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Lesmahagow 1-1 Vale of Leven
Lesmahagow: McCarrison (44)
Vale: Brown (66)
Man of the match: Brian Wardle
Craighead Park, Saturday 13th April, 2002. Kick off: 3.00pm
Abercorn Builders Central League Division 1

After the impressive performance that saw Vale crush Kilwinning last week it was back to the usual indifferent away form that managed to scrape a draw at Lesmahagow on Saturday.

First half Vale huffed and puffed against a home side who have gone downhill in recent seasons and by half time their lack of purpose saw Vale lose a goal on the stroke of half time. However full credit to Hugh Hamill's side as they stepped up a gear in the second half and netted a fine equaliser from Alan Brown and with some better finishing they could have taken all three points.

Vale made one chance to last week's victorious starting eleven, Bryan Boal being preferred to David Meechan.

It was the home side who started more positive and it took Vale until the 10th minute to get a shot on goal from Alex Lacy. 8 minutes later Ward got to the bye line and from his cut back Smith saw his close range shot blocked.

  Brian Wardle
Two man of the
matches in a row
for Brian Wardle

After 20 minutes Wardle and Maclaurin left the ball to each other and allowed McCarrison a chance but he failed to collect the ball properly and the chance was lost. Vale's McKernan created a good chance for fellow striker Ward but the experienced front man took one touch too many and allowed a defender to block his close range shot. After 31 minutes Maclaurin comfortably saved McDade's 20 yard shot and 2 minutes later former "Son" Billy Melvin cut in from the left and his cross rebounded from the near post. Vale lost possession from a throw in down at the home corner flag and following a quick break Maclaurin made a stunning fingertip save to deny McCarrison.

Vale were well below their best and were made to pay the price when Lesmahagow forged ahead one minute from the break. Day was allowed space to break forward from defence and from his cross from the left no one picked up former Celtic striker Dugald McCarrison who had a simple tap in to open the scoring.

Before the half time whistle sounded Vale very nearly fell two behind and only another fine save from Maclaurin to deny Ferguson spared Vale's blushes.

Vale started the second half with a bit more purpose with Ward coming close straight away. Boal's mazy run took him past three defenders but no-one could convert his cross.

After 63 minutes Vale replaced an out of sorts Deeley with Gow and within three minutes Vale were level. A fine pass from Wardle found Boal and he played the ball back into the path of Alan Brown and his left foot shot from 20 yards found the net via the keepers right hand post.

Vale were beginning to create chances and after 75 minutes McKernan had a great chance to put Vale in front but from 13 yards he screwed his shot wide of the far post. Three minutes later Ward crossed from the left and Gow coming in from the right looked certain to score until he was put off by a timely block from McCabe. In the final minute Noble could have won it for the home side but he lobbed the ball over both the advancing Maclaurin and the bar.

As the whistle sounded Vale could be happy with a point and the manner in which they applied themselves in the second half. Best for Vale were Alex Lacy on his 200th appearance, Jim Meechan, Bryan Boal, Matthew Maclaurin and man of the match Brian Wardle.

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