Stirling University 0
Vale of Leithen 1
EoS LEAGUE CUP FIRST ROUND
DAVE RYCE reports from Gannochy Sports Centre
Vale’s fourth – and we can now safely say final – meeting of the season with Stirling University resulted in them getting a victory to go through to the second round of the East of Scotland League Cup.
It was the third meeting between the sides in three successive Saturdays and another tight game that never suggested a high-scoring encounter was in prospect.
The first half saw Stirling’s Daniel Deholm blasting a Darren Dalrymple cross over the bar. Then Dalrymple exchanged passes with Robert Pearson before shooting wide, and when a Pearson free kick fell to Mark McCullagh, the right-back at least managed a shot on target, but it didn’t unduly worry Vale goalkeeper Darren Walker.
For Vale, Jamie Lauder curled a free kick past the upright, Kerr Dodds was too high with an effort from just outside the box and Radzynski got on the end of a Chris Beaton cross, but shot narrowly over.
Goalless at half-time, the home side had an excellent chance to take the lead early in the second half when Darren Gillon was penalised for upending Craig Mason in the area.
Dalrymple stepped up to take the penalty, but keeper Walker dived superbly to his left to push the effort away.
Encouraged, Vale went straight up the other end with Stirling keeper Kevin Walker also showing his quality by turning a blistering shot by Radzynski round the post.
With extra time looming, Vale made the breakthrough in the 82nd minute, as Radzynski ran on to a forward ball and slid it underneath the advancing Walker. Stirling captain Chris McKee scrambled back in an attempt to clear off the line, but couldn’t get there in time and succeeded only in diverting the ball into the roof of the net.
The University side threw on last week’s goal hero Emmot Parr-Gallagher and pushed forward in an effort to find an equaliser, but Vale were catching Stirling on the break and substitute Scott Moffat was inches away from adding a second as his shot across goal brushed the post.
One last chance for Stirling saw Mason knock a cross down for Dougie Wilson, but his shot, like so many before it, flew high and wide.
Vale of Leithen: D. Walker; C. Beaton, A. Killin, R. Miller, P. Lee, K. Bracks, D. Gillon (A. Martin), K. Dodds, S. Radzynski, G. Hare (S. Moffat), J. Lauder.