Hutchison Vale produced a fine win in the spring sunshine, seeing off Cavalry Park 4-1, to maintain the pressure at the top of League 1. Two goals in either half saw them ease clear of today’s rivals on the park and in the table, where they now sit only a point off the summit.
Vale set to their business early with efforts from various distances, the best of which came from Finlay Mackay who, upon out-muscling a centre-back, hit an angled effort that required parrying over by Ryan Kidd. Whilst the match was not exclusively one direction - a dangerous cross from Park’s James Stewart saw Vale centre-back Josh Winnik clear just past his own post - the visitors appeared more likely to strike first.
This they did, in the 10th minute. A loose ball 25 yards from their own goal left Park exposed and undermanned, and the recipient Jamie Whitehead showed great vision to clip a reverse pass to over-lapping support James Gordon ploughing in on his right. Gordon had only Kidd to beat, which he achieved with conviction by driving the ball inside the near post.
Within sixty seconds Cavalry’s Daniel Maposa had a long strike pushed wide by Finn McNichol. However that was a good as it got for the hosts in the next twelve minutes. Two sharp passes took Vale from halfway to the edge of the six yard box, but Whitehead’s turn-and-shot met a very smart save. Brodie McNab then managed to shoot over the fences when running freely on to a lay-off. But resistance finally fell, in the 22nd minute, when James Gordon won the ball 25 yards out, ran direct, and hit hard. Kidd’s parry looped nicely to Mackay, who headed in to a gaping goal from six yards.
Again Cavalry almost immediately responded as Mackenzie’s cross was headed wide by a wide open Robbie Walker. Yet that miss was timid compared to two more to see out the half. After goalscorer Mackay had punished the crossbar from the edge of the area, Whitehead sent the politely bouncing rebound into the heavens from 6 yards. Maposa then broke Vale’s defensive line but thumped his one-on-one straight at the keeper, and the rebound over.