Author: Bobby Craigie

Scottish FA Suspend Football

The Scottish FA have today (11 January 2021) suspended football below SPFL Championship level for three weeks until 31 January 2021. This includes matches and training. Football is due to restart on 1 February 2021 but this is subject to review.

Whilst naturally everyone is frustrated, we understand the rationale behind this given the current circumstances. We hope the season will restart in February 2021 and we look forward to that.

Manager’s Thoughts: Keep Faith

During my 5 years as manager in the lowland league we have been tipped every year to go down. Every year people have a go at the club as being too small for this league. Every year they say the players aren’t good enough, the facilities aren’t good enough, and ultimately the manager is responsible.

I’m sorry to disappoint the armchair fans that have never kicked a ball in their life or the powers that be that put every obstacle in our way possible. We are not giving up without a fight.

We have a young side that hangs in the balance of confidence. I brought them in because they have talent and one win can turn our season around.

We have a few who know what it takes to avoid the drop but some who need to learn quickly.

Many seasons ago I won this league and have loved every minute of being involved in it. It’s not formations or tactics that will keep us up .. it’s heart and desire. Those things will never change in football.

We have games we can win coming up and we are going to give 100% for sure.

Keep the faith.

Chris

Scottish Cup Draw takes place

Vale of Leithen have been drawn away against Scottish North Juniors Superleague champions Banks o Dee in the draw Second Preliminary Round of the Scottish Cup, which took place on Tuesday. Its the sixth season in a row the club have been handed an away tie. The match will take place on Saturday 12 December 2020 at Spain Park in Aberdeen.

Manager Chris Anderson said: ” The Scottish Cup is something special and everyone will be looking forward to the trip. Banks o Dee are a good side, their record speaks for itself, but we will be relishing the trip and the chance to progress to the next round.”

Chairman Stuart Robertson said: “I thought we would have been due a home tie, but that’s the luck of the draw. As a club, we will do everything we can to help the boys prepare the trip up north.”

Vale sign-up future talent

Vale are committed to developing local players – Manager Chris Anderson is looking to the future with the signing of 16 year old defender Stan Swain.

Manager Chris Anderson said: “Stan is only 16 and is a player with lots of potential. He’s someone that myself and club captain Ger Rossi have known for a while having come through Peebles Youth and attended sessions with CG Elite Coaching as a youngster. We have to give local players a pathway to play at the highest level they can and I expect Stan to use the example of another local player Michael Robertson in developing into an established Lowland League player.” Welcome to the Vale Stan.

Vale 4 BSC 6: Match Report by David Knox

Vale of Leithen 4

BSC Glasgow 6

VALE continue the search for their first win of the campaign after giving up a two goal lead against BSC Glasgow.

But boss Chris Anderson still gave his players the thumbs up for effort after running last season’s Scottish Cup giant-killers close at Victoria Park.

Vale had raced into a deserved two goal advantage inside 20 minutes before being pegged back before the break.

Leaking a further three goals inside the opening 15 minutes of the second half didn’t snuff out a renewed belief around the Innerleithen side this season, and it was only the woodwork that prevented the home team drawing level in the final minute of the game.

Anderson said: “We were playing a good team who are looking to challenge yet we were positive out there and the performance was good.

“It’s disappointing to lose six goals and we’ll work on things, but I’m happy with the energy we showed even after conceding.

“We’ve played well in patches in all our games so far this season, but we need to turn those patches of playing well into points.”

It took a fine double save from Ben McGinley during the opening exchanges to prevent Stephen Swift’s team taking an early lead.

But Vale also came close with Martin Brogan narrowly failing to steer Michael Robertson’s angled cross inside the post.

Vale, though, did make the breakthrough from the penalty spot in the 18th minute after Nicholas Weir was fouled inside the area.

Jonathan Grotlin dispatched the spot kick.

Within 90 seconds the home team had doubled their advantage with Lewis Hall converting the rebound from 20 yards after Lyle Avci had blocked Arran Laidlaw’s initial effort.

BSC responded well with Ryan Tierney slipping past Martin Brogan to beat McGinley at his near post on 33 minutes.

And just seconds before the interval a mix up between McGinley and his defence allowed Alfie Agyneman to slot home the equaliser.

Ross Lyon clipped the post for the visitors four minutes into the second half.

But the former Rangers and Scotland youth player only had to wait a further minute before firing BSC in front from the penalty spot.

Lyon added a fourth from close range in the 55th minute.

And he completed his hat-trick on the hour after responding first to Agyneman’s shot that struck the post.

Vale should have been a beaten team, but within three minutes they were back in the match.

Laidlaw held off a challenge inside the area to slot the ball beyond Avci.

And in the 70th minute Laidlaw ran onto Levi Kinchant’s through-ball to make it 4-5.

Vale pushed for an equaliser with Nicholas Weir volleying a couple of feet wide, and in the 89th minute Kinchant curled a 25-yard freekick against the bar.

But in the third minute of stoppage time, with home players pushed forward, Darren Christie raced away on the counter-attack to seal the victory for BSC.

BSC’s hat-trick hero Lyon said: “Vale made it a really tough match and I was just pleased to be in the right places at the right times for my goals.

“We have a lot of new boys coming in this season and we will need to be better than we were today, particularly at the back.

“We’re unbeaten after our first three matches, but we’ve still got a bit of improving to do.”

Vale of Leithen. B McGinley, M Robertson, J Temple (R Higgins 58), N Weir, M Brogan, G Rossi, R Neave (R Wylie 85), L Hall, J Grotlin, D Ndiweni (L Kinchant 56) & A Laidlaw.