No silver lining for Cloudie as Captain hails Vale comeback win

Posted on Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

Spartans gave Manager Dougie Samuel the perfect birthday present of three points in a hard fought 4-1 Ferrari Packaging Lowland League victory over Vale of Leithen at Ainslie Park.

A midfield war of attrition dominated the opening quarter of an hour as Vale looked to stifle the home side who were looking to extend their six match unbeaten run.

Spartans came close to breaking the deadlock with Duthie and Greenhill troubling Andrew McQueen between the sticks however it was against the run of play that the Borders side took a perfectly scripted 25th minute lead.

Former Spartans legend Keith McLeod, who scored 286 goals whilst playing for the hosts, knocked the ball home at the back post to give Vale an unlikely advantage.

Conner Duthie’s trickery saw him ‘meg’ his man tight on the bye-line as he looked to forge an opening for Jamie Dishington on the periphery of the box however his shot was deflected wide by the resilient Vale defence and the sides went in with the tourists ahead by the narrowest of margins.

Half Time: Spartans 0-1 Vale of Leithen

Aaron Murrell came close to levelling proceedings shortly after the break however the in-form teenage striker looked on in frustration as the ball trickled wide of the post.

As the game entered the final quarter, Jamie Dishington was denied by a Jason Stevens goal line clearance after almost capitalising on an Andrew McQueen fumble. The youngster didn’t have long to wait to rectify matters as he prodded home the subsequent corner.

There was relief amongst the home support as Blair Carswell could only look on as Kris Mitchell’s header rattled off the bar before Ally MacKinnon hoofed the ball to safety.

It was at the other end that MacKinnon was to make his next impact, heading home a David Greenhill cross to give Spartans the lead for the first time.

That lead was extended in the 84th minute after David Greenhill showed his strength going shoulder to shoulder to win the ball in the box before squaring the ball to Aaron Murrell who outfoxed his marker with a neat shimmy-shammy to turn and thunder the ball into the net.

Deep into injury time, substitute Keith Murray rounded off an impressive comeback win as he broke the offside trap before placing a well weighted lob over McQueen into the unguarded net.

FT: Spartans 4-1 Vale of Leithen

Malt and Hops Man of the Match Ally MacKinnon was pleased with his side’s win. “Vale were an organised outfit as you’d expect from any side Mikey puts together, with Cloudie predictably causing problems for our defence.  I’m happy for him that he got his goal but naturally I’m delighted that we won.

“It was only when we got our third goal that we could perhaps relax a bit, particularly as they continued to ask questions and hit the bar at 1-1.  They didn’t stop at all and it was only really when Aaron scored our third that we slowed them down, but we were fortunate enough to come out on top and collect three important points.”

Speaking of his first goal of the campaign, the Captain said, “It’s been a long time coming.  I’ve missed some chances in the last few games and I’m glad to get off the mark.  It was a great ball by Davie (Greenhill) after a good move by the team.  I took a gamble and stayed up because we were chasing the game and it paid off.”

Spartans: Carswell, Brown (Murray 64), Malone, Thomson, MacKinnon, Greenhill, Dishington, Stevenson, Murrell, Herd, Duthie (Saunderson 84). Subs (Unused): Horribine, Ross. Gilpin (GK).

Vale Of Leithen: McQueen, Rixon, Brady (S Elliot 85), Lynch, J Elliot, D McLeod, Stevens (Flanagan 45), McIntosh, Sclater (Mitchell 73), K McLeod, Hunter. Subs (Unused): Gallacher, White, Johnston, Trialist (GK)

Next Fixture

Date: 16/07/24
Opponent: Cove Rangers
Venue:Balmoral Stadium
Competition: Premier Sports Cup
Kick off: 7.45pm

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