Vale finished their Season 2018-19 losing their final home match by a single first half goal to Brora Rangers. As has been the case in a number of tight games this season the majority of fans attending, whether Vale or Brora, would have probably agreed that a draw would have been a fairer result.
The game kicked-off 30 minutes early in bright conditions but with a strong wind blowing from the New Road end. Vale had the better of the play for the first part of the game and created but couldn’t finish a number of early chances. Brora pressed well and gave Vale limited time on the ball but created few chances themselves. However, the strong wind made control and precise passing difficult and high balls into either goalmouth created chances for both sides. Brora got the first break of the match when after 26 minutes Ross Aitken met a high call in the Vale box, tried to head the ball back to keeper Robbie Mutch and was unlucky to see the ball loop over the keeper to give Brora a fortunate lead.
Brora’s second break of the match came just before half time when a tackle on Graeme Watt in the Brora box, which looked to most people to be a stonewall penalty, was adjudged by referee Duncan to be a dive. This resulted in a wholly undeserved booking for simulation by Watty on his final game for Deveronvale and Brora went in 1-0 ahead at the break. As ever, questioning referee’s decisions sounds like sour grapes, but such decisions, made in haste without consulting the assistant referee, tend to turn games and this was certainly the case this afternoon.
The second half saw both sides continue their attacking efforts and several chances were created at both ends. Whilst keepers Malin and Mutch were each called on to make a couple of decent saves, all too often shots at either end went over the bar or past the posts. Vale pressed for an equaliser at the end of the game and had several good moves which created several chances, including a couple for Robert Scott and Michael Dunn. However, the game ended at 1-0 and 3 points to Brora but, with Cove Rangers winning 1-0 away to Forres Mechanics, Brora hopes of overhauling Cove for the SHFL Championship fell short.
All in all, a decent performance by Vale and with all key current players now re-signed the Club is well placed to build for next season. Finally, a sincere thanks to Watty for his service and loyalty to Deveronvale. He received a number of well-deserved presentations after the match including a number 11 Vale shirt signed by all of his team mates. Thanks to all for the support this season and we hope to see you all back cheering the Vale on in Season 2019-20.