Arsenal put a dent in Vale of Clyde's title fight this weekend as the Gunners defeated the home side 4-3 in a thrilling match to watch on a cold Saturday morning. Vale went in to the game sitting comfortably top of the First Division but Arsenal knowing that a win on the day would lift them to 4th and sitting only eight points behind the league leaders.
Right from the off it was the away side who started off the more lively playing some good football in the middle of the park trying to take the game to Vale early on and they almost went in front when John Davis was left with to much time in the box but managed to smash his attempt over the bar.
With both sides going at it with everything the first twenty minutes there was sure to be an early goal and my prediction was right it was the Gunners who opened the scoring when some poor defending from Vale meant that Jamie McGlinchey was left unmarked at the back post from a cross and the Arsenal defender smashed the ball home in to the roof of the net to break the deadlock.
After the goal the Vale management and sideline were not happy and were still trying to get the side to wake up, they also felt like the Arsenal keeper should have been dismissed after a coming together with Paul Hewwit who looked to be through on goal if not taken down by the goalkeeper but the referee only awarded a free kick and booked Shaun Boyle. From the resulting free kick Vale tried something from the training ground but it failed awfully when after being laid off Darren Simpson fluffed his shot and a chance to maybe pull a goal back.
Shortly after the visitors added a second goal with a brilliant piece of counter attack football which ended in Marc Rogers racing through one on one with the keeper and dinking the ball over him in style to double Arsenal's lead.
Things weren't looking good for the league leaders who were two down and just couldn't come on to a game in this action packed first half although a little moment of magic helped build up there confidence and pull a goal back for Vale when Joseph Bradley whipped in a fierce free kick across the box which was guided home slightly by Andrew Sharp.
Vale of Clyde were hoping to hold a couple of minutes to half time so they could go in and re group and get feedback from the coach being only one down now but Arsenal had other ideas and just before half time they once again doubled their lead in bizarre fashion when a long punt from goalkeeper Shaun Boyle was not dealt with at all by the Vale defense and somehow ended up in the Vale net to send them in two down and the break.