Vale of Leithen 2-2 Gretna

By Callum Hodgson
at Victoria Park

VALE’s winless run in the Lowland League stretched to five games on Saturday after Gretna grabbed a late equaliser.

The visitors took the lead through Ellis Pearson early in the first half.

But Sean Stewart and Liall Smith both grabbed goals in a spirited comeback by the Innerleithen side.

However, all that hard work was undone when Gretna’s Jack Hunter popped up against the run of play in the 83rd minute to salvage a point.

Crestfallen Vale boss Chris Anderson told us: “It was really disappointing. We conceded two terrible goals but that has been the story of our season really.

“We created a lot of good chances in the second half, but didn’t take them when we were on top and threw the game away.

“There’s big midweek games coming up now and we need to prepare well for those and hope we can get some points.”

Gretna opened the scoring in the 12th minute when Kevin Connelly picked out Pearson in the six-yard box, who had the easy task of slotting home.

And they could have been two up when Liam Studholm picked up a rebound from keeper Ross Gilpin 10 minutes later, but he fired over the cross bar.

But the Vale stepped up their game. Thomas Patterson floated in some great crosses all afternoon. And his efforts nearly paid dividends on the half our mark when he almost found Cameron Dawson with a superb ball in, but defender Daniel Wadge recovered just in time to clear.

However they did level nine minutes later. Kerr Allan lofted a wonderful ball to Liall Smith on the right. He then played through to Sean Stewart at the back stick who made no mistake.

The home side continued to pile on the pressure in the second half.

Stewart came close with a diving header and it looked like they had scored when Dawson headed towards goal, but it was somehow kept out – thanks to a combination of the upright and John Jamieson’s goalkeeping.

And he hit the post just two minutes later when he got on the end of another excellent Stewart cross.

Gretna brought on Daniel Fitzpatrick to try and get back into the game. He came close with his first touch.

But the Vale did get their deserved goal on 73 minutes. 

After some great attacking play Ainslie Hunter thread through to Liall Smith who converted at the back post.

However the ten minutes later against the run of play, Davie Irons’ team salvaged a point.

Ainslie Hunter couldn’t scramble the ball clear in the 18-yard-box, leaving Jack Hunter to loop his effort over Ross Gilpin who was at full stretch.

Vale of Leithen: R Gilpin, A Lewis, T Patterson, A Smith, C McBride, A Hunter, S Stewart, B Raiker, C Dawson (J Finnie 81), K Allan, L Smith (C Anderson 89). Subs not used: K Beveridge.