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Millburn Park, Leven Street, Alexandria, Dunbartonshire
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Vale of Leven 1-2 Johnstone Burgh
Vale: Deeley (82)
Johnstone: Donnelly (55), Brolly (84)
Man of the match: Alex Lacy
Newlandsfield Park (Pollok FC). Saturday 3rd May, 2002. Kick off: 7.00pm
West of Scotland Cup Semi Final

Vale were hit by a sucker punch late winner just when they thought they had done enough to earn a penalty shoot out at Newlandsfield last Friday evening. Striving to reach their first West final Vale had clawed their way back into the tie with a late equaliser from Deeley but with 6 minutes remaining 10 man Burgh got lucky with a late winner from Brolly.

The Millburn men started with Boal back in the starting eleven in place of former Burgh midfielder Ross Hunter who was on the bench.

Burgh were first to threaten after 3 minutes when centre half Heaton was allowed to roam forward and his low shot crept past the upright. Goodwin had a chance for Vale but his shot was deflected wide for a corner. After 14 mins Armour almost opened the scoring for Burgh with another long range shot that narrowly missed the target. Next chance came for Vale when a long throw from captain Alex Lacy was headed inched over by Wardle.

  Brian Deeley
Brian Deeley's goal
wasn't enough for
the Vale


After 22 minutes only a super save from Maclaurin stopped Burgh from opening the scoring when he leapt to tip a netbound Brolly header over the bar from Armour's free kick. A minute later the big keeper was in trouble when McLay's inswinging corner almost crept in at the back post as Burgh looked to be well in control of the game.

Vale boss Hugh Hamill then made a tactical switch with Lacy picking up the lively Armour. After 35 minutes Vale were almost caught napping when McLay took a quick free kick that swerved before rebounding from Maclaurin's left hand post. Burgh keeper Donohoe made his first save of the half after 41 minutes when he dived to parry Deeley's close range effort.

Vale got off to a bad start to the second half as Burgh took the lead after only 10 minutes of the restart. Brolly was given time to get in a shot from 25 yards that spun back off keeper Maclaurin and from 12 yards James Donnelly stuck the rebound high into the net.

Vale had strong appeals for a penalty after 65 minutes when Wilson waltzed past 3 defenders and was pulled back as he was about to cross but the referee dismissed Vale's claims. Burgh were reduced to 10 men after 74 minutes when full back Brogan elbowed Boal in the face. The Vale winger had to be replaced by Ward.

With 10 minutes remaining Vale pushed Wardle forward to join the attack and the move paid dividends within 2 minutes when he headed down Brown's free kick for Brian Deeley to score from a tight angle.

Within a minute Maclaurin had to produce a great save to turn away a Brolly header however a further minute later and Brolly at last got lucky. Vale failed to clear a left wing corner and when Heaton met the ball on the volley his shot appeared to be going well wide until Brolly stuck out a boot to divert the ball into the net.

In the final minute Wardle was denied an equaliser when Juttla stopped his netbound header on the line.

On the night the better side won through to meet Benburb in Saturday's final but had Vale shown a little bit more belief in themselves then they could have won the tie. In the past week Vale have lost out by a single goal to two sides challenging for the Premier Division title and have given as good as they got. Hopefully Vale can build on their cup performances and come back again next season. Best for Vale were Wardle, J.Meechan, Goodwin and man of the match Alex Lacy.


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