Welfare can’t lift themselves above Vale in close encounter

SBMA Whitehill v Vale of Leithen
SBMA Whitehill v Vale of Leithen

With both sides having won their previous two games in-form Whitehill Welfare and Vale of Leithen squared up at Ferguson Park.

After repelling a couple of early Vale attacks, Michael 
Osborne won a corner for the home side and he was inches from opening the scoring, heading a Steven Manson cross against the bar.

Whitehill seemed to be causing the visitors big problems from corners and, on 18 minutes, a Connor McGregor ball into the box found its way to John Williams and he finished past Andrew McQueen only to see his effort ruled out for offside.

Approaching the half-hour mark, Vale opened the scoring. A ball from the left found Liam McIntosh after home defender Dale O’Hara had slipped and the forward calmly slotted past Bryan Young.

Whitehill went immediately after an equaliser and Manson curled a good effort just wide before Scott Gormley found himself clear but lost the ball to the Vale defence after trying to round the keeper.

The second half was only a few minutes old when Vale of Leithen doubled their lead. The Welfare defence was unable to clear and, after Young could only take the sting out of a Kevin Motion shot, the ball trickled over the line.

With 55 minutes played, substitute Kevin Keane hit a cross from the left which struck the visitors’ post and went to safety.

With Whitehill committing men forward, only a good Young save kept an effort out after Keane this time had slipped.

With 15 minutes remaining, the referee waved away shouts from the home players and fans for a penalty after Osborne went down in the area and a late Keane shot over the bar proved to be Whitehill’s last chance as the Vale held on to make it three wins in a row.

Whitehill Welfare: Young, Moffat, Williams, O’Hara, McGregor, Connolly, Dodds, Manson, Swann, Osborne, Gormley Subs Martin, Denton, Keane, Healy, Kerr, Jardine.