Yesterday’s match was preceded by a minute’s silence as a mark of respect for long-serving ADFA secretary, Brian Christie, who passed away earlier in the week. As expected, the game that followed was a close affair reflecting the fact that games between Vale and Wick have seen no more than a two-goal margin either way since season 2013-14.
A tight first half saw chances for both teams. Wick converted twice, with the second strike almost on the half time whistle just after a Robert Scott effort hit the Wick bar. The second half saw Vale get back into the game through Grant Noble’s sixth goal of the season, which was followed a few minutes later by a thunderous strike from Sam Robertson, his fifth goal this term. Both teams went hard for the win after that goal with some robust tackles going in during the final 15 minutes of the game. Vale took the lead following a great free kick from Robert Scott, which was pushed onto the bar by the Wick keeper only for an alert Michael Dunn to follow in and head in his second goal of the season. Wick came back strongly looking for the equaliser, but Grant Pennet pulled off a couple of great saves to see Vale through for the win, bringing Christmas cheer to the Vale support.
The spirited second half performance saw Vale overturn the two-goal half-time deficit to take all three points and complete a SHFL double against Wick Academy for the first time since Season 2011-12. The win takes Vale on to 28 points after 21 games and up into 9th place. Michael Dunn was deservedly voted sponsors’ man of the match.
Our next SHFL game is on Saturday 29th December away to Forres Mechanics, who currently lie in 6th position in the SHFL. A significant effort from the team will be needed to take something from that match as Forres have held the upper hand against Vale in SHFL matches for the last the last six seasons.
The board of Deveronvale would take the opportunity to wish all supporters, management, players and their families a Happy Christmas.