Deveronvale hit three goals in a 12 minute first half spell as they made it three league games unbeaten against a Strathspey Thistle side who improved in the second period but could not break through a resolute home defence.
Sam Robertson could have had a first half hat-trick for Vale but Michael McCallum denied him on each occasion but his pace set up Max Stewart to grab the opener after 32 minutes.
The advantage was doubled two minutes from the break when Robertson’s cutback was met at the back post by captain Ross Aitken to find the bottom corner.
On the stroke of half-time, Grant Noble capitalised from close range as Thistle failed to clear an Aitken free kick to finish the game as a contest.
One down, four to go! September is a HUGE month for the Vale, including our @EveningExpress Aberdeenshire Cup semi-final against @FormartineUtd and our @ScottishCup match against @HaddAth, and we can’t wait to share it all with you! 🔴⚪️ pic.twitter.com/RaBmAcNfOf
— Deveronvale Football Club (@DeveronvaleFC) September 4, 2021
The visitors had chances in the second period with Ethan Cairns having the best of them but Vale were determined to finish with a clean sheet to record their first home league victory this season.
Vale manager Craig Stewart said that his team were outstanding in the first half and was disappointed they only scored three goals.
He said “If we had scored five or six in the first half no one would have complained as some of our passing and movement was excellent with a depleted team on the day.
“Sam Robertson was unplayable in the first half after picking up an early knock and that is why we had to take him off in the second half. The only thing missing from his game was a goal”.
Strathspey manager Charlie Brown said: “We worked a lot harder during the second half and Ethan Cairns had a few chances which didn’t quite fall for him but he is only 16 so we can’t be relying on him when we have more experienced players alongside him.
“We changed the shape and went with two upfront but we had seven players missing on the day and playing Wednesday, Saturday every week is taking its toll on our squad.”
Keith 0-3 Clachnacuddin
Clach extended their unbeaten run to six games on Saturday and ended hosts Keith’s four game unbeaten run in the process.
Striker James Anderson, who recently renewed his contract, nabbed a double taking his tally to nine goals for the season, whilst the Maroons were counting the cost of having Demilade Yunus receive two yellow cards in quick succession, reducing his side to ten men for the last 35 minutes.
Clach manager Jordan Macdonald said: “It was a thoroughly deserved win, we should have been ahead by at least a couple of goals at half-time.
“We are on a good run just now, and it was a superb team performance, playing good football.
“We try to be brave on the ball, playing from the back.
“James Anderson is flying just now, although it’s not just goals that he gives us, it’s his overall play as well. There is a great team spirit, which you saw with everybody celebrating each goal.”
Clach looked slick in the first half without finding the back of the net as the first period ended goal-less.
After the break the Maroons had a bright spell but with 55 minutes played, Yunus received a second yellow card.
From the resultant free kick, the ball fell to Eachainn Miller, who rifled home from eight yards.
Keith were on the back foot after that and Clach extended the lead ten minutes later through dangerman Anderson who slammed the ball into the net from ten yards.
Although the homesters stuck manfully to their task, the points were well and truly heading back to Inverness with a couple of minutes remaining, Anderson whipping the ball into the roof of the net.
Keith manager Craig Ewen, suffering his first loss in charge, had no complaints with the result.
He said: “We didn’t deserve anything from the game, Clach were the better team.
“We were flat, and didn’t start the game well for some reason, in fact we looked sluggish.
“They could have been ahead at the break.
“The red card decision had a huge impact on the game. I didn’t agree with the referee’s decision, but he’s made it.
“We then conceded right away following the free kick, and were then on the back foot from then on, chasing the game.”