Vale crest Vale of Leven Football & Athletic Club
Millburn Park, Leven Street, Alexandria, Dunbartonshire
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Vale of Leven 1-2 Port Glasgow
Vale: Deeley 62 mins
Port: Diamond 28 mins, F. McKay 85 mins
Man of the Match: Kevin Goodwin
Saturday 17th August, 2002. Kick off: 3.00pm
Millburn Park.
Beatons Coaches Sectional League Cup - Group 8

Vale struggled from start to finish against a lively Port side who gained revenge for last week's defeat at Millburn. The visitors thoroughly deserved their win but again slack defending leaves Vale with a difficult couple of away games this week in which to claim the 4 points required to win the section.

Hugh Hamill's side went into this game without new signing Graeme McKenzie due to injury and his place went to Dougie Wilson with Bryan Boal dropping back. Brian Wardle, now free from suspension, returned to Vale's defensive trio with Paul Barton dropping down to the bench.

The home side were forced to make a change after only 7 minutes when Bryan Boal jarred his knee blocking Port's Diamond after the visitors had hit the bar. Vale gave a debut to Welsh youngster Kevin Percy as his replacement.

  Brian Deeley
Brian Deeley scored
from a free kick

Vale were finding it extremely difficult to impose themselves on the game and they were up against it when Port went ahead after 28 minutes. A quick move up the left flank saw a deep cross into the Vale box and Diamond controlled the ball before shooting past the advancing Rogers.

A marginal offside decision saw D. McKay's strike from 12 yards ruled out after 32 minutes as Port ripped Vale apart through the middle. Five minutes from the interval Brown lost possession and Rogers did well to save from Foreman. Vale's best chance of the half saw Wilson come deep to collect the ball and his pass to Ward saw the Vale strikers shot saved by Conway.

Ten minutes into the second half Vale should have drawn level when King headed Wardle's cross back across goal and Hugh Ward's outstretched boot could only knock the ball past the post with Conway rooted to the spot.

With Jim Meechan on for Percy Vale pushed Deeley further forward and it was he who drew Vale level after 62 minutes. Brian Smith won a free kick 20 yards from goal and Brian Deeley stepped up to curl a powerful drive high into the net.

For the first time in the game Vale started to play and they could have and should have edged in front. Firstly Smith set up Ward and he shot wide before Ward was then shoulder charged off the ball in the area with an indirect free kick awarded. Vale's best chance saw Ward's pass release Wilson who raced in on goal only to be foiled by the outstretched legs of keeper Conway.

With 5 minutes remaining Vale were stunned when Port grabbed a winning goal, Wardle's slack pass conceded possession and when Frank McKay got the ball on the right he sent over a well struck cross that saw Vale keeper Rogers punch into his own net.

Best for Vale were Deeley, Smith, King, Wilson and man of the match Kevin Goodwin.

With Yoker also winning they now share top spot in the table with Vale marginally ahead on goal difference. The sides meet in what could be a section decider at Holm Park on Wednesday, kick off 6.45pm. Vale's final match in the section sees them travel down to Greenock on Saturday.

Team: Rogers; Wardle, Deeley, Goodwin; Hunter, Brown, Smith, King, Boal (Percy) (Meechan); Wilson, Ward. Unused subs: Maclaurin, McKernan & Barton.
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