Month: October 2016

World record can’t be stopped but things are looking up

It wasn’t a 9-1. And for that Vale manager Chris Anderson was grateful after losing 4-2 to world-record equalers East Kilbride. But he was also heartened by the performance of his depleted team.

Kilby matched the Ajax side of 1971-72, featuring Johan Cruyff, by winning their 26th match in a row but it could have been very different with the visitors leading 2-1 at half time and locked at 2-2 until the 84th minute.

A soft penalty award allowed Sean Winter to give his side the lead before Martin McBride sealed it a minute later.

Anderson though praised his team for the way they ran the league leaders so close. He said: “Nobody likes losing games. However, although we never came away with any points we left East Kilbride with huge pride.

“Credit to EK who are on a great run and no doubt are a fantastic team, but I was very proud of all of the players yesterday and it fills me with excitement as to what this team can achieve in the future.

“We might not be ready to challenge the best teams in the league for an entire season yet but in a one off game we showed we are more than good enough to compete.”

That they were able to do so with several players missing must be an encouraging sign, especially since the same team had punished them 9-1 just weeks earlier. Injuries and unavailabilities meant that he only had 13 players available, and one of the two subs was goalkeeper Jamie Shiel.

The defeat has meant a drop to seventh place, but with a game in hand on BSC Glasgow who are immediately above. Anderson is only thinking about going back up the way.

He added: “Once we get a full quota of players available again we are only looking up in terms of the league and standards are set higher than ever at this club now.

“There are no excuses. With the talent and appetite we have in this squad we have to aim as high as possible.”


Match Preview: East Kilbride

Vale will be out to halt a world record attempt in its tracks when they face East Kilbride this weekend.

Having won an incredible 25 matches in a row, Kilby can match the feat of the Ajax side of 1971/72 if they make it 26 by winning on Saturday.

Manager Martin Lauchlan said: “If we make it, it’s a magnificent achievement and a tremendous feat for any team at any level to go this long without losing.

“It might be a bit different for the players knowing what’s on the line, but it’s just another three points as far as I’m concerned.

“In the 9-1 game everything we hit turned to gold. Every time we attacked it looked like we would score.

“But the following week was completely different. Vale took us right to the 92nd minute before Ross McNeil scored the winner, so we are expecting a tough game.

“Vale have had some good results since then and they are not a team who will roll over.”


Vale have been the team on the receiving end in three of the 25 games, including a 9-1 defeat in the Scottish Cup. But they followed that up by taking the league leaders to the wire the following week, before eventually conceding a last minute goal to lose 2-1.

Manager Chris Anderson will be hoping they can go full circle and get a result this time. Not only would that stop EK from matching Johan Cruyff and co, but it would also be a valuable point in a competitive league.

While a good start has seen them take up a healthy league position in sixth, only two points separates them from 11th so a point or three from a fixture where most will take zero could be crucial.


Taylor looking for Vale to build on good start

With a free weekend looming due to Vale’s Scottish Cup inactivity, coach Sean Taylor took the opportunity to reflect on the season so far. And he is keen to see the high standards that have been set pushed even further.

He is in his first coaching role after Chris Anderson asked him to come in and help out primarily on the fitness and conditioning side of things. Sean is a personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach in his day job, and played amateur football until recently.

As well as helping out at training, he takes the lead during match day warm ups and after a promising start to the season, he is relishing his new role.

He told us: “It has been great so far. Each week delivers a new challenge and it is great having the responsibility in training and pre-match to work with the players.

“So far we have maybe raised a few eyebrows in the league – a small club in a league where other clubs have bigger budgets at their disposal, but we have created a wonderfully professional environment where players can flourish.

“So far so good but we can do more and it’s only October. It’s a long season and this next spell of matches is crucial for us.”

As fitness coach, Taylor was heavily involved during pre-season training and he now feels that the players are seeing the fruits of their labour.

“A lot of my work pre-season was focused on getting the boys in peak physical fitness ahead of the opening match but we continue to work hard on various conditioning aspects every week.

“The boys are without doubt one of the fittest squads in the league. I take great pride in that and although it has not won us games it has meant we are still playing at full tilt into injury time. But like every aspect of the game we continue to push the players to be fitter, stronger and faster”, he added.

The performance so far this season has been an improvement on the last campaign’s 13th position, but the staff are eager to ensure standards remain high in order to stay higher up the league.

Taylor said: “We cannot look too far ahead but over the next six weeks we will see where the club is headed for the remainder of the season. Sixth place after the first third of the league is better than where the club was last year but this is a new team with a different culture and we as a staff and playing group will keep pushing each other’s standards week in week out.”

Vale travel to league leaders East Kilbride next before matches against Gretna, Gala Fairydean Rovers, Edinburgh University and Whitehill Welfare.

Match Preview: Gretna 2008

A 3-1 away win at high-flying Dalbeattie Star was the perfect way for Gretna 2008 to improve their fortunes ahead of welcoming Vale in the South Challenge Cup this weekend.

Other than their Scottish Cup success against Deveronvale that was their first win since August 27, and they will be hoping it is a start of a return to their early season form which saw them win four of their first six.

It was a similar story for Vale as they beat Selkirk 2-1 after three defeats. While two of those were against champions elect East Kilbride, they shipped nine in only one game.

So both will be hoping to engineer a more pleasant run, and Chris Anderson said: “It was good to get the win last weekend, but it wasn’t the best we’ve ever played.

“It was a real scrappy game. but the three points is obviously what we were looking for.

“We had lost a couple of games on the bounce, but we were in good from before that so we know what we’re capable of.”

Vale thumped Creetown 6-0 in the previous round, while their Dumfries and Galloway hosts enter the competition at this stage.

The match kicks off at 3pm at Raydale Park, Gretna.

Match Preview: Selkirk

Garry O’Connor’s Selkirk are the visitors for this weekend’s Border derby at Victoria Park. Vale would do well not to take the Souters lightly as their league position of 14th may be a false one given some of the results they have had and the amount of goals they have scored.

Indeed, if they can manage to tighten up at the back there is evidence to suggest that they could shoot up the table. The last week alone is indicative of their season as a whole – last Saturday’s 4-0 win over our midweek conquerors, BSC Glasgow, was followed up by a 4-3 defeat to Hawick Royal Albert. They have also smashed seven goals past both Gala Fairydean Rovers and East Stirlingshire after losing the first six league fixtures. After 11 games played, Selkirk have the league’s highest goals against tally, whilst also being among the highest scorers.

Nevertheless, they come into this in decent form, with three wins on the bounce before losing to Hawick on Tuesday night. Meanwhile, Vale have lost their last three. A decent enough performance against BSC Glasgow bore no fruit on Wednesday, while the previous two fixtures saw them thumped 9-1 at East Kilbride before restoring some pride with a 2-1 loss at home to the same team.

Speaking after that midweek disappointment, Chris Anderson said: “It is so frustrating to come all the way up here on a Wednesday night, create loads of chances and come away with nothing.

“They are a good side but we wasted a lot of chances.”

Looking ahead to the weekend, he added: “Garry and his staff have done an excellent job in turning around some early season defeats to gain some form coming into the game today.

“Since the Lowland League emerged it has been no secret that the Border clubs have made it their mission to be the top team in the region and we will always look out for the Border derbies as a fixture to look forward to.

“I would like to give credit to my players for their reaction since our Scottish cup defeat. Everyone was disappointed with the performance however throughout the season our reaction to defeats have been excellent and showed the potential of this group to be encouraging.”

Ando is still without injured captain captain James Elliot and fellow centre back Steven Lynch, whilst work commitments has ruled out some more bodies, so the strong squad will continue to be utilised.