Cumbernauld Colts 7

Vale of Leithen 1

VALE'S miserable season continued on Saturday as they were given the run-around by an impressive Colts team at Broadwood.

Only some desperate defending prevented the result being even more humiliating for the strugglers.

Cumbernauld had raced into a five-goal lead inside 22 minutes.

Stephen O'Neill slotted home the first of his hat-trick inside the first minute.

The former Aberdeen youth player turned provider in the eighth minute as he threaded in Michael Cunningham to score past the stranded Andy McQueen.

Vale's makeshift defence continued to be stretched by the movement of the home players.

And the third goal arrived in the 12th minute with the ever-dangerous O'Neill again finding enough room to pick his spot.

On-loan Hearts youngster Dean Ritchie netted the fourth on the quarter hour.

And in the 22nd minute O'Neill again set up Cunningham, and the on-loan Dundee striker made no mistake from six yards out.

Vale did somehow stem the flow for the remainder of the half with Paul Thomson making several timely challenges.

Just before the hour all of the hard work was rewarded with Liall Smith finishing off a fine counter attack.

But it was the hosts who finished strongly.

A deep cross was headed home by Martin Wright to make it 6-1.

And with five minutes remaining O'Neill completed the scoring with a well-taken finish.

With the other three teams at the bottom - Edinburgh University, Gretna and Dalbeattie - all losing Vale's defeat hasn't changed things too much.

But Chris Anderson's team will need to improve in the coming weeks to keep their Lowland league status alive.

Vale of Leithen. A McQueen, B Rixon, M Robertson, J Wishart, P Thomson, Trialist (C Anderson 74), M Hand, R Higgins, L Ireland, L Smith & L Hall