Vale of Leithen boss Michael Wilson refuses to throw in towel in Lowland League relegation fight

Vale of Leithen manager Michael Wilson is refusing to throw in the towel in his side’s battle against relegation from the Lowland League.

By Craig Goldthorp
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 12:43 pm

"Until it’s mathematically impossible we’ll keep going,” he said following Tuesday night’s 2-0 home loss to Dalbeattie Star.

That result leaves them six points adrift of second bottom Gretna with four games to play. Gretna have only three games remaining but a vastly superior goal difference.

But Wilson insists: "I definitely think we have the squad to get seven points from our remaining fixtures and potentially overtake Gretna.

Vale of Leithen manager Michael Wilson

"The boys I’ve brought in are not just for this season but next season as well.

"It’s going to be tough. I know everything that’s gone on and I know people are thinking there is no chance of us surviving.

"But I’ll never stop working and trying hard to try and move us forward and get us better.

"The new boys have all bought in, they are all up for it and will do everything they can to keep us in the league.”

Vale’s search for points continues with two home league games over the next few days, against Broomhill on Saturday and Caledonian Braves on Tuesday.

After not recovering from conceding two goals in the first 25 minutes against Dalbeattie – the first of which was an own goal by captain Michael Robertson – Wilson told the Southern Reporter: “We lost two goals from setpieces. I’ve still not lost a goal from open play.

"It was just corners where we’ve not picked up properly and it’s so infuriating because it’s the basics of not picking up your man and not following your runner.

"Apart from that we were really comfortable again. I had three or four new signings in and in the second half Jordan Hopkinson – newly arrived along with fellow recent additions Connar Dyat, Jude Mothersole, Stephen Anderson, Kyle Mitchell, Callum Mitchell and James Pringle – was one on one with the goalie and the goalie made a good save.

"If that goes in it’s game on. We battled, huffed and puffed but we just couldn’t get a goal but it’s coming. I just hope it’s not too late.

On facing a one-off play-off against local rivals Gala Fairydean Rovers for a place in the Lowland League Cup quarter-finals after the teams finished dead level in their section, Wilson added: “We will find out on Monday via a coin toss if we’re going to be playing at home or away.

"A derby game is a bit spicier but it’s another game for us to get together as a squad.

"Did I expect us to qualify from the group? Probably not, but we’re there, we have a chance and it just shows the improvement of the boys in the short time that I’ve been there.”

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