A difficult week for Rossvale ended with an unlucky defeat at the hands of Hurlford United at New Tinto Park.
Under interim boss Kirk Forbes - in charge following the midweek departure of Gordon Moffat - Vale put on a finer exhibition against a good Hurlford side who must have been glad when the final whistle went with them still ahead by a single goal.
The young Vale team controlled the full second half, and most of the first as well, but just couldn’t get the breakthrough they deserved.
Hurlford started well and Jack Whittaker was unfortunate in the seventh minute when he cut in from the left and his effort went past the far post.
But the Ayrshire side did go ahead in the 25th minute when, from a training ground move, a quickly-taken corner found the Vale defence slow to react and Liam Caddis’s weak effort somehow got through a ruck of players, with a possible deflection on its way into the net.
Rossvale tried to hit back and two minutes later Del McNab beat the Hurlford offside trap but Chris Murchie in the Hurlford goal made a great save.
A Scott Davidson effort was also put out for a corner by Murchie, as was another McNab effort from an excellent David Leadbetters cross.
Rossvale continued to press forward after the break but frustratingly their final touch let them down.
Caddis should have scored again, against the run of play, with 15 minutes to go but was denied by an excellent save from Jamie Donnelly.
Vale went straight upfield and Leadbetter, sliding in at the back, just failed to make contact with Jackson Biggar’s cross.
Marc McKenzie, who was on loan from Hurlford to Vale for a month at the end of last season, twice caused problems with crosses into the box but on both occasions Calum Watt and Caddis missed their chances from close in and in the final seconds Watt again was denied a goal scoring effort when Donnelly save his effort with his legs.