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Millburn Park, Leven Street, Alexandria, Dunbartonshire
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Vale of Leven 0-0 East Kilbride Thistle
Man of the Match: Matthew Maclaurin
Saturday 1st February, 2003. Kick off: 2.00pm
Millburn Park
Abercorn Builders Central District Division 1

For the second time this season these two sides fought out a no scoring draw with the two keepers the main reason for the lack of goals. This time it was Vale's Matty Maclaurin and Jag's Scott Brunton who had replaced David Rogers and Danny Moy from the previous encounter who were the stars of the show on the immaculate Millburn surface.

Vale made one change from the side that won at St.Roch's, Graeme McKenzie replacing the injured Bryan Boal as the Millburn men continued with a three pronged attack.

The visitors, who had won the Sectional League Cup since the sides last met at the Show Park, were first to threaten after 12 minutes. Stephen Brogan looked miles offside when he gave chase to a ball over the top of the Vale defence and with only the Maclaurin to beat he found the big keeper equal to the task as he blocked the initial effort with his legs before grasping the rebound.

 

Hugh Hamill
Hugh Hamill's men
couldn't find a
way through


Vale's fist effort at goal after 13 minutes saw Alan Brown's 25 yard free kick soar over the crossbar after Meechan had been tripped. The lively Brogan then made ground down the left before cutting inside and from the edge of the area his low shot took a deflection and Matty Maclaurin had to spring to his right to push the effort away for a corner.

Vale were gradually taking control of the game and only a super save from Brunton after 25 minutes kept the scores level. Captain Alex Lacy did well on the right and from his cross David Meechan's looping header seemed destined for the top far corner of the net until the diving Brunton clawed the ball away to safety. A minute later Meechan sent a powerful low left foot drive inches past the keepers right hand post.

Hugh Hamill's men were continuing to push forward and from a dangerous left wing cross Hugh Ward's header was parried by Brunton low to his left and from the rebound the keeper was up quickly to help Ward's shot into the side netting.

Half Time 0-0

Minutes into the second period Brian Wardle came close with a flashing header that was comfortably dealt with by Brunton. On the hour mark the Jags were dealt a blow when the dangerous Brogan was carried off with an ankle injury.

Ten minutes later Vale's new signing, local youngster Dom Ruane, came on to make his debut in place of McKenzie as Vale searched for a way to break down the Jags defence.

After 73 minutes a fine cross from Goodwin on the left saw Brian Smith's netbound header diverted over the bar and to everyone's astonishment no corner was given.

The final period in the match belonged to the visitors who finished the stronger side as conditions deteriorated and twice Maclaurin had to be on his toes to earn Vale a point.

At the end of the day a draw was probably about the right result although both managers will be less than pleased at not taking all three points as their sides promotion hopes lessen. Best for Vale were the entire back four along with Alan Brown in midfield and man of the match Matthew Maclaurin.


Team: Maclaurin; Lacy, Wardle, J.Meechan, Goodwin; Smith, Alan Brown, King; McKenzie (Ruane), Ward, D.Meechan (McKernan) Unused subs: Rogers, Deeley & Hunter.
 
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