DEVERONVALE’S third-last game of the campaign ended with a comfortable 6-0 win at strugglers Fort William.
Craig Cowie netted twice, while singles from Scott Henry, Chris Blackhall and Grant Noble followed the lead of skipper Scott Fraser, who netted from the spot after just two minutes to set Vale on their way to the three points at sun-kissed Claggan Park.
Magnus Barclay replaced the unavailable Michele Lombardi, and Charlie Duncan’s side made a whirlwind start when Graeme Watt bore down on Robbie Duncanson within 60 seconds, only for the stand-in keeper to block for a corner after good work from strike partner Kris Duncan out on the left flank.
The Banffers were, however, awarded a penalty from the resulting flag-kick when Magnus Barclay’s centre was hand-balled by Iain Foggo as the defender attempted to clear a Scott Henry downward header.
Fraser sent a crisp strike into the corner of the net to open the scoring, while the Fort defender strangely went unpunished for denying a clear goal.
Five minutes from the interval, Watt created some space at the edge of the 18-yard box before firing at goal with his unfavoured right foot and although Robbie Donaldson was able to get two hands to the ball he only succeeded in parrying the ball into the path of Cowie who had a simple tap-in from five-yards out.
In the second half, Vale were quickly on the attack once more although Baker’s first-time effort trickled harmlessly past the post.
As the visitor’s corners reached double figures, they increased their advantage to three when Watt’s flighted ball to the back post picked out Henry whose volley crept over the line low at the right-hand post despite a hand from Donaldson.
The points were wrapped up when Blackhall walked the ball over the line after good lead-up play from Cowie and Duncan.
Cowie scored the goal of the afternoon soon after, as his deft touch saw him loop a fine effort over the top of Donaldson’s despairing hand as he latched onto Rodger’s diagonal ball to the edge of the area with his instep.
With 10 minutes remaining, Darren Quigg came within inches of pulling one back with a fine curling shot which had Blair Tait at full stretch.
Donaldson pulled off a fine save when he tipped substitute Leigh Henderson’s header over his bar five minutes later.
Noble showed good composure to complete the scoring two minutes into time added on when he dribbled past a couple of Fort William defenders from a tight space before tucking the ball past keeper Donaldson at his right-hand post.Read the full story in the Banffshire Journal.