|Vale of Leven Football & Athletic Club
Millburn Park, Leven Street, Alexandria, Dunbartonshire
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Vale went into this game knowing that they required to win by two goals to earn a place in the quarter finals for the second successive year. The visitors had been carrying their share of the luck in the group with last minute goals against Vale and Yoker to earn draws, as well as a last minute winner against Port Glasgow on Wednesday. Having left Ravenscraig last week bitterly disappointed there was no way that Vale would pass up the opportunity without a fight.
Boss Hugh Hamill recalled David Meechan in place of Ward otherwise Vale were unchanged from midweek. Vale had most of the opening play but a slack headed clearance from captain Alex Lacy let in Dow after 25 minutes. Fortunately Jim Meechan got back to block the ball on the line to prevent a certain goal.
10 minutes later Power was left unmarked in the area and his header from close range went wide of the target. Vale took heart from this and they grabbed the upper hand after 37 minutes. Hunter crossed from the right and when the keeper failed to gather properly, Jim Meechan lobbed the ball back across goal for Brian Deeley to head in the opener from close range.
A minute later it was almost two when David Meechan whipped over a cross crom the left and Ross Hunter headed inches past at the back post. Vale grabbed the second goal they required with a penalty right on the stroke of half time. Lindsay pulled down Meechan inside the area and from the resultant spot kick David Meechan kept his cool to drive the ball home.
Ten minutes into the second period the keeper did well to stop Meechan's shot and Deeley, following up, could only send the ball into the side netting.
On the hour mark Vale lost David Meechan with concussion with Ward deputising. Two minutes later Greenock had a great chance to pull a goal back but Bowie lobbed the ball over both Maclaurin and the crossbar. At the other end Brown had a shot saved and Ward sent a low shot inches wide of target.
The Millburn men got the cushion of a third goal with 14 minutes remaining. Deeley capitalised on a slack header from ex-Dumbarton defender Steve McCahill back to his keeper. The Vale midfielder rolled the ball back to Hugh Ward and he calmly slotted the ball low into the net from the edge of the area.
In the final minute Vale were reduced to 10 men when Chris Gentile received his second caution of the afternoon but by then Vale were well and truly worthy winners.
The quarter final takes place this Saturday and Vale face an away tie against either high-scoring LANARK UNITED or KILSYTH RANGERS who were due to play-off on Monday evening at Moore Park, Lanark. Saturdays match will be played to a finish and kicks off at 3pm.
Supporters should note that the bus will leave Gilmour Street at 12:15 prompt. With both Tom Fox and Brian Smith out injured Vale have boosted their squad by signing recent trialist Stephen Renton from Greenock. Former Vale midfielder Joe Flanagan has signed for Irvine Meadow. Vale would like to wish good luck to former managers Evan Williams and Bobby Duffy who have teamed up to help out troubled Ayrshire side Ardeer Thistle.
Team: Maclaurin; Lacy, Wardle, J.Meechan, Dalrymple; Hunter, Brown, Gentile, Deeley (Wilson); D.Meechan (Ward), Boal (Renton).