflected. Then, after a neat build-up, Radzynski fired the ball just over the crossbar.

Vale notched what proved to be the winner after 86 minutes when Radzynski made a menacing run into the box on the left before neatly slipping the ball to the in-rushing Ferguson, who promptly drilled it home from 12 yards.

One minute before full-time Ferguson again made an excellent run into the Rovers box and seemed almost certain to score until the ball rebounded back off the post and away to safety.

Peebles came close to grabbing an equaliser two minutes into injury time, when a Steven Galloway through-ball sent Craig Edgar racing into the danger area, but Hill came sprinting off his goal-line to pull off an excellent save at close range.

The loose ball then broke kindly to Holness, who missed the target with his attempted shot from 20yds.

Vale of Leithen: C. Hill, C. Beaton, R. McKenzie, R. Miller, P. Lee, P. Greenhill, A. Martin (D. Anderson), S. Devlin, S. Moffat (J. Ferguson), S. Radzynski and J. Hall.

Peebles Rovers: J. Nisbet, M. McKenzie, S. Galloway, Ray Fleming, A. Williamson, P. Conaghan (C. Nwanze), N. Cairns, G. Shortreed, C. Edgar, G. Knox and M. Holness.