Both teams battled the conditions as much as each other, as snow and high winds had taken out all but two of the weekend’s Ferrari Packaging Lowland a League fixtures, and Ogunro gave the impression that this one’s survival hadn’t exactly been a positive.
“I’d have rather the game was off – it was rubbish,” he laughed, only half joking. “I’m being kind to my lot in that I’m blaming the conditions – there was never any football to be played. A couple of half chances here and there, but it was rubbish, rubbish to watch – everything about it was rubbish. I suppose not losing is the only positive out of all that.
“It looked like both teams were happy to get it over with and take a point. The wind against in the first half was quite tough to deal with and then they had the same thing in the second half. It made everything difficult – nobody could string any passes together, nobody could control anything, nobody could sustain any play and even if it was going back to front it went straight out the park. The wind is the worst condition to play football in, so we’ll take a point.”
With a strong wind and a soft pitch, both sides were trying to get the ball forward early. Vale started with the wind behind them and enjoyed the early territorial advantage, but did little in the way of troubling Mark Tait in the Uni goal.
Tait was back pedalling on 12 minutes when Liam McIntosh’s deep delivery from a free-kick caught the wind and fortunately for Tait, bounced off the far post before Uni cleared.
The Students’ first clear chance came on 20 minutes. Scott-McCrory Irving’s pass put Jack Guthrie in, but Vale’s keeper was out quickly to narrow the angle and save his low shot with his legs.
Neat link up play at the other end between Keith McLeod and McIntosh gave the latter a sight of the goal, but his wayward effort sailed high and wide.
Guthrie went close again as he almost turned Joe Aitken’s deflected cross in at the near post, but McQueen was able to get a hand to it.
It was becoming end to end, and Tait produced a fine save from McLeod’s well-struck attempt, and Tait was then down well to keep out Jared Stevens’ follow up. McLeod then held it up well and teed-up Alan Flanagan, but his placed effort was gathered by Tait.
McIntosh was next to get in behind the home defence, but again there was no way past Tait, who parried his effort.
With the wind getting stronger, the second half was less open, the game becoming more of a midfield battle. Guthrie felt he should have had a penalty after being tripped, only to be waved back to his feet.
Conditions were fast becoming farcical, with an attempted clearance on the right going out for a throw on the opposite flank.
Aitken eventually registered an effort of note, McQueen tipping his low shot round the post after a good run. The resulting corner was bundled in somehow, but the offside flag denied Uni the opener.
At the other end, Tait somehow prevented McLeod scoring from three yards, throwing himself at the striker’s feet to smother the ball when a goal looked certain.
Guthrie missed a great chance of his own with 15 remaining. McQueen palmed away Ross Patterson’s dangerous cross, but only to the on rushing Guthrie, who blazed over with the keeper grounded.
Things rather petered out after that, with both sides keen to get the remainder of the game over with without conceding.
Edinburgh University: Tait, Patterson, Sutherland, Vila, Black, Maelger (Daniels-Yeoman 43), Mair, Rawlinson (Ritchie 79), Guthrie, Aitken, McCrory-Irving (Collins 74)
Vale of Leithen: McQueen, Rixon, Sclater, Lynch (Jackson 77), Elliot, Hunter, Stevens, McIntosh, Flanagan (Robertson 79), McLeod, Manson.