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Millburn Park, Leven Street, Alexandria, Dunbartonshire
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Vale of Leven 4-0 Maybole
Vale: D. Meechan (1), Ritchie (18), Boal (49), Ward (71)
Man of the match: Bryan Boal
Millburn Park, Saturday 8th December. Kick off: 1.45pm
Scottish Cup Round 3

Vale progressed to the 4th round of the Scottish Cup after this emphatic win over Ayrshire 3rd division leaders Maybole at Millburn on Saturday. The men from Burns country were confident of success before the match but David Meechan's opening goal after only 45 seconds left them with an uphill task.

The home side were low in confidence after last week's dismal showing at East Kilbride. Injury ruled out both Wilson and Gow and the two Meechans were only just passed fit after morning fitness checks.

On the bonus side Brian Deeley returned after illness and Brian Smith made a long awaited return to the squad after lengthy injury. Despite the recent inclement weather Millburn was in good condition as Vale kicked off.

  Brian Smith
Brian Smith made his long
awaited comeback from injury.

The home side quickly won a free kick out on the left and from the kick taken by Alan Brown, top scorer David Meechan, playing in a wide role, headed the opener from close range after just 45 seconds.

After 7 minutes only a timely interception from Brian Wardle denied Broadfield a shot at goal after a right wing cross fell to him 12 yards out.

Vale went further ahead after 18 minutes. Scott McKernan earned a corner from Maclaurin's long kick and from Deeley's flag kick McKernan head flicked the ball on for John Ritchie to hook a left foot volley high into the net.

McKernan was out of luck 5 minutes later when he met Brown's cross at the near post and his shot was blocked for a corner. The experienced Vale striker was again out of luck when he was twice tripped within the area but no penalty was given.

Vale were well on top and thwarting any hope the visitors had of creating anything. The only real concern for Vale was cautions to Brown, Hunter and D. Meechan that would put pressure on them in the second period.

Vale made a great start to the second period with McKernan shooting over from 17 yards. Better was to come as they grabbed a crucial 3rd goal after 49 minutes.

Having witnessed a contender for goal of the season in the last round from David Meechan the Vale support were cheering an even better one this time from Bryan Boal. The former Albion Rovers man picked the ball up within the centre circle and set off on a mazy run past four defenders down the right, as keeper Hamilton came out he clipped the ball up and over him from the tightest of angles into the net.

With the game more or less won Vale took off the injured Jim Meechan after 55 minutes with Kevin Goodwin deputising for his 100th appearance for the Dark Blues.

A minute later they were down to ten men when David Meechan foolishly earned himself a second caution for the third time this season and left his team mates with a potential tricky situation.

Vale took off the tiring McKernan and replaced him with the fresh legs of Hugh Ward who added a fourth goal when he latched onto Brown's precision pass to shoot past Hamilton from the edge of the area.

  Kevin Goodwin
Kevin Goodwin - 100
games for the Vale.

With 15 minutes remaining Brian Smith made his first appearance since August when he replaced the exhausted Boal. Despite the home sides numerical inferiority Vale were never troubled by a Maybole side who never lived up to their pre match promise.

Best for Vale were Wardle, Hunter, Ritchie and man of the match Bryan Boal for his goal and overall effort.

Team: Maclaurin; Lacy, Wardle, J. Meechan (Goodwin), Deeley; Boal (Smith), Brown, Hunter, D. Meechan; Ritchie, McKernan (Ward). Unused subs: Renton, Wilson.

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