Deveronvale 0 Brora Rangers 5: Scoreline harsh as Vale lose opener
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DEVERONVALE manager Stevie Dolan said the scoreline was “a wee bit harsh” after his side went down to a 5-0 opening day defeat at home to Brora Rangers on Saturday.
’Vale kicked off their campaign with the visit of the defending champions and title favourites to Princess Royal Park – and Dolan felt his side were dealing with their considerable threat well before conceding a disappointing opening goal.
He said: “Up to the half- hour mark we defended and competed well.
“We were starting to play our way into the match, and we conceded a sloppy goal from a corner. That was disappointing as it was a cheap goal to give away.
“We were then fine until half-time, but we lost a goal in the first two minutes of the second half, and that knocked us for six.
“We had a chance to get it back to 2-1, and could have had a penalty with Scott Dunn saying he was clipped. But they broke away and got the third, and that was it. It was damage limitation from then.
“Brora are a class team, and once they were three up, they showed their ability to keep the ball and get us running about.
“We expected that sort of performance from them, but our work rate was good.
“The scoreline was a wee bit harsh. I’m just disappointed with the cheap goals we conceded.”
Brora took the lead through Mark Nicolson in the first half, with their second-half strikes coming from Andy Macrae, Ally Macdonald and a brace from Paul Brindle.
The ’Vale may not face tougher opposition this season, and have the chance to bounce straight back from the loss when they travel to Christie Park to take on Huntly on Saturday.
Huntly lost their opening league match 1-0 away at Rothes, with Dolan expecting a tight affair between two well-matched sides.
“I think it will be an even battle,” he said.
“Huntly will see this as a chance to pick up their points and we will too.
“We are two teams, in a similar position, looking to pick up points in a funny season.
“The likes of Huntly, Wick, Keith and Strathspey games we want to take something from. But it’s a game Huntly will be looking to win too.
“We want to be competitive in the bigger games too, and push teams more than we have in the past. Saturday was a bit up and down, but I can’t fault the work rate.We are looking for progress this season, but we have no specific goal. Hopefully if we improve performances then the results will come.
“It’s going to be a strange season with no fans and limited games. If we lose two or three then there will be no time to recover.”
Along with the work rate, one of the positives Deveronvale can take from the season opener is the fact that Ryan Farquhar and Aaron Hamilton made their competitive debuts for the club.
Both players have joined on one-year deals after leaving Forres Mechanics – who are not taking part in this season’s Highland League, but should return next campaign.
“Ryan and Aaron have both been out of action for a long time,” Dolan added.
“It’s going to take a few games for them to get back up to speed again. Unfortunately, the shortened season doesn’t buy them much time.
“But they have both been excellent in the short time since they arrived.”