Abbey Vale 1, Newton Stewart 4
Matches between these two sides are usually quite close and it was felt prior to this meeting that this would be much the same.
However, it did not run out that way and although Vale made a real fight of it throughout the game the visitors dominated most of the play, and their second goal a minute into the second half killed off Vale’s chances of taking anything from the match.
Right from the kick-off Newton Stewart took the game to the home side and almost scored after eight minutes when some good play from Lewis Dunn set up Micky Sutherland whose shot from 25 yards missed the target.
Vale came roaring back from this setback though and, in the 12th minute, Finlay Thomson latched onto a poor clearance only to find the side netting with his vicious shot on goal. Six minutes later Graem Blain had an effort deflected over the crossbar by Jordan Brown but the resultant corner came to nothing when Calum Dunn blasted over.
With 20 minutes played, Newton’s pressure paid off when Ryan Chambers in the home goal failed to hold a Sutherland effort with Blain being the first to react to head the loose ball into the empty net to give the Creesiders the lead.
A minute later, though, Vale had a great chance to level the match when defender Frazer Brolls rose unchallenged at a corner kick but failed to keep the ball on target when it looked easier to have scored.
With 27 minutes played a good effort from Newton’s Dean Fyfe from 30 yards went just over the Vale crossbar. Four minutes later Vale should have equalised but when keeper Harry Fidler fluffed a save but striker Clarke Chambers’s effort again was off target when it looked as though Vale would level the match.
The home side stuck to their long ball game and when they were awarded a free kick about 50 yards out on the right, the ball was floated into the mix with Stuart Cameron having the last touch to fire home to send the teams in at the break all square, though Vale had defender Lee True to thank after he cleared a net-bound Jason Gallacher header off the goal line in time added on.
Newton started the second half in lively mood and following a good flowing move involving several players, Fyfe crossed the ball to the far post where Blain was lurking to squeeze it home with his head to restore the visitors’ lead.
With 71 minutes played, Newton scored their third goal with Fyfe, Lewis and Calum Dunn all involved in the lead up which ended with Blain picking his spot in the net from 12 yards out. Nine minutes later, the home keeper had to be lively to prevent Dunn scoring but, with a minute left to play, a high ball into the Vale goalmouth saw Sutherland rise above the home defence to head the ball over the out-stretched arms of keeper Chambers to complete the scoring.
Unfortunately, Newton’s central defender Jason Gallacher was then given a second yellow card for over-indulgence when the goal was scored and was sent off, leaving the visitors to play out the match with 10 men. However, the home side were well beaten by this time although a late free kick was well handled by keeper Fidler.