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Millburn Park, Leven Street, Alexandria, Dunbartonshire
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Lanark United 1-1 Vale of Leven
Lanark: Davidson 82mins
Vale: Ward 32mins
Man of the Match: Brian Wardle
Saturday 12th April, 2003. Kick off: 3.00pm
Moor Park
Abercorn Builders Central District Division 1

A goal 8 minutes from time, that earned the home side a draw, could prove to be the result that ended Vale's hopes of promotion to the Super League. Once again Hugh Hamill's side failed to kill off the opposition when well on top and they were made to pay the consequences when the unmarked Davidson grabbed an equaliser after sustained pressure from the Moor Park side.

Vale made four changes to the side that dropped points at Lesmahagow. Jim Meechan, Toby King and David Meechan returned in place of Dom Ruane, Scott McKernan and Ross Hunter whilst new signing from Renfrew Paul Leggat started in preference to Graeme McKenzie.

With a win crucial to Vale's slim hopes of promotion they should have gone in front after only three minutes but David Meechan, in a suspiciously offside position right in front of goal, somehow managed to mishit the ball wide of target.

 

Brian Wardle
Brian Wardle was man
of the match


Alan Brown became the games first booking when he challenged the keeper for his sliced clearance and 5 minutes later Alex Lacy joined him in the book for pulling back an opponent. Vale's David Meechan almost picked out Ward but the ball was intercepted and from the follow up Lacy's volley landed safely in the arms of the keeper.

Lanark were pretty poor at the back and Meechan's persistence won Vale a corner out on the left after 32 minutes. Alan Brown whipped in an inswinger and Hugh Ward came off his marker to head his side in front with his 22nd goal of the season.

Vale were denied a second goal when Brown's low, driven cross was helped into the net by Ward but a marginal offside decision cut short his celebrations. Minutes from the interval only a fine diving save from Smith in the Lanark goal prevented Tom Fox adding to Vale's score as the visitors were in total control of the match.

Half Time 0-1.

Vale were forced to make a change at the interval when their injury jinx struck again, debutant Leggat being forced to retire with McKenzie coming into the wide left berth.

Again Vale started well with David Meechan's low shot being saved by the keeper and then midway through the half the same player saw his netbound effort deflected just wide of target. After this stage Vale seemed to sit back and although they had played well defensively and never been seriously tested Lanark at last found a bit of form that recent results suggested they had.

With an extra couple of attackers on Lanark were pressing for that equaliser and it duly arrived after 82 minutes. Experienced substitute Wilkinson was allowed to run at the Vale rear guard and his through ball found fellow sub Davidson who rolled the ball past the advancing Rogers from 12 yards.

The match ended with neither keeper being tested further with Vale boss Hamill clearly unhappy at his sides late dip in form. Once again Vale's stars were mainly in defence along with Brown and King who tired late on. Man of the Match was Brian Wardle.

This week Vale take on Greenock at Millburn on Monday. They have no fixture this Saturday due to the holiday weekend.


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