Vale of Leithen 0

Caledonian Braves 3

By Callum Hodgson

At Victoria Park

VALE boss Chris Anderson hopes a change in competition will help turn around his side’s fortunes.

The Innerleithen men are still searching for their first win of the season, after a Marc Kelly hat trick secured the points for Caledonian Braves on Saturday.

Next up for the the Victoria Park club are cup games against Kelty Hearts and Fort William.

And Anderson hopes the two-week break from league fixtures will help reinvigorate his team.

He told us: “We have been creating some good chances.

“I think we’re just lacking a little bit of confidence because of the previous results.

“The cup games have come at a great time for us. It will give us a chance to focus on a few things and get back to basics.

“We just need a bit of luck and a win could turn our season around.

“We’ll be working our hardest and I’ll maybe try to get a few more players in to help the squad out.”

Both teams created good chances during the first half.

Liam Ireland fired Vale’s first over the bar.

But the visitors hit back.

A Neil McLaughlin cross was met with a towering header by Ross McNeil at the far post, however Vale keeper Andy McQueen managed to produce a good stop.

And Ben Daily almost opened the scoring moments later when he rounded the goalkeeper, only to see his effort cleared off the line by a recovering defender.

But they did take the lead on 19 minutes courtesy of Kelly following a nice passage of play with Dominic Slattery.

The Vale had a glorious opportunity to equalise when Liall Smith played in Ireland, but his effort was pawed away by Nicky Hogarth.

Daily caused many problems for the Vale defenders throughout the game and came close several times.

But so did Liall Smith for the home team.

However it was Kelly who got the next goal, doubling the visitors’ lead.

Jean Guy Lucas floated a ball in from the right to McNeil, his effort was saved; but the former Hamilton Accies youth player picked up the rebound and slotted home.

Things got more difficult for the Vale in the second half, when Paul Thomson had to be subbed off after picking up an injury.

And on 67 minutes, Kelly bagged his hat trick when he headed in a McLaughlin corner at the back post.

Anderson’s side fought to get a goal back, but Calum Hall fired over the bar on 90 minutes and Matt Underhill saw his strike saved in stoppage time.

Vale: A McQueen, A Smith, C O’Neil, J Wishart, P Thomson (A Imlah 52), R Higgins (M Underhill 64), C Hall, L Hall (M Robertson 70), B Rixon, L Smith, L Ireland. Not used: T Patterson, R Gilpin