Vale of Leithen 1-2 The Spartans: Vale boss Grant Sandison hails his battlers despite defeat

Bottom of the league Vale of Leithen put up a hugely spirited show before going down to a late goal in Saturday’s 2-1 home Lowland League defeat against second placed The Spartans.

Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 3:22 pm

Spartans took the lead on 12 minutes when Blair Henderson was on hand to knock home from a yard after the bar saved Vale from an own goal following a cross from the left hand side.

But Vale were level within four minutes as Luke Cormack netted after a counter attack. And 1-1 remained the score at half-time.

The second half winner arrived when a goal kick by home keeper Kyle Wilson – who played well otherwise – was miskicked to Sean Brown who ran on and scored.

Mark Deya running with the ball for Vale of Leithen against Spartans (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

"We just made ourselves hard to beat,” said Vale boss Grant Sandison.

"We sat in and tried to hit them on the counter. We had a couple of opportunities ourselves in the first half, so did Spartans mind you.

"But we managed to keep ourselves in the game.

"In the second half I thought we were better than we were in the first.

Spartans and Vale of Leithen vying for possession at Victoria Park on Saturday (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

"We limited Spartans to literally no chances and then they scored against the run of play.

"The last 15 minutes we had a good go at them and put them under a bit of pressure.

"We had a good opportunity to score from a corner ourselves that we never took. It slipped across the six-yard box but unfortunately nobody got on the end of it.

"Obviously we never got the result we were after but considering where we came from, it was a good performance.

Ben Viola on the ball for Vale of Leithen against Spartans on Saturday (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

"Had we got a draw from the game nobody could have argued with that.”

Vale, on one point, trail second bottom Gretna 2008 by six points after 20 league games in the battle to avoid the drop.

Sandison said: "We’ve shown over the last week that if we can play to the level we have, but be a wee bit more ruthless in both boxes, then we will pick up points and win games in this league.

"There’s no reason why we can’t make up the six points on Gretna.”

With Vale not having a competitive fixture until a league game at University of Stirling on Saturday, December 4, Sandison plans to use the next couple of weeks to sign new players, with central midfielders and a left sided centre half top priorities.