Despite Vale of Leithen’s lowly league position, The Hi Hi’s knew that they faced a tricky ninety minutes on a difficult pitch at Victoria Park, Innerleithen, On their last outing the Vale had led home side Crossgates at half time and with only one substitute, they ran out of steam and ended up losing 3 – 1.Manager Scott Bonar was without skipper Shaun Hill through illness but was pleased to name Cammy Watson amongst the substitutes. the talented central defender has been on the sidelines since receiving a serious knee injury against Inverkeithing in August.
On a difficult surface the visitors settled quickly but failed to create any clear cut openings until the 21st minute when the home goalkeeper made a mess of Guy McGarry’s shot and it ended up in the net. Minutes later the same player beat the ‘keeper to a through ball but failed to find the target. The visitors were to regret that miss soon after when a misplaced pass out of defence saw Vale mount a quick attack and although Cornet stopped the low cross he couldn’t hold it and Brand swept the loose ball into the net. Things got worse for the visitors minutes later when Russell was penalised for a robust challenge and several players got involved in the aftermath and when the referee sorted things out, Zach Szemis was shown a red card.
Despite going a man down, the Hi Hi’s had the slope in their favour in the second half and urged on by Ross King and Ethan Williams they made most of the running. Guy McGarry missed a good chance when put straight through, however the same player put Haddington ahead in the 71st minute with a neat finish from a tight angle. McGarry carried the main threat and came close again before putting the result beyond doubt in the closing stages when the home keeper couldn’t hold a Williams free kick and he turned in the rebound.
Manager Scott Bonar was pleased with his players performance on a difficult surface. Despite having to play for almost an hour with ten men they put in a real spirited performance to claim a well deserved three points.