The curtain comes down on the Lowland League season tomorrow, but it will not be a case of taking the foot off the pedal for Vale of Leithen.
A win against Gretna 2008 married with favourable results elsewhere could elevate them to seventh in the table. Despite a season featuring frustrating spells, Vale have shown their ability and potential at other times and a top half finish would constitute a fairly successful season as well as being just rewards for the efforts of players and coaching staff.
They could already be in seventh had things gone their way at Hawick on Tuesday night but a spate of call offs left Chris Anderson with slim pickings from which to choose his side and a 3-1 reverse was the outcome.
Anderson said: “It was always going to be a difficult night with so many players not available for one reason or another.
“I had several call offs late in the day and only just managed to field a team.
“Credit to the boys for the way they responded in the second half and we were a little unfortunate not to get something from the game.”
Several of those unavailable during the week return to the squad today to make the squad much fuller for the crucial trip to Gretna. Anderson wants the side to take advantage of that by propelling themselves up the league and make a statement ahead of next season.
“We will go to Gretna with a stronger squad than Tuesday night’s defeat to Hawick. We welcome back Ryan Currie, Ali Smith, Shaun Stevens, Sean Stewart and Keith McLeod.
“A win could see us still finish in the top half of the league which would be a fantastic achievement in our first season together as a group. It would also give us a platform to build a team capable of competing with the bigger teams next year.
“There’s nothing wrong with ambition and I’m looking for players to show me they are committed to improving the team next season”, he added.
Gretna 1-2 Vale (South Challenge Cup 15/10/16)Vale 3-1 Gretna (Lowland League 5/11/16)