Vale of Leithen 2-1 Whitehill Welfare
By Callum Hodgson
at Victoria Park
VALE returned to winning ways on Wednesday night in a hard-fought victory over Whitehill Welfare.
Keith McLeod returned to Chris Anderson’s starting XI and he showed what he was capable of when he opened the scoring on 11 minutes.
And the homesters doubled their lead just seven minutes into the second period courtesy of Thomas Paterson, who rounded off a brilliant passage of play.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for Vale though. Just a minute later Michael Osborne, who was brought into the starting lineup at the last minute, curled in a wonderful free kick from the edge of the box.
But the Victoria Park boss was just happy to pick up maximum points after Saturday’s blow against Stirling Uni.
He told us: “It was a good win, but I think we made hard work at it at times.
“But in the end it is all about the result and I think we did really well.
“I am also pleased for Keith McLeod getting the goal. It will obviously please him as well as he gets a wee bit annoyed if he isn’t scoring.”
It was a quiet first half and the first real chance resulted in a goal when McLeod got on the ball on the 18 yard line. He was given the time to turn and hit a low shot past the goalkeeper, who got a glove on the ball but not enough to keep it out.
Osborne and Jamie Laing both had chances before the whistle, but couldn’t find the target.
Vale hit the ground running quickly in the second half and were 2-0 up on 57 minutes.
Blair Atkinson sprinted up the left wing and switched the ball to Jason Stevens. His powerful shot was parried by Bryan Young, but there was Paterson who had darted the length of the field to convert.
Whitehill needed to find a goal and they did just a minute later when they were awarded a free kick from a mistimed Craig McBride tackle. Osborne stepped up and curled the ball brilliantly into the top corner, leaving Andrew McQueen with no chance.
Welfare tried a more attacking style and could have been level when Connor McGregor’s cross found substitute Omar Ali, but he was denied by a wonderful point-blank save.
Soon after, Osborne got the better of three defenders but he blasted his effort over the bar from the six-yard box. But Vale could have extended their lead when Shaun Stevens played in Jason Stevens, but he hit the side-netting from the right hand side.
Vale of Leithen: A McQueen, S Stewart, T Paterson, S Lynch, C McBride, R Manson, R Currie, A Smith (K Motion 60), J Stevens, K McLeod (S Stevens 68), B Atkinson (L McIntosh 76). Subs not used: J Scott-Mercer, A Hunter, D O’Donnell