|Vale of Leven Football & Athletic Club
Millburn Park, Leven Street, Alexandria, Dunbartonshire
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Vale progressed to the quarter finals of this competition after a hard fought victory over premier division Lanark United at Millburn on Saturday. After a run of three defeats it was important that Vale got the result to avenge their earlier Sectional League Cup quarter final defeat at Lanark.
With the monsoon weather having relented over the previous two days Millburn was at last playable and only the late appearance of the match referee due to a road traffic accident threatened the match which eventually kicked off 20 minutes late.
Lanark almost grabbed an opener after only 6 minutes when Maclaurin mispunched a long free kick and when the resultant corner came over former Motherwell star Brian Martin sent a glancing header past the far post. Three minutes later Vale skipper Alex Lacy surged down the right and from his perfectly flighted cross Ross Hunter passed up a great chance by sending his header wide of the target.
A goal and MOM
for Jim Meechan
Vale edged in front after 23 minutes, Dalrymple, starting his first game since the first week in December, flighted a free kick from left to Hunter on the right. The midfielder controlled the ball, cut inside and his driven cross was deflected up and over the keeper and the inrushing Brian Deeley forced the ball over the line from close range for is eighth goal of the season.
Five minutes later Hunter played in Smith and the visitors keeper Smith got down to smother the ball.
Lanark drew level on the half hour mark, Vale were caught pushing out and when Bell headed on Young was onto the ball in a flash and tucked the ball behind Maclaurin from the edge of the area.
Vale almost lost a second after 41 minutes, David Meechan lost possession and the visitors broke quickly and from McBratney's pass Craig Young saw his effort saved by Maclaurin.
Vale deservedly regained the lead a minute from the break after David Meechan won a corner on the right, from Alan Browns flag kick Jim Meechan rose to send an unstoppable header high into the net.
The second half started with Vale on the offensive and following a good move up the left Deeley cut the ball back into the path of Ward who only had to pick his spot but he sclaffed the ball wide of the far post.
Deeley then sent Meechan clear but the youngster infuriated everyone
by shooting tamely at Smith as he had Brown up beside him in support.
After 68 minutes keeper Smith collected a Vale corner and quickly set
up a Lanark attack that caught Vale all upfield. Only a foul by Lacy
that earned him a caution prevented a chance of another equaliser. In
a pulsating match Vale attacked again and this time Brian Smith broke
clear through the middle but under challenge from Martin he saw his
toepoke saved by the diving keeper.
Team: Maclaurin; Lacy, Wardle, J. Meechan, Dalrymple; Deeley, Hunter (Goodwin), Brown, Smith; D. Meechan (McKernan), Ward (Ritchie). Unused subs: Renton & Gow.