DEVERONVALE skipper and defensive lynchpin Scott Fraser is an injury doubt for the Banffers’ opening Highland League match of the new season against Formartine United at home on Saturday after missing last night’s 0-0 draw with Dundee United’s Under 20 side at Princess Royal Park.
Fraser called off after he suffered an injury at work yesterday morning, but Vale manager Charlie Charlesworth has his fingers crossed that Fraser will be fit to face Formartine, despite seeing a re-jigged defence defuse the threat from the young Tangerines.
"I heard from Scott late this afternoon and it looks like he will be okay for Saturday, but we had the satisfaction of seeing the team cope well without him tonight if the worst comes to the worst and he has to miss Saturday’s opening league game," said Charlesworth.
"We made enough chances to win the game comfortably and on another night two or three of them would have gone in but, despite not scoring, there was much we can be satisfied with because our shape, passing and movement were good right through the game."
Vale, who always looked the more composed and purposeful side, were left to rue two superb chances which went begging over a briskly paced 90 minutes played in perfect overhead and underfoot conditions.
In the tenth minute, Vale almost capitalised on a great start when a clever backheel inside the box from Kris Duncan fell to Craig Cowie 12 yards out and his angled left-foot shot whistled inches wide.
And on the hour, Dundee United keeper Mark McCallum had to pull off a brilliant point-blank save to keep out a thunderous overhead volley from Duncan when Graeme Watt picked him out on the edge of the six-yard box with a cross from the right.
For most of an entertaining game, Vale’s defence was on top of the job and they repeatedly pressured United’s youngsters into mistakes which kept the home side on the front foot pretty much from start to finish.
The only scares for Vale came late on but substitute keeper Ewen McDonald twice denied the visitors in the last ten minutes, beating away a whistling drive from Dale HIlson and then saving a close-range shot from Kerr Hay with his legs.
Deveronvale: McConnachie (McDonald 68mins), Rae, Barclay (Henderson 72), Henry (Mitchell 72), Urquhart (Adams 72), Rodger (Bruce 88), Rennie, Cowie (Carstairs 89), Meldrum (Morrison 62), Duncan (Noble 62), Watt (More 68).
Dundee United: McCallum, Gilmour, White, Smith, Lunday, Barrett, Hay, Hilson, Carse, Gauld, Bell (Fraser (62mins).
Referee: C. Spence