Vale of Leithen 0

East Stirlingshire 3

David Knox

at Victoria Park

IT’S not easy being a part-time football manager.

But Vale boss Chris Anderson has become pretty good at putting on a brave face.

For the second home game in a row the former Dunfermline and Berwick Rangers striker had to call on mates to pull on their boots just to fulfil the fixture.

And for the second match in a row he had to watch as his makeshift team were second best for most of the 90 minutes.

Anderson told us: “We don’t have the biggest of squads any way and when you have two or three suspensions at the same as two or three players injured and another couple aren’t available for one reason or another you are in trouble.

“A few of the boys who helped us out today haven’t played competitive football for a while and others – some of the younger players we have – were having to fill in in positions they didn’t know.

“When you consider everything I thought the boys who were out there did well – they certainly tried – but you can’t take anything away from East Stirlingshire, they were the deserving winners.”

Shire made the breakthrough just before the tenth minute when David McCaughie volleyed home Ross Allum’s back post header.

The former Hawick player was allowed far too much space inside the area.

And there were genuine fears that the floodgates could open.

But Vale responded well with Craig McBride forcing a terrific reaction save from Jamie Barclay after connecting well with a Liam Ireland corner.

In the 20th minute Liall Smith weaved through the visiting defence to again test Barclay.

But for the most part Shire were in the ascendency with Ross Gilpin twice producing world-class saves to keep the score at 1-0.

Shire, though, did double their advantage just after the half hour as Connor Greene raced in unmarked to header home a corner at the back post.

Steven Brisbane should have made it three on the stroke of half time but he scuffed his shot in front of an open goal.

While Vale had worked hard, particularly Marc Berry and Smith in midfield, there didn’t seem any hope of a second-half fightback.

Although they stemmed the flow of Shire attacks reasonably well after the interval the home players were guilty of giving away possession far too easily.

And it came as no surprise when Greene scored his second of the game at the back post from another corner in the 75th minute.

There was still for some controversy as Shire substitute Liam Allison was harshly red-carded following some rather tame exchanges with Jack Smith.

Vale almost capitalised late on but Lewis Cockburn’s header was cleared off the line by Scott Gray.

Vale of Leithen. R Gilpin, K Scott, J Smith, J Grant (M Underhill 59), C McBride, M Berry, L Cockburn, L Smith, S Stevens, S Stewart & L Ireland.