VALE OF LEITHEN 1
Scottish Cup first round
GIRVAN fell at first hurdle of this season’s William Hill Scottish Cup, falling to a disappointing defeat to East of Scotland side Vale of Leithen on Saturday.
After reaching the third round last season, the Seasiders were hoping to match that run, but Scott Moffat’s goal midway through the first half derailed the adventure for this season.
And perhaps it will be a blessing in disguise as they look to mount a promotion charge after a difficult start to their league campaign.
However, they did visit Victoria Park with every intention of reaching round two and it was an attack-minded side that Brian McLuckie sent to the field.
But their set-up left them badly exposed at the back with, more often than not, their wide men guilty of not tracking back.
It was not an offer that Leithen winger Andy Martin was going to refuse, as he was duly afforded acres of space to ply his trade largely untroubled.
Ten minutes into the game, Martin burst down the right side and sent a cross in for Steve Radzynski arriving in the middle, but the striker’s diving header flew inches wide.
Martin then replayed the scene, but this time Scott Moffat was in the middle and his header from point-blank range drew a stunning save from Darren Johnson. It felt like a goal was coming for Vale, though, and in the 25th minute it arrived – who else but Martin – whipping in a cross for Moffat to glance a header into the far corner of the net.
The second half saw the West Region Junior side having a bit more possession, but finding they were getting little change from Vale’s back four, who stood solid as a rock.
Attempts at goal were generally restricted to speculative shots from distance that Vale of Leithen goalkeeper Mark Wilson was content to watch sail high or wide.
In fact, Vale looked the side most likely to score again, with a Scott Devlin free kick rebounding off the upright to Radzynski, but his first time shot was cleared off the line by visiting defender Nicky Faulds.
A last-minute goalmouth scramble saw efforts by David Anderson, Radzynski and Devlin somehow kept out by a Girvan defence who by this time were well and truly scrambled.
Girvan return to league duty on Saturday at home to Kilsyth Rangers.
Vale of Leithen: Wilson, Beaton, McKenzie, Miller, Lee, Greenhill, Martin, Devlin, Moffat, Radzynski, Hall.
Girvan: Johnson, Wilson, McCrae, Faulds, Peacock, Biggart, Gilmour, Love, Bradford, McKenna, Holms. Subs: Harvey, Rutherford, Mitchell, Traynor, Iain Fulton.