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Kelty Hearts 1-1 Vale of Leven
Kelty: Logan (63)
Vale: Smith (7)
Man of the match: Jim Meechan
Central Park, Kelty, Saturday 19th January, 2002. Kick off: 2.00pm
Scottish Cup Round 4

This exciting cup tie was the proverbial game of two halves that had the large support on tenterhooks until the final 99th minute of the match referee's long overdue whistle. Both sides deserve great credit for their efforts in tricky weather conditions that saw a constant downpour and freezing cold wind make things difficult for all the players involved.

Vale's performance was all the more pleasing considering the fact that they had to play the final 19 minutes with 10 men after Alan Browns 2nd caution of the afternoon ended 2051 continuous minutes of football this season.

Those final 19 minutes were actually 24 minutes as the referee played 5 minutes stoppage time as Vale clung on to earn a reply. The fact that there were 49 minutes to a first period without an injury, Vale should have expected an extended 2nd forty five.

  Brian Smith
Gets the ball..scores a
goal..Brian, Brian Smith


After last week's draw at home to Carluke boss Hugh Hamill restored Jim Meechan and Bryan Boal to the side after injury as well as a long awaited reappearance of Brian Smith, starting his first match since being injured at Greenock in August.

Vale had started quite offensively and took the lead after only 7 minutes when comeback man Brian Smith shot high into the net from the edge of the area after David Meechan's initial shot was blocked.

5 minutes later Meechan had a great chance to create something when he raced into the box on the left. He could have taken the ball around the keeper but elected to cut the ball back first time and the chance was blocked on the edge of the area.

Hearts first chance came after 29 minutes when a dangerous cross was initially blocked by Jim Meechan before Brown and Wardle completed the clearance. Vale continued to press forward allowing Hearts little chance to shine and twice came close with shots from Hunter and Meechan. In the 3rd minute of 'stoppage' time the home side almost grabbed a fluke goal when a deep cross from the right rebounded from Maclaurin's far post only for McCreadie to put the rebound wide.

Seven minutes into the second half Vale should have killed the tie when Brown's free kick from the right was met by D. Meechan right in front of goal but somehow he screwed the shot wide of the far post. Four minutes later the home side came close again when a low snap shop from Reynolds came off the base of the upright before Lacy cleared the danger.

On the hour mark Kelty, managed by former Dunfermline and Aberdeen player Craig Robertson, made a change bringing on striker Scott Logan for McCreadie and within three minutes he had restored equality with his first touch of the ball. A long free kick hung in the air on the edge of the area and when Vale failed to get close the substitute swivelled to fire a low shot into the net from the edge of the area.

After 70 minutes Meechan cut inside from the left and when the ball broke to Hunter his shot was well saved by the Jambo's keeper Timney.

A minute later Vale looked to be in trouble when Alan Brown unluckily picked up a second caution to earn an early bath leaving his team mates to face a backs to the wall performance for the rest of the game. At once Vale withdrew David Meechan for Dalrymple, then the exhausted Boal for Goodwin and in the final minute of normal time Ritchie for Ward as Vale expertly ran down the remaining time.

On a day when Vale had no failures they were best served by Wardle, Lacy and man of the match Jim Meechan.


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

 
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