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Millburn Park, Leven Street, Alexandria, Dunbartonshire
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Vale of Leven 6-2 Kirkintilloch Rob Roy
Vale: Boal (28, 29), D.Meechan (60, 72), Brown (61), McKernan (85)
Rob Roy: Malone (21, 82)
Man of the match: David Meechan
Millburn Park, Wednesday 24th April, 2002. Kick off: 6.45pm
Abercorn Builders Central League Division 1

Vale eased their relegation fears with this convincing win over county rivals Rob Roy at Millburn Park on Wednesday evening. Having struggled to perform against lesser sides this season Vale again produced the goods against one of the top sides. Although the margin looked emphatic it took some super saves from Matthew Macluarin to keep Vale ahead.

Without former Rob Roy centre half Brian Wardle, Vale boss Hugh Hamill recalled Stevie Gow to the defence with youngster Dougie Wilson recalled in place of Hugh Ward in attack. Brian Deeley retained his place to win his 200th appearance.

Vale almost lost a goal after only 7 minutes when Alan Brown gave the ball away and following an attack down the left Maclaurin did well to push away a shot from McPeake.

  Bryan Boal
Two quick goals
for Bryan Boal


Six minutes later an amazing miss from Brian Smith cost Vale the chance of an opener. Dougie Wilson broke shrugged off 3 defenders through the middle and when he fed Deeley on left his low cross was dummied by D.Meechan only for Smith to completely miss his kick in front of goal.

“Rabs” took the lead after 21 minutes when Goodwin conceded a free kick out on the touch line and from Stewart's cross Malone towered above the Vale defence to head home.

The home side bounced back and stunned the opposition with two goals in a minute to take the lead. Firstly Bryan Boal netted from close range after 28 minutes after Meechan's effort was blocked and then 30 seconds later Boal robbed the full back to run in on goal and his driven cross was turned into his own net by Mackay.

Vale were now driving forward and should have increased their lead after 32 minutes. Dougie Wilson raced clear through the middle and slipped a pass to the unmarked David Meechan who took the ball first time but sank to his knees as the keeper's outstretched foot blocked the ball.

Two minutes later Meechan collected a long ball forward and his first time shot flew into the side netting. Next Meechan's header on forced an error from the “Rabs” defence and Wilson saw his effort drift inches past the far post. On the stroke of the half time whistle the visitors came agonizingly close when McPeake's shot went wide of Maclaurin's left hand post.

The second half started with Wilson hitting the side netting before “Rabs” were presented with a great chance to level the score after 49 minutes when they were awarded a penalty after Maclaurin needlessly fouled McPeake. The keeper redeemed himself by diving to his left to push away O’Neill's spot kick.

Boosted by this Vale edged further ahead after an hour. Maclaurin's long kick saw the tenacious David Meechan win a corner and when Brown sent over the cross it was Meechan himself who headed the ball home from close range.

A minute later the match was over as Vale went 4-1 ahead. Smith's turn and lay off saw Alan Brown step onto the pass to smash a shot high into the net from 20 yards.

After 68 minutes Meechan almost had the Vale fans celebrating when he controlled the ball on his chest inside the centre circle before sending in a long range effort that beat the keeper but dropped inched over the bar.

After Maclaurin had made a couple of decent stops Vale added a fifth goal when David Meechan broke free on the left to fire home a low shot past the bemused Smith from the edge of the area after 72 minutes.

Ten minutes later Malone headed his second goal for the visitors following a corner kick saw the defender unmarked.

With 5 minutes later Scott McKernan grabbed Vales sixth and final goal when he played a one two with fellow substitute Hugh Ward to shoot home from 12 yards.

On a night when Vale had no failures everyone deserved praise for bouncing back from a couple of poor home results. David Meechan was in inspired form with a man of the match award that left the Vale support wondering why he can’t play like that every week.


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