Rossvale 2 Greenock 1: Vale stay top with hard-fought win

Rossvale celebrate after Jamie Hunter's winner (pic by Helen Templeton, Twitter: @dibsy_)
Rossvale celebrate after Jamie Hunter's winner (pic by Helen Templeton, Twitter: @dibsy_)

Rossvale ensured they will top the Central First Division table at Christmas after a hard-fought win over Greenock on Saturday.

The game was originally scheduled to take place at Greenock but, after an early-morning call-off and with both sides desperate for a game, was switched to New Huntershill.

Jamie Hunter appeals after Stephen McGladrigan is brought down by the Greenock keeper. (pic by Helen Templeton, Twitter: @dibsy_)

Jamie Hunter appeals after Stephen McGladrigan is brought down by the Greenock keeper. (pic by Helen Templeton, Twitter: @dibsy_)

After a dull first half a double save by Greenock keeper Ryan McWilliams kept out efforts from Kirk Forbes and Greg Fernie.

But on the hour Greenock broke the deadlock. John Carter went down easily as Peter Bradley challenged, but the penalty was given and Glen Thomson made no mistake from the spot.

Shortly afterwards a Carter effort was just wide before Rossvale rallied and a Gary Giffin free-kick found Liam Crichton whose shot sneaked just past.

But Rossvale levelled on 73 minutes when Jamie Hunter played a ball wide to Crichton whose first-time drive screamed past the diving McWilliams and in off the upright.

As Rossvale pushed for a winner Hunter just failed to reach a Crichton cross and the Vale skipper then had a ‘goal’ ruled out for offside.

But the home side’s persistence was rewarded in the final minute when Stephen McGladrigan’s legs were taken away by McWilliams and Hunter sent the keeper the wrong way to net the winner.

Boss Gordon Moffat admitted his side hadn’t reached the heights of their second half display against Yoker the previous week, but that he was nevertheless delighted to take all three points.

He said: “I’d said to the boys that had set the bar and we were trying to get to that level again. But we never got there. We didn’t really play well.

“The first half was quite scrappy and Greenock probably edged it, to be fair.

“They went one up with a penalty and then we sort of worked our way back into it. It was one of those ones, you’re going to have to have your share of them over the season if you’re going to compete for things. We didn’t play well but we got over the line.”