Whitehill Welfare 2

Vale of Leithen 3

By David Morrison

at Ferguson Park

VALE of Leithen gaffer Chris Anderson praised his team's spirit as they secured another season in the Lowland League.

The Innerleithen side faced an improving Whitehill outfit at Ferguson Park.

But a Liall Smith strike and brace from Liam Ireland was enough to see them take all three points and guarantee safety.

Anderson told us: “We’ve probably got the smallest budget in the entire league but we have a great team spirit which got us through again today.

“That was a huge result for us and I’m delighted.”

Whitehill took the lead in the opening minute – directly from a corner.

Kevin Keane's set piece swerved in towards the goal and over the head of Ross Gilpin.

But on the half hour mark the visitors responded.

Alex Imlah's ball into the box was knocked down into the path of Smith who buried his effort in the bottom corner.

And things got better for the Vale just a minute later.

Player-manager Anderson threaded through to Ireland, who got his first of the game.

Ten minutes after the restart, the Vale were awarded a penalty when Nikki Faulds bundled over the pacy Brad Rixon in the 18-yard box.

Jack Blaikie stepped up, his effort was saved by Paul Grant, but Ireland was on hand to fire the rebound into the top corner.

Welfare began to apply a little pressure in an attempt to get back into the game.

And they got their reward in the 61st minute when Scott Wright found the net after a scramble in the box following a corner.

Whitehill came close from grabbing another moments from the end, but Gilpin expertly tipped Jordan Bain's shot over the cross bar to ensure all three points went back to Innerleithen.

Vale: R Gilpin, C O'Neil, A Imlah, C McBride, J Blaikie, G Rossi, L Smith, M Berry, C Anderson, B Rixon, L Ireland. Subs: J Smith and M Underhill