THE Vale’s Scottish Cup first round tie was a tale of missed chances and inspired goalkeeping from the Thornton number.

Despite the Vale creating a number of chances, Mark Rowbotham in the Thornton Hibs goal forced the tie to a replay.

For all of the Vale’s possession and chances, Alan Brown was the only one to net, scoring in the first half, while despite numerous Vale second half chances, Thornton equalised in the 76th minute to force the tie to a replay.

The hosts started brightly and after 26 minutes, the Vale took a clever quick free kick and Alan Brown gave Rowbotham in the Thornton goal no chance with a powerful drive from outside the box into the back of the net.

While Rowbotham may have stood no chance with the opening goal, he denied the Vale on numerous occasions in the first half and particularly after the break when he made a smart stop to deny Mark Pawsey who had burst through on goal.

Scott Arthur was next to be denied by Rowbotham and in the 76th minute the Vale were made to pay for their missed chances as the unmarked Chris Ireland headed home Willie Clark’s cross.

Rowbotham produced another two impressive saves before Charles Smith got in on the stunning saves act to deny Gary Thomson in the closing moments of the match.

Vale of Leven: Smith, Wardle, Lacy, Wilson, McGeachy, Cowan, Brown, Docherty, Stillwell, Arthur, Pawsey. Subs: McNaught, Martin, Ward, Thornton, Tadlock.