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Rutherglen Glencairn 2-1 Vale of Leven
Glencairn: M. McKay 14 mins & Shand 61 mins
Vale: J. Meechan 69 mins
Man of the Match: Jim Meechan
Saturday 22nd March, 2003. Kick off: 3.00pm
Southcroft Park
Abercorn Builders Central District Division 1

Vale passed up a great chance to close the gap on Glens and league leaders Kilsyth with this inept performance at Southcroft on Saturday. Once again Vale struggled to cope against a side reduced to 10 men and in fact for the third consecutive match against a numerically disadvantaged Glens Vale failed to grab at least a point. Once again the hungriest side proved to be the winner and Vale's lack of punch up front could well come back to haunt them.

With David Meechan fit again to partner Hugh ward in attack Brian Wardle reverted to his more accustomed defensive position. Both teams knew that nothing less than victory would do and accordingly both sides started brightly.

Vale had a great chance to take the lead after only four minutes when Ward made ground on the left and his perfectly flighted cross fell to Smith who volleyed wide from good position.

 

Kevin Goodwin
Kevin Goodwin - 100
league games for
Vale of Leven


Glencairn opened the scoring after 14 minutes. Daly started the move on the right and his crossfield pass found McLernon who caught Hunter in two minds and his pass picked out Glen's top scorer Mark McKay who stabbed the ball into the net.

Vale made amends almost right away but Ward's effort was blocked for a corner and then Brian Wardle somehow managed to put the ball over the bar from point blank range although he did look in an offside position.

Half Time 1-0

Vale started the second period with Brian Wardle pushed forward to joint the attack but 3 minutes into the second half Vale lost the services of Toby King who had failed to recover from a knock picked up during the first half with Tom Fox coming on.

Five minutes into the second half a Glens' midfielder, who had been having an interesting tussle with Alan Brown, earned a second caution for a tackle on the Vale midfielder and so the Glasgow side were down to 10 men.

4 minutes later Ward skipped along the goal line and his cut back fell to Wardle whose effort was blocked at close range. Ward again was the provider minutes later with a great run down the left and when he rolled the ball across the penalty area David Meechan looked certain to score but with all the time in the world to steady himself his hurried right foot effort was off target.

On the hour mark Wardle headed Brown's free kick across goal and Hugh Ward, at the far post, somehow managed to head the ball against the post as Glens lived dangerously.

The home side added to their lead a minute after this miss when Vale failed to clear a corner and although Jim Meechan's headed clearance cleared the area it fell to the right foot of substitute Willie Shand who volleyed the ball low into the corner of the net past the unsighted Maclaurin.

Unfortunately Vale's best chances were falling to Brian Wardle and he shot wide of target before seeing his netbound header being cleared off the goal line. Vale did manage to pull a goal back after 79 minutes when Brown's corner was headed home by Jim Meechan from close range.

Glens keeper Halpin made probably his first save of the match five minutes from time when he dived at the feet of captain Alex Lacy to deny the defender an equaliser. With the seconds ticking away Glens held firm, as Vale continually threw high balls forward, to claim all three points.

Best for Vale were Lacy, Goodwin, Brown and man of the match Jim Meechan.


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