Victory replenishes Vale’s confidence

Vale of Leithen, in blue, defeated Cumbernauld Colts at Broadwood last season (picture by Craig Halkett)
Vale of Leithen, in blue, defeated Cumbernauld Colts at Broadwood last season (picture by Craig Halkett)

A much-needed Lowland League win last weekend has propelled Vale of Leithen a short distance away from the drop zone and allowed them a little more confidence with which to approach a tough assignment this Saturday.

The Innerleithen side had slipped to second bottom in the table before they took on basement club Hawick Royal Albert at Victoria Park, but a 2-0 victory game them a new platform on which to build.

In a game that never reached great heights, the hosts showed more bite and purpose throughout. Indeed, failure to make the most of scoring chances that fell their way, and a string of excellent saves from Hawick ‘keeper Craig Saunders, prevented Vale from winning by a bigger margin.

There were no goals until the hour mark, when Shaun Stevens put Vale ahead.

In the 84th minute, they sealed victory when Stewart floated a cross high into the goalmouth and Jason Stevens beat Saunders with a looping header.

Manager Chris Anderson said after the game: “We were the better side. We had a lot of the game but lacked a cutting edge and should have scored more goals.

“We showed a lot of composure and patience though and got there at the end. It was good to get a win and this will bring in confidence.”

Anderson added that the side had been decimated with injuries since start of season, so hadn’t really done itself justice, but they would be looking in the coming weeks to build on last Saturday’s victory.

He maintained recent performances had been good, despite some poor results. “In the last two or three weeks, we have done really well. We were very unlucky against East Stirlingshire and we’re looking, slowly but surely, at trying to get players back fit and build up the squad again. Hopefully, after that, we can begin to push up the league a bit,” he said.

It’s a fairly formidable task that awaits Anderson and his troops against Cumbernauld Colts – but the boss was looking forward to it.

Vale would be approaching it with more confidence than they might have done two or three weeks ago, while Cumbernauld, on of the most fancied teams in the division, were beaten 2-1 last Saturday by Edusport Academy.

“Hopefully, we’ll have more players back for it,” said Anderson. “We had a good result there last year – we won 3-1. It’s a nice place to play; it’s a nice pitch and a nice stadium at Broadwood.”