Amateurs: Heriot Vale clinch Premier 1 title

Heriot Vale, with Rangers and former Hearts player Lee Wallace fourth from right in top row
Heriot Vale, with Rangers and former Hearts player Lee Wallace fourth from right in top row
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Heriot Vale were crowned champions of Premier Division 1 as they cruised to a 4-0 victory over Musselburgh.

Having defeated IME Lothian and Edinburgh Amateur title rivals Edinburgh South Vics 4-1 to draw level on points with them, after being several games behind for months, Vale then had two games to get one point to secure the crown.

They lost to Tollcross Thistle in the first one, but made no mistake this time as the three points gave them their third trophy of the campaign.

The first-half at Forrester Vale 3G was a tale of sheer frustration for Vale. They were more aggressive than Musselburgh, but could not turn that into a much-needed goal.

Musselburgh were happy to soak up the pressure, but they actually had the first decent chance. Midfielder Keith D’Arcy forced Vale goalkeeper Samuel Gibson into a good fingertip save to his left to prevent the ball going into the top corner.

Vale’s strike pairing of Pieyam Khosrowpour and Alan Sheriff were lively and making plenty of runs in the final third, but little was happening for them in the opening half.

It took a defender to muster their first chance. Jordan Leishman delivered a corner kick from the right, which Graeme Markham met with a powerful glancing header – but the defender’s effort took a deflection and trickled past the post.

At half-time, Rangers left-back Lee Wallace and his fellow coaches tried to settle their side down to concentrate on doing what they know best, and it worked a treat – although not until 70 minutes had elapsed.

Before then, Sheriff shot wide when he should have scored. Finally, however, Vale broke the deadlock after 70 minutes. Khosrowpour took possesssion out on the left flank, then, after cutting inside to the edge of the penalty area, he struck a low, driven shot and the ball slipped under Musselburgh goalkeeper Ross Taylor before squirming over the line behind him.

The breakthrough seemed to relax the Vale squad completely. For the next 20 minutes, they played with a new-found freedom and scored another three goals to cap off a great league season.

Five minutes later, the prolific Khosrowpour bagged his second. A free-kick was awarded for a foul on Eddie Mangan and from just outside the penalty box Khosrowpour dinked the ball over the wall and into the right side of the net.

Almost straight from the restart, Vale made it 3-0. Sheriff received a good through ball on the right side of the box and the hitman rolled the ball into the far bottom corner.

There was room for another one with just five minutes left to play. Two-goal Khosrowpour received the ball from the near the halfway line and played a great pass to energetic midfielder Mangan. It was three-on-one for Vale, but Mangan went for glory himself, capping an impressive performance by finishing high into the net past Taylor from the right side of the box.

The game finished and the Vale players were jubilant, with no-one denying that they deserved to be crowned champions – especially given the points and games deficit they had to claw back.

They will now go for the quadruple as they face off against Edinburgh Rose in today’s Logan Cup final at New Victoria Park, Newtongrange.