Vale crest Vale of Leven Football & Athletic Club
Millburn Park, Leven Street, Alexandria, Dunbartonshire
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Shettleston 2-0 Vale of Leven
Shettleston: A. Jack (37), Thomson (48)
Man of the match: Brian Smith
Greenfield Park, Saturday 2nd February, 2002. Kick off: 2.00pm
Abercorn Builders Central League Division 1

Vale's dismal away league form continued at Greenfield Park on Saturday when they lost to strong going Shettleston, the current league leaders.

Without the injured Bryan Boal Vale boss Hugh Hamill brought back Stevie Gow and elected to restore the three at the back system that failed so miserably in Vale's last away league fixture at East Kilbride. As at the Show Park Vale failed to score or even get a shot on target with several players off form at the one time.

The one plus point was the fact that the watching Jim Sinnett and Bobby Masterton from next weeks cup opponents Linlithgow must have gone away thinking that Vale will be a pushover on this showing.

  Brian Smith
Brian Smith - best for Vale on a bad day

The match probably hinged on the fact that Vale lost the services of the very influential Jim Meechan after 32 minutes with a nasty cut on his leg which required stitched and will rule him out of the Linlithgow tie.

Having defended so well against a strong wind the loss of Meechan did not help and within 5 minutes of his departure Vale were behind, Alan Jack lost Brown in midfield and played a one two with striker Thomson before striking a well placed left foot shot into the net from the edge of the area.

Three minutes into the second half 'Town' struck again when Dickson crossed from the right and Andy Thomson eluded the Vale defence to head over Maclaurin into the net.

Two behind and with the strong wind having died Vale failed to create anything of note and tamely surrendered yet another three points as they also lost the injured Smith. Shettleston at this point look firm favourites to win the league and earn a spot in the proposed new super leagues. For Vale it could well be their worst ever finish since 1985.

Best for Vale? Only keeper Maclaurin and man of the match Brian Smith.

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

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