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Millburn Park, Leven Street, Alexandria, Dunbartonshire
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Vale of Leven 2-0 Coltness
Vale scorer: Wilson (41, 57).
Man of the match: Dougie Wilson
Millburn Park, Saturday 15th September 2001
West of Scotland Cup - Round 1

Vale progressed to the second round of this competition with a well deserved win over second division Coltness United at Millburn on Saturday. Despite the narrow winning margin Vale were well on top and should have won by a bigger margin as the woodwork kept them out on three occasions.

Boss Hugh Hamill made two changes to the side that lost at Blantyre, Chris Gentile came in for Deeley and new signing Dougie Wilson replaced the injured Boal.

It turned out to be a matchwinning first start for 'Dangerous Doug' as the youngster grabbed both Vale goals in an impressive performance that saw him warmly applauded by the appreciative Vale support.

Wilson almost grabbed an opening goal straight from the kick off when he raced in on goal from the right but the visitors keeper did well to smother his shot from close range. In the sixth minute David Meechan sent over a right wing cross and Brown fired a spectacular volley narrowly over. A penalty should also have been awarded to the Vale early on when Wilson was tripped in the box, but the ref waved play on.

A controversial decision robbed Vale of a goal after 12 minutes when Browns long ball was controlled by Wilson on the edge of the area and as he was fouled the ball broke to David Meechan and he rolled the ball past the keeper into the net but the referee halted play and gave Vale a free kick, hardly good use of the advantage rule.

Vale lost their way a bit after this disappointment and the visitors were allowed to dictate play for the next 20 minutes. In that time they twice came close with headers that narrowly missed the target. Gradually Vale regained the upper hand and Wilson shot wide after being picked out by Alex Lacy on the right.

Next Stephen Renton broke free on the left and his cross was sliced against his own bar by McGill, in the scramble that followed D.Meechan shot wide.

Vale finally made the vital breakthrough after 41 minutes. Jim Meechan and Wardle worked the ball out of defence and when the latter burst forward he played a pass up to Wilson who turned away from his marker before racing into the area and firing the ball low into the net.

Two minutes later a fine move saw Gentile pick out David Meechan and from 25 yards he fired a powerful shot off the crossbar with the keeper beaten. Renton also shot narrowly wide after a Ward pass.

At the interval Deeley replaced Renton on the left. Within 8 minutes of the restart Meechan's tenacity saw him get the break of the ball but after rounding the keeper his netbound shot was cleared off the line by Kennedy.

Vale got the important second goal after 57 minutes when the recently resigned Hugh Ward won possession before finding dangerman Wilson on the right and he drilled a low shot past the keeper and into the net.

Two minutes later D. Meechan had a goal disallowed when the keeper spilled Wardle's header but the referee gave a free kick against the Vale striker. Meechan was again out of luck a minute later when he broke clear on the left and after rounding the keeper he stared in disbelief as his shot came off the base of the upright.

After 70 minutes Wilson had claims for a third goal when his driven cross was misjudged by the keeper who collected the ball from what appeared to be behind his goal line. After 75 minutes Meechan's powerful left foot shot produced a great diving save from the keeper.

A minute's silence was observed before the game in memory of those who died in the tragedies in New York, Washington and Pittsburgh.

Team: Maclaurin, Lacy, Dalrymple (Goodwin), Wardle, J. Meechan, Gentile, Brown, Wilson (Hunter), Renton (Deeley), D. Meechan, Ward. Subs not used: Gow, Boal.

 
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