Vale of Leithen 6 Gretna FC 2008 1
Prior to the game Vale were reduced to a skeleton pool due to injuries and work commitments.
However, from the kick off it was clear that Vale had worked out that the Gretna backline were susceptible to a ball over the top or down the channels where the pace of Stewart and Rixon was creating constant problems for the Gretna defence.
Vale opened the scoring in the 14 min when Rixon broke through the Gretna defence and slotted home.
Vale increased the their lead in the 20 min when a similar move as the first goal was knocked home by Stewart.
Gretna did rally after this and were rewarded when Kelly hammered home a cross from the left in the 27 min to make it 2-1.
In the 39 min Vale were awarded a penalty when the Gretna goalie Atkinson bundled Stewart over. He was booked for this before Dickson fired the spot kick home.
Vale increased their lead in 41 mins where Berry scored after a good move.
Bonnar had to be replaced at half time due to a hamstring injury and was replaced by Elliot.
The second half began as the first finished with Vale defending well and hitting with speed on the break. Gretna appeared to have no way of countering this approach and after another break into the box in 52 mins Stewart was upended again for the second penalty of the match. Dickson dispatched as the first to make it 5-1.
In the 60 min were awarded a soft penalty when Smith was adjudged to have fouled one of the Gretna forwards. However, justice was done when Gilpin saved Connelly’s spot kick.
Things got worse for Gretna in the 74 min when Stewart broke free and whilst rounding Atkinson, the goalie bundled him over for a third penalty, plus a second booking and sending off. The replacement goalie Waugh, first task was to pick the ball out of the net after Dickson had completed his hat trick.
Vale squandered a few chances to increase the lead prior to full time, but can be pleased with the overall performance.
Man of the Match as chosen by the Match Sponsor, Drew Johnson was Ally Smith.
A great result for the team as we head into two very difficult games, East Stirlingshire away on Wednesday, followed by a home game against Kelty Hearts on Saturday.
Saturday’s game against Kelty will be a first visit to Victoria Park, and they tend to bring a big support with them, so hopefully we can get a good crowd behind us.