Bo'ness United 0-1 Vale of Leithen: Manager Grant Sandison describes his joy as Borderers win first game in two years

Vale of Leithen won their first Scottish Lowland Football League game for just short of two years at the weekend thanks to a last-minute tap-in by Mark Deya following a corner.

By Craig Goldthorp
Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 3:32 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 5:43 pm
Ex-Gala Fairydean Rovers player Danny Galbraith on the ball for Bo'ness United against Vale of Leithen (Photo: Alan Murray)
Ex-Gala Fairydean Rovers player Danny Galbraith on the ball for Bo'ness United against Vale of Leithen (Photo: Alan Murray)

The team – which has been improving steadily since the installation of Grant Sandison as manager in October – saw off Bo’ness United 1-0 away from home to record their first victory since seeing off local rivals Gala Fairydean Rovers 3-1 away in December 2019.

"Everyone took off on the touchline when the goal went in,” Sandison said. “I think I was on the pitch at some point.

"It was all a bit of a blur to be honest.

Vale of Leithen head coach Grant Sandison at Newtown Park watching his side take on Bo'ness United (Photo: Alan Murray)

"I’ve been here for six or seven games and that win got us the first points since drawing against Gretna. Saturday was also our first clean sheet in around two years, which was a bonus as well.

"We had been putting in good performances but not getting any results.

"It can be a wee bit demoralising at times but now that win shows that we are able to compete in this league and if we get the performance right we will pick up points and we’ll win games.”

To be fair to Sandison, he has told this newspaper on a few occasions in recent weeks that he felt a positive result was imminent.

Vale of Leithen notching up their first victory since December 2019 away to Bo'ness United on Saturday (Photo: Alan Murray)

“Folk were starting to look at me funny over the last few weeks when I said I thought a positive result was just around the corner,” Sandison said.

"We got there eventually and to be fair we deserved it on Saturday. Don’t get me wrong, the way that we play allows the opposition to have a lot of the ball which Bo’ness did.

"They had all the possession but they were struggling to break us down. They had maybe one clear cut chance but it was all just scraps in the box.

"But we were always a threat on the counter and we had several chances before we scored. We also hit the post in the first half with Lewis Graham.

"I thought it was going to be one of those days when we missed too many good chances and they’d maybe go up the other end and score, but it never happened.

"Bo’ness got a corner in the last minute and we were fearing the worst. But we managed to clear the corner, we went up the park, won a corner ourselves and then scored from a ricochet after the corner.

"We got a last minute winner and what a way to win a football match. It was a good moment.

"Max Christie, the Bo’ness manager, told me after the game that we'd deserved to win.”

The battle to avoid bottom spot in the division is a two-way joust between Vale and Gretna, whose tally of seven points is three more than Vale after 22 league fixtures this season.

Vale will go for back to back league wins at home to Civil Service Strollers this Saturday, with kick-off at 3pm.

"We have got the win before Christmas and put the pressure on Gretna, who are looking over their shoulder a little now,” Sandison said.

"It’s just: ‘How quickly can we get level with them and then kick on and get ahead of them?’

"On Saturday we showed that if we get the performance right individually and collectively that we are capable of winning games to keep us in the league.”

Looking ahead to this weekend, Sandison added: “Civil are a very good side.

"They’ve got a lot of good young players, three or four boys on loan from Hibs.

“But we feel that if we can get the performance levels right again then we will be a match for them, that’s for sure.”