Vale crest Vale of Leven Football & Athletic Club
Millburn Park, Leven Street, Alexandria, Dunbartonshire
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Vale of Leven 1-2 Dunipace
Vale: Wardle (78)
Dunipace: Kennedy (18, 63)
Man of the match: Brian Wardle
Millburn Park, Wednesday 17th April, 2002. Kick off: 6.30pm
Abercorn Builders Central League Division 1

Vale slumped to their poorest result of the season in this humiliating defeat from bottom of the table Dunipace on Wednesday evening.

Having boasted about their marvellous home record this season some Vale players obviously believe that they are better than they think. Well this result against a poor "Pace" side leaves them in deep trouble and the sooner some players understand that it's a team game the better.

The home side had all the play as Dunipace looked a side resigned to relegation but some shocking finishing cost Vale dearly as they sit 5th bottom of the table. How they lost this game is a mystery, as keeper Maclaurin never had a save to make.

The home side made one change to the side that claimed a point a Lesmahagow, David Meechan returning in place of Deeley.

  Jim Meechan
Jim Meechan - 200
appearances for the Vale


Vale should have gone in front early on when Smith's shot from close range following Brown's corner was blocked on the line and then keeper Prosser got down well to parry David Meechan's low shot. The visitors took until the 16th minute to get into Vale's box but Alan Brown got back to clear the danger.

Vale failed to heed the warning and paid the price after 18 minutes. Dalrymple's slack pass gave away possession and Wardle did well to avert a goal as he cleared for a corner. Unfortunately Vale were still sound asleep as the cross came into the box Con Kennedy lost his marker to send a glancing header into the far corner of the net.

Vale were denied an equaliser after half an hour when a Brown corner was headed down by Wardle and keeper Prosser dropped the ball over the line, the referee unbelievably waved play on. Vale were still having all the play and Prosser parried Brown's shot from the edge of the area but Vale were too slow to follow up and the keeper recovered to clear. Next up Meechan elected to shoot when he could have played in the unmarked Boal.

The Millburn men started the second period on the attack and from Boal's cut back Smith blasted the ball over the bar from close range. After 49 minutes Wardle headed on and from point blank range Smith saw his shot hit the keeper who always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. After 61 minutes Gow replaced Dalrymple as Vale went to a three man defence, two minutes later they lost what was to be the decisive second goal.

D. Meechan got the break of the ball but took too long to clear and his clearance was blocked and the ball fell kindly for Kennedy who rifled home his second goal of the night.

Vale responded with Lacy's driven cross being deflected towards his own net by Houston but again Prosser was in top form as he tipped the ball over the bar. Vale pulled a goal back after 78 minutes when Brian Wardle headed home a Brown corner.

Four minutes later Vale should have equalised when Boal's mazy run took him past 3 men on the left but he elected to shoot with two players better placed and Prosser pulled off a super save at his near post. A further two minutes later Boal again made a great turn inside the area but again he took the wrong option in going for glory as he shot over.

Vale continued to press forward but they were destined to lose their unbeaten home league record. Best for Vale were Lacy, Brown, Jim Meechan, who was making his 200th appearance for the Vale, and man of the match Brian Wardle again.


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