Whitehill Welfare 3, Vale of Leithen 2
For the first time in ten weeks Ferguson Park staged a home game as Whitehill welcomed former manager Mike Lawson and his Vale side to Rosewell for a Lowland League fixture.
Grant Carnie handed resent signing from Bo’ness United Connor McGregor a first start and with both Ross Nisbet and Nikki Murray unavailable Jonny Scott-Mercer took a place alongside John Williams at centre back.
With a strong wind at their backs it was the home side who opened the scoring early on. Sean Wringe muscled through the Vale defence and the striker saw his shot strike the keeper, go over him and into the net.
Whitehill were dominant and debutant Connor McGregor sent captain Callum Connolly through with a neat through ball and he coolly finished with a left foot shot past Andrew McQueen.
On the stroke of half time the Mike Lawson’s side were left with a mountain to climb as McGregor cut back a free kick from the wide right and Jonny Scott Mercer made no mistake from 12 yards to make it 3-0 at the break.
Welfare kicked off the second half but lost possession and with the wind now at their backs the Vale signalled their intent seconds after the break.
Jay Stevens was sent through in the inside right channel and buried a shot into the far corner giving Bryan Young no chance. Just after the hour mark they pulled themselves right back into it when Calum Jackson reacted quickest in the home box to make it 3-2.
It was a nervy finish for the Welfare with Connolly and Tony Muir both thwarted by McQueen when one on one with the keeper however with darkness defending they held on fairly comfortably to secure a valuable three points heading into the Christmas break.
Next up is a trip to Preston Athletic on Saturday, January 2 in the Lowland League. Kick off 3pm.
Whitehill Welfare: Young, Keane, Scott-Mercer, Williams, Martin, McGlashan, McGregor, Connolly, Knight, Wringe, Muir. Subs: Manson, O’Hara, Anderson, Jardine, Fraser.