THE first competitive football match at Victoria Park in Innerleithen took place exactly 100 years ago today on September 10, 1921.

Gala Fairydean were the visitors for the second round East of Scotland Qualifying Cup tie and Vale of Leithen, who had won the trophy for the previous two years, were in no mood to relinquish their hold.

The ‘Fairies’ won the toss and elected to play with the strong wind at their back, but it quickly became apparent that the weather conditions would spoil the quality of football.

Gala had the better of the opening spell before Vale gradually asserted themselves.

Robert Euman was unlucky not to open the scoring with a great drive that forced a corner which the Gala defence easily dealt with. The ball was cleared and Gala, by a ‘combined forward movement’, rushed the ball to the other end where Jock Robson was called upon to show his goalkeeping skills.

Give and take play followed with Vale on top. Bert Pearce went close, but the visitors fought back and Robson was called upon several times in the closing period of the first-half which ended goalless.

Robson is considered to be Vale’s best ever player and signed for the club after serving with the Seaforth Highlanders in the First War.

He was later sold to Herbert Chapman’s Arsenal for the bargain price of £5.00.

Jock went on to enjoy a successful career south of the border and played 101 times for the Gunners.

With the advantage of playing with the wind, Vale took control of the second-half and rained shots at the Fairydean keeper, Scott, who rose to the occasion and was loudly cheered by the spectators for his efforts.

Vale eventually took the lead (although the goal-scorer was not recorded) and Ford Currie added a second five minutes from time.

Currie also signed for Arsenal where he played 15 times for the club in the London Football Combination League (Reserves) but did not score. He failed to make the first team.

George Turner who also played for Vale that day subsequently signed for Airdrieonians.

The formal opening of the stadium had taken place six days earlier when Hibernians were invited to play Vale in a friendly.

Hibs brought a strong team to the town and won the match 3-1 thanks to goals from Archibald Young, David Anderson and James Buchanan. Wat Kerr scored for Vale.