Vale of Leithen 0

East Stirlingshire 3

David Knox

at Victoria Park

VALE tumbled back to the bottom of the Lowland League following their defeat to an impressive East Stirlingshire.

While the students of Edinburgh University were causing something of a shock against Cumbernauld Colts, Chris Anderson’s team were second best for most of their match at Victoria Park.

Although Shire’s opener was a little fortuitous and their second was from one of the softest penalties witnessed in recent seasons, their victory was well deserved.

Vale boss Chris Anderson told us: “We didn’t create enough and the odd chance we did make we didn’t take.

“We know we have to be better than that if we are to survive in the Lowland League.

“The referee didn’t help things as the game was constantly stopped for him to book players, but it was the same for both teams and we can’t use that as an excuse.”

It took a fine save from Andrew McQueen to prevent a Jamie Dishington header finding the net in the third minute.

But the dogged defending from the home team prevented any further scares until they fell behind on the half hour.

A training ground move saw Bobby Barr roll a freekick into the path of Andy Rodgers, who missed the ball completely from 12 yards.

But it was also missed by everyone else and hit the far post before rebounding kindly for Jordan Tapping to score from five yards out.

Apart from a Ryan Higgins shot, which flew over, and an off-target Brad Rixon header the home team couldn’t muster much of a response.

Only the heroics of McQueen prevented Shire doubling their advantage before the break.

Derek Ure’s team did go two-up in the 54th minute after a penalty was awarded during a deep cross for apparent pulling as Josh Wishart and Sean Brown tangled in front of goal.

Rodgers tucked away the penalty to seal the victory.

The introduction of substitute Murray Hand did give Vale a bit more impetus going forward, but it was the visitors who continued to look the most likely.

Rodgers twice hit the woodwork and McQueen made several outstanding saves before Shire eventually added a third through Barr in the 75th minute.

A Rixon shot from a corner, which flew just over, was the best Vale managed in the closing stages.

And some more acrobatic saves from McQueen was all that prevented the visitors leaving with an even greater margin of victory.

Vale of Leithen. A McQueen, M Robertson (M Hand 51), J Wishart, P Thomson, A Imlah, R Higgins, B Rixon, L Hall, C Anderson, L Smith & L Ireland