Vale of Leithen 2-0 Livingston XI

By Callum Hodgson
at Victoria Park

VALE of Leithen kicked off their busy weekend with a comfortable win over a young Livingston side on Friday night.

Two first half goals, courtesy of Sean Stewart and Jay Stevens secured the victory for the Innerleithen side which was boosted by the inclusion of new boys Ross Gilpin, Ewan Saunderson, Jon McInally, Nial Doherty and Jack Hay.

But despite the result, gaffer Chris Anderson isn’t getting carried away.
He told us: “The game was really just about giving everyone minutes on the pitch.

“I thought we played quite well at times but I still think we are a wee bit away fitness wise, before we start the season.

“The new players all know each other well so they have integrated quite well and quite quickly. We are expecting them to be ready for the opening game.

"We might add one or two before the start of the season, but it’s unlikely. We are good to go with the 19 or 20 players we have now.”

Anderson had to use his squad wisely with the side scheduled to take on Arniston Rangers just a day later.

And the 14 players who were selected all played their part to maintain their 100 per cent pre-season record.

Both sides started positively, but it was Vale who broke the deadlock on 28 minutes. 

Ross Brady’s dangerous ball from the left alluded the Championship side’s youngsters and fell to Stewart at the back stick who fired home.

Livingston almost hit back just a minute later. Pedram Ardallany saw his effort parried away by Gilpin, as did Kyle Sampson, who tried to bury the follow up.

Then the home side started to take control. Former Gala Fairydean Rovers striker Jack Hay made himself a nuisance and hit the post with a header when Craig McBride knocked a McInally corner towards him.

And with virtually the last kick of the half the work paid off.

Livingston goalkeeper Jordan Pettigrew came out too early to try and take the ball from McInally, but got nowhere near. This left the former Hawick man with the chance to pick out Stevens, who fired into an unguarded goal.

It was more of the same in the second half. McInally fired over the bar and Hay fired just wide of the right-hand post.

Gilpin stood strong in the Vale goal all evening and acted when called upon.

Livingston could have scored a consolation goal a few minutes from the end, but it wasn’t to be, with substitute Zack Caldwell heading wide.

Chris Anderson’s side also won their Saturday fixture against Arniston Rangers.

Jonny Scott-Mercer, Sean Stevens and Craig McBride scored the goals in their 3-1 win at Victoria Park.

Vale have won all four of their pre-season friendlies.

Vale of Leithen (Friday’s lineup): R Gilpin, J Scott-Mercer, R Brady (A Lewis 61), A Imlah, E Sanderson, C McBride (A Hunter 61), S Stewart (S Stevens 61), N Doherty, J Stevens, J McInally, J Hay.