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Millburn Park, Leven Street, Alexandria, Dunbartonshire
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Blantyre Vics 0-3 Vale of Leven
Vale: Wilson 30, Leggatt 80 mins & D.Meechan 87 mins
Man of the Match: Brian Wardle
Saturday 10th May, 2003. Kick off: 3.00pm
Castle Park
Abercorn Builders Central District Division 1

Vale rounded off the season in style with this convincing win over bottom side Blantyre Vics at Castle Park on Saturday. With nothing at stake apart from the opportunity to finish in a creditable fourth place Vale deserve credit for the manner in which they went about their business although it did take until the last 10 minutes that Vale put the game beyond a side bossed by man of many clubs Roddy Hutchieson.

Hugh Hamill's side could have fallen behind after only six minutes when McGurks cross from the right found veteran striker Jim Brown right in front of goal but his point blank header was pushed away by Maclaurin.

Four minutes later Vale missed a great chance to go ahead when Wilson's trickery and pace saw him burst free through the middle only to be sent tumbling inside the area. Top scorer Hugh Ward was looking to hit his 26th goal of the season but keeper McNab had other ideas as he dived to save the striker's well hit spot kick.

At this stage of the game Vale were well on top and Brown, Ruane and Wilson all came close to opening the scoring. The goal duly arrived with the move of the match after half an hour. Fox played in Ward down the right and after he evaded a tackled his cross to the near post was deftly touched into the net by the inform WILSON for his ninth goal of the season. Before the interval Wilson came close to grabbing a second only this time McNab did well to block his effort.

Half Time 0-1.

 

Dougie Wilson
Dougie Wilson got
on the scoresheet


Blantyre almost levelled the match straight from the kick off but Maclaurin forced an effort from substitute Cross into the side netting. Play raced to the other end and Goodwin's pass presented Fox with a good chance but he took too long on the ball and the chance went abegging.

The longer the match went the more Vale sat back and only some fine defending kept the home side out. With David Meechan and Paul Leggat on for Ruane and Fox Vale started to create a bit more and Ward hit the post from close range after 74 minutes.

With 10 minutes remaining Jim Meechan's long ball was collected by Leggat and he used his strength to hold off a defender before firing the ball home from 12 yards.

Seven minutes later it was all over as Ward skipped past a couple of challenges before sending over an inviting cross that was turned into the net by David Meechan for his ninth goal of the season.

On the whole Vale were worthy winners and were left to rue the month of April where their title hopes vanished. Vale were best served by Lacy, Jim Meechan, Brown, Ward, Wilson and man of the match Brian Wardle who was outstanding yet again.


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