Vale of Leithen 1

Edinburgh University 0

David Knox at Victoria Park

I'M not sure if there were any mathematician masters among the Edinburgh University ranks on Tuesday evening, but if there were they would still have a struggle explaining how reduced numbers improves performance.

Following a relatively uneventful hour of football, Vale of Leithen were reduced to ten men as Kerr Allen collected his second yellow card.

But rather than disadvantage the Victoria Park side or the match, it led to an onslaught on the Students goal for much of the closing stages.

And the effort from the ten men was rewarded with a late headed winner from the ever-dangerous Sean Stewart.

Manager Chris Anderson told us: "We had knocked the ball about pretty well without creating all that much before the sending off.

"We changed things around a little after Kerr was sent off and it worked for us.

"I thought we did enough to merit the win.

"After losing to Stirling on Saturday it was important that we bounced back this evening."

It was the Edinburgh team who almost got off to the dream start as Ross Brady's tame back pass was intercepted by James Connington, but the tall striker's touch was poor and Ross Gilpin blocked well.

Vale played some nice football for lengthy periods with Niall Doherty, Sean Stewart and Tommy Patterson all combining well at times.

But the Students' well-organised defence was more than a match for what the home team could muster up during the opening half.

The Students were denied the opener at the start of the second half as Gilpin finger-tipped Max Verkaik's diving header round the post.

And from the resultant corner Max Condie headed a foot wide.

A corner at the other end almost led to Vale edging in front but Steven Lynch's drive from the edge of the area deflected narrowly past the upright.

On 65 minutes everything changed.

Allan was unfortunate to be shown a second yellow for, what looked like, an accidental clash in the centre circle.

But the change in formation - to drop Jordan Finnie into midfield and let substitute Jack Hay lead the line on his own - worked a treat.

Within five minutes Mark Tait had made a great save to deny Hay before following up with another fine block to prevent Doherty scoring.

Both Hay and Patterson should have done better with headers that flew wide.

And Vale also had a goal disallowed, apparently for offside, after Uni trialist David Smith poked the ball into his own net.

Despite the home pressure it was the Students who should have gone in front on 83 minutes. James Connington managed to race away from Brady, but rather than shoot from 12 yards he opted to square towards the unmarked Michael Ness and overhit his pass.

It was a let off that Vale capitalised on almost immediately.

Jon McInally delivered an inch perfect freekick from wide on the left for Stewart to head home from 10 yards out.

The celebrations were almost muted just a couple of minutes later as Tim Rawlinson raced into the area only for Gilpin to make a brave block.

Vale of Leithen. R Gilpin, E Saunderson, R Brady, S Lynch, A Imlah (A Lewis 50), N Doherty (J McInally 80), S Stewart, K Allan, S Stevens (J Hay 61), J Finnie & T Patterson.