The annual Old Vale, Young Vale football match took place between Christmas and New Year at Strathearn Community Campus.
Once the Old Vale had squeezed into their strips the game kicked off. It was like Groundhog Day with Old Vale having all the possession and if the Young Vale did break through, the arresting site of keeper Stuart Corbett in goal producing some great saves to kept them at bay.
Against the run of play, however, Young Vale went into a two goal lead through Peter Reilly and Martin Cooper.
Danny Harrison was also trying hard to make a breakthrough but the pace of Old Vale’s Brian Jack was too much for him. And with Grant McLauchlan, marathon man Gavin Brock and “The Onion” Graham Duncan in defence, Young Vale were frustrated time and again.
Sub Daniel Burrows was “introduced” to the game and with no one coming off Old Vale’s 12 men began to control the game. It was no surprise when their larger and more robust midfield of Sinclair, Cramb, Copland and Bashford combined to put Kevin Jack through on goal. He lashed the ball past Young Vale’s keeper Garry Brock to reduce the score line difference and put a fairer reflection on the match.
At half-time referee Rab McDougall gave his whistle to injured Young Vale player Fraser Bremner and Rab stepped in to bolster Old Vale’s back four.
This more or less evened up the numbers as ref Bremner’s bias to his teammates was there for all to see.
Before long Young Vale had raced into a 4-1 lead after great efforts from Brian Finlay and Danny Harrison.
Manager Kenny Smith and Kevin Porter then came on for Old Vale and their enthusiasm was an encouragement for their team mates who were now enjoying their second wind.
The afternoon was soon lit up by the goal of the game when Peter Shaw picked up the ball in his own half, waltzed past four Young Vale defenders and unleashed a rocket of a shot into the corner of the net. This deflated Young Vale and Old Vale were on top and dominating play.
Kevin Jack scored another superb individual goal to make it 4-3. It was now like a scene fro the film The Alamo as Old Vale laid siege on Young Vale’s goal.
Only a combination of desperate defending and questionable refereeing decisions ensured Young Vale ran out 4-3 winners.
On reflection Young Vale deserved their win but credit goes to Old Vale for running them close and giving them a hard game. Both teams then retired to The Station Bar where Davie and Nancy Speirs laid on soup, pies and refreshments.
Young Vale - G Brock, D Sinclair, R Brock, C Roberts, G Ritchie, D Harrison, M Cooper, B Klawikowski, G Abernethy P Reilly, B Finlay, K Stevenson, M Welsh. Old Vale -S Corbett, G Duncan, G Brock, C McLauchlan, B Jack, C Bashford, B Cramb, G Copland, A Sinclair, P Shaw, K Jack, K Porter K Smith, D Burrows, R McDougall.