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Millburn Park, Leven Street, Alexandria, Dunbartonshire
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Greenock 2-2 Vale of Leven
Greenock: BARNES 15 mins, McCABE 60 mins.
Vale: WILSON 71 mins, McKENZIE 75 mins.
Man of the Match: Jim Meechan
Saturday 24th August, 2002. Kick off: 3.00pm
Ravenscraig Stadium.
Beatons Coaches Sectional League Cup - Group 8

Vale secured the point required to win the section but oh how they struggled against a Greenock side who hadn't won a game. On the positive side Vale showed great character to come back from a two goal deficit to claim a point but time after time they left themselves exposed as they charged forward.

With Brian Smith getting married Vale recalled Ross Hunter to the starting eleven with Deeley moving inside to a more central role.

After a quiet opening spell Vale found themselves a goal down after 15 minutes. Vale lost possession at a thrown in and when the ball was returned quickly from right to left, Alan Barnes, standing on the angle of the penalty box, took the ball on the drop and floated it towards the far post where it found the net much to the disgust of keeper Rogers.

  Brian Smith
Brian Smith was
married at the
weekend


It took Vale until the 30th minute to get their first shot at goal when Ward's deflected shot was held by Monk. King was then out of luck when he just failed to connect with Brown's header on as Monk gathered the ball at the last moment.

Five minutes into the second period Vale saw their corner cleared and as the home side broke swiftly Rogers made a great stop to deny McCabe. A couple of minutes later Vale failed to clear and the same player rattled the far post as Black just failed to reach the rebound.

On the hour mark Vale fell further behind when again they gave the ball away easily. Brown's free kick was easily taken by Monk and with Vale all upfield the home side broke quickly. Deeley seemed to have covered the situation but he allowed himself to be dispossessed by Black who rolled the ball to the inrushing McCabe and his low placed shot found the net.

With 19 minutes remaining Vale got the break of the ball in midfield and when the ball was fed through Dougie Wilson raced clear to fire home from 18 yards.

The home side were stunned just 4 minutes later when Vale equalised, at last Brown struck a decent cross and when Wardle's header was blocked the ball fell to Graeme McKenzie on the edge of the area and his hooked volley found the net.

In the final minutes substitute McKernan was denied a winner when Monk made a good save at his near post.

At the end of the day Vale can be happy at claiming a point but with the league programme starting this week it is important that they learn from their mistakes and stop giving the ball away so easily. Best for Vale were Wardle, Goodwin and man of the match Jim Meechan.

Vale would like to thank Bobby Biddulph of Biddulph Carpets who sponsored last weeks match ball.

This week Vale start their Abercorn Builders League campaign when Lesmahagow visit Millburn, kick off 3pm. With only one place up for grabs for promotion to the new Super League it is important that Vale get off to a flying start. With the exception of the injured Bryan Boal and the honeymooning Brian Smith Vale should have a full squad available with Alex Lacy and Anton Brown back from holiday.

In the quarter finals of the Beatons Coaches Sectional League Cup Vale will travel to meet Super League side Neilston at Brig O'lea on Saturday 21st September.


Team: Rogers; Wardle, Meechan, Goodwin; Hunter, Brown, King, Deeley, McKenzie; Wilson, Ward (McKernan). Unused subs: Barton & McLaughlin.
 
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