Match Report: Vale 2-1 Whitehill Welfare

A battling display saw Vale overcome Whitehill Welfare at Victoria Park, to beat the Rosewell side for the second time this season.

Both sides enjoyed spells on top and Welfare made Vale work very hard for their victory, particularly in the middle part of the second half.

It was the away side who threatened first through Daryl Healy’s volley into the arms of Andy McQueen, and on 11 minutes Vale were in front with their first effort on goal.

It was a cleverly stabbed finish from experienced marksman Keith McLeod, after the ball had fallen to him 18 yards out from Tommy Patterson’s free kick.

They asserted themselves after taking the lead and the midfield trio of Robbie Manson, Ali Smith and Ryan Currie were winning the battle.

McLeod attempted to play in Blair Atkinson, forcing a collision between the top scorer and visiting keeper Bryan Young.

Whitehill responded and Connor McGregor had a low shot deflected into McQueen’s arms.

It remained Vale who looked the most likely to add to their lead before half time, but they just couldn’t make it happen in front of goal.

The closest they came was a teasing ball across the face of goal from ubiquitous Patterson which had no takers on the end of it, and Ryan Currie drove into the box before trying to pick out Craig McBride who could not find the space.

They got their goal six minutes after the restart and it was Patterson who had burst forward from left back once more. Currie sent Jason Stevens in the clear and when his strike was parried by Young, Patterson was waiting.

They were immediately pegged back by a sensational Michael Osbourne free kick which looked like it was heading for the top corner as soon as it left his boot, rendering McQueen redundant.

The game really started to open up with clear cut chances, which had been lacking in the first half, becoming more of a feature.

Welfare substitute Omar Ali had a header saved, and at the other end centre back Steven Lynch was kept out by Young’s legs.

The biggest threat to Vale’s lead was the delivery from set pieces of Connor McGregor. Time and again he launched grenades into the box with only some brave defending and good goalkeeping preventing a leveller.

Ali looked certain to bulge the net when the ball fell to him from yet another McGregor free kick, but McQueen produced a stunning save from his volley.

From the corner, again coming from McGregor, John Williams sent a header wide.

It was Whitehill who were well and truly on top by this stage but Vale stood up to the barrage well, with Lynch and McBride strong at the back and Sean Stewart like a pit bull at right back.

Osbourne came within inches of equaliser after a good run into the box, but his rising shot skimmed the bar twelve minutes from time.

It was getting nervy for the home faithful but with the clock running down the team managed to settle things and give the back four a reprieve by getting the ball up the other end to see the game out.

Liam McIntosh even came close to making it 3-1, but slammed his shot into the side netting from Shaun Stevens’ cross.


Vale: McQueen, Stewart, Lynch, McBride, Patterson, Smith (Motion), Manson, Currie, J.Stevens, Atkinson (McIntosh), McLeod (S.Stevens) Not used: Scott-Mercer, Hunter, O’Donnell.


Whitehill: Young, Robertson, Williams, McGregor (Russell), Dodds, Ross-Kerr (Ali), Healy, Laing, Osbourne, Samson, Spowart.