Vale crest Vale of Leven Football & Athletic Club
Millburn Park, Leven Street, Alexandria, Dunbartonshire
Wright Leisure Group
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Vale of Leven 3-1 Blantyre Victoria
Vale: A. Brown (50), Duddy own goal (60), D. Meechan (64)
Blantyre: J. Brown (43)
Man of the match: Dougie Wilson
Millburn Park. Saturday 11th May, 2002. Kick off: 3.00pm
Abercorn Builders Central League Division 1

Vale showed great character to win this crucial league encounter with Blantyre at sun kissed Millburn on Saturday. Having gone behind to a goal right on the stroke of half time Vale stepped up a gear after the break to win quite convincingly against a side who had beaten them earlier in the season.

Boss Hugh Hamill made one change to the side that had lost in the West semi with Ross Hunter replacing Boal who was on the bench.

The first half was a fairly tame affair with little goalmouth action. After 40 minutes Vale keeper Maclaurin produced what must be the save of the season with an instinctive close range save to deny dangerman Jim Brown who had held off Lacy to get in a close range shot that the big keeper pushed around the post.

  Alan Brown
Alan Brown hit his
6th goal of the season

Vale failed to realise the threat posed by the former Clydebank striker and just three minutes later Brown pounced to put Vics ahead with a perfectly placed shot from the edge of the area.

Vale came out for the second period determined to gain the points needed to avoid relegation and they made the perfect start when Alan Brown fired home a free kick from 20 yards after 50 minutes that levelled the match.

Seven minutes later Dougie Wilson chased a pass back and he surprised the defending player by getting his foot to the ball first but another defender got back to clear the ball from under the cross bar. Wilson was beginning to cause problems and his pace took him clear but from his perfect cross David Meechan was surprised to find himself with an open goal but somehow he managed to hit the sidenetting.

On hour mark Vale edged in front after Smith, Brown and D. Meechan combined on the left and when Meechan took the return pass his 20 yard shot was dropped by the keeper. With Wilson about to score he was pulled back by the keeper and the unfortunate Duddy hit the ball into his own net.

Vale were well on top now and it was no surprise when they added a third goal after 64 minutes engineered by the pacy Wilson. The striker beat his man down the right and from his near post cross David Meechan was on hand to flick the ball into the net for his nineteenth goal of the season. The goalscorer was then replaced by Boal.

After 66 minutes Wilson's turn took him clear of the defence but despite having his heels clipped he ran on to have a shot blocked by the keepers legs. With 6 minutes remaining McHarg tried a cross cum shot that Maclaurin did well to push onto the back post.

At the end of the day Vale thoroughly deserved all three points leaving them requiring a further 3 points from 6 games to avoid relegation. Vale were best served by Maclaurin, Lacy, Jim Meechan, Wardle, Brown and man of the match Dougie Wilson.

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