I have posted the Blogger report from Andy Bliss who travels the country visiting grounds and his report probably sums up the luck we are getting at present.
The man of the Match was Ross Brady.
A trip to Edinburgh to visit friends gave me a perfect excuse to take in my third game in five days. While our respective better halves amused themselves elsewhere, myself and Neil could nip down to the borders to take in some Lowland League action.
Our afternoon would be spent at Victoria Park, Innerleithen, watching Vale of Leithen taking on near (15 Miles) neighbours, Selkirk.
We made good time from Edinburgh to Innerleithen but then made the mistake of trusting the Satnav which led us to the middle of a housing estate and insisted the ground was in the middle of the road in a side street. Luckily a passing local put us right and directed us to the other end of the town where we parked up next to what we thought was the ground. The lack of any fencing or indeed, goalposts, showed our mistake but luckily Victoria Park proved to be only round the corner.
I was briefly quite popular with the two women on the gate where my purchase of entry to the ground, a programme, a half time draw ticket and a scarf (bargain at only £5) was probably one of the ‘sales of the day’.
We entered the ground and had a wander round the outside of the pitch, taking in the big match atmosphere (?) and getting our bearings. Victoria Park is fairly unspectacular in itself: a pitch with an old terraced stand on one side, but it’s in a very picturesque setting surrounded by trees and hills and is one of the most scenic grounds I’ve visited in my travels to date. A cheap (but very average) pie later and we took our places in the stand behind the home dugout.
Vale had not had the best of starts to the 2017/18 season having taken only 6 points from their first 10 league games and sat second to bottom of the league above the campaign’s whipping boys, Hawick Royal Albert (who had lost all nine of their fixtures to date). Selkirk, 5th in the league with 18 points from 9 games, therefore looked firm favourites on paper.
The game progressed contrary to my expectations and, rather than being a comfortable run out for the visitors, I thought Vale probably edged the first half of a close and entertaining encounter. Almost inevitably (it seems to happen regularly these days) it was Selkirk who took the lead, against the run of play, but Vale didn’t crumble and drew level before half time with a well taken free kick. The second half followed a similar pattern and Vale probably looked the most likely to score next. Unfortunately, a needless free kick was conceded and Selkirk took full advantage to go 1 – 2 up with less than ten minutes on the clock.
The home side desperately searched for an equaliser and had a half hearted penalty appeal turned down before, with seconds left, one of their players was definitely fouled right on the edge of the box. The referee wasn’t convinced however and play continued with Selkirk breaking down the field and extending their lead, possibly from an offside position, with the last kick of the game.
Vale can consider themselves very unlucky to lose this game and the 1 – 3 scoreline certainly flattered Selkirk.