Vale of Leithen 5

Cumbernauld Colts 0

By Callum Hodgson

At Victoria Park

VALE of Leithen reminded everyone what they’re capable of on Saturday.

Despite only having 13 names on the team sheet, Chris Anderson’s side outplayed their guests from North Lanarkshire.

The gaffer called on 40-year-old Keith McLeod for a hand to boost his small squad.

And the veteran didn’t disappoint, bagging a brace within the opening half hour.

Sean Stewart, Brad Rixon and trialist Donal Henretty also got on the scoresheet in the five star performance.

Anderson said: “It was absolutely brilliant. It’s been a difficult couple of weeks playing midweek with a stretched squad.

“We brought in Keith McLeod and Donal Henretty in today and I thought their experience showed.

"The first half was as good as I’ve seen. Going forward we were excellent and in defence we were superb.

“Every singe person was brilliant today.”

It looked as if it would be a tough game for the Vale in the opening minutes.

Stephen O’Neill forced a point-blank save from Ross Gilpin while Craig Holmes struck the post with a free kick.

But that seemed to be a wake up call for the Vale who took the lead moments later when McLeod capitalised on a defensive mix up and poked home from the six yard box.

And he doubled his tally on 30 minutes when he was in the right place at the right time to dispossess keeper Jordan Pettigrew, who couldn’t get a firm grip on the ball.

Great attacking play put the game to bed seconds after the restart, when Stewart shook off the defence and chipped the ball into the net.

The tricky winger was also involved in the Vale’s next goal when he threaded through to Rixon who made it four.

Colts tried to respond in first half stoppage time, but an effort from O’Neill was matched by Gilpin.

The second period was all about managing the game and the home side did it well.

Marc Berry, Ireland and Stewart caused havoc, while Jack Blaikie and Craig McBride stood strong at the back.

Cumbernauld were dealt a further blow 17 minutes into the second half when Jordan Pirrie was sent off after hitting out following a melee in front of the dugouts.

It seemed he was given two simultaneous yellow cards — one for a foul and one for his reaction.

And they thought they had scored soon after when O’Neill found the net, but he was denied by the assistant referee’s flag.

However, there was still time for the Vale to get another.

And they did just that in stoppage time when Henretty went through and slotted past Pettigrew to round off an excellent win.

R Gilpin, J Smith, M Berry, C McBride, J Blaikie, G Rossi, S Stewart, D Henretty, K McLeod (M Underhill 65), B Rixon, L Ireland. Not used: C Anderson