Vale of Leithen 0-1 University of Stirling
By Callum Hodgson, at Victoria Park
A LAST minute winner denied Vale a much-deserved point at Victoria Park on Saturday, against an in-form Stirling Uni side.
Last week, the students’ manager Shelley Kerr was named the new head coach of the Scotland Women’s side and her tactics paid dividends once again, when she brought on match-winner Lewis Bonar in the second half.
It looked as if it was going to finish all square, but Vale manager Chris Anderson said a lack of concentration cost the home side the game.
He told us: “We can take positives because everyone worked really hard, but I don’t think there was much quality in the game.
“There wasn’t really that many chances for either side and although we worked hard, it was a lack of concentration in the last 20 minutes of the game that cost us. We just switched off a little bit.”
Vale could have easily gone 1-0 down seven minutes in, when Ross Brady collided with Chris Geddes in the box, leaving referee Colin Whyte with no other option than to point to the spot.
Most people would have put their house on the prolific poacher converting the spot kick, but a tame effort saw Andrew McQueen dive to his left to comfortably gather the ball.
There weren’t too many chances in the opening 45, but Vale were solid in midfield and Paul McAfferty and Rory McEwan stood out for Stirling.
And just two minutes before the whistle, McAfferty and McEwan combined with some neat footwork. The latter picked out Lewis Hunter, but he could only fire wide of the post.
Anderson brought on Blair Atkinson early in the second period and he began causing some problems.
He was responsible for a corner which found the head of Shaun Stevens, but a good save from Ryan Marshall prevented Vale from going one up.
Geddes also had have a few efforts for the away team, but none were good enough to take the lead.
But in the 80th minute, Stirling could have been celebrating, had Fabian Borcz got on the end of fellow substitute Bonar’s wonderfully weighted cross from the right hand side.
Uni kept on knocking. Ashe struck one past the post a minute later, then also headed wide from a Geddes corner five minutes from time.
Both would have probably settled for a draw at that point, but Kerr’s side had other ideas.
Bang on 90 minutes, a long ball from the goalkeeper found McAfferty on the right hand side. After a few touches, he laid it off to Bonar on the edge of the penalty area and he smashed it into the roof of the net, giving McQueen no chance of getting a glove on it.
Vale of Leithen: A McQueen, B Raiker (B Atkinson 76), R Brady, D O’Donnell, C McBride, A Hunter, L McIntosh, A Smith, S Stevens (K McLeod 69), R Currie, T Paterson. Subs not used: J Scott-Mercer, S Stewart.