Brian Brown heaped praise on his Vale of Leven side after an emphatic first-half display saw them comfortably brush Annbank United aside 4-1 to get back to winning ways.

Vale were looking for their first points of 2019 after last weekend’s poor 2-1 loss away to Muirkirk Juniors saw them start the year with a defeat, but there was no hangover from that at the weekend as they came flying out the traps to go 4-0 up in the first 45 minutes.

Annbank did claw one back in the second-half but it was too little too late as Brown’s side eased to the crucial three points with the boss admitting he could not ask for more from his side.

“I’m delighted with that one,” Brown told the Reporter. “I couldn’t have asked for much more from the players. Last week’s 2-1 loss away to Muirkirk was a pretty disappointing result for us so it was a great way to bounce back from that - especially picking up a deserved three points on the road as well.

“It was definitely a deserved win for us. The first-half was probably some of the best football we’ve played recently and maybe even all season. We went in 4-0 up at the break which was exceptionally good. All credit to Annbank as well, though, as they came out in the second-half and made a right game of it, but we did well to get the points and I’m delighted with that.”

As well as getting back to winning ways, the win also saw Vale leapfrog Ashfield to climb up to third in the West Region League Two.

Brown is delighted with the position and believes it is thoroughly deserved.

He said: “We’re now sitting third in the table which is great in mid-January. I’m not surprised by it to be honest, though. I think we deserve to be up there with some of the football we’ve been playing. That’s us played every other team in the league now, so we’re confident of getting a result against anyone and we deserve to be up there challenging - long may it continue.”

Next up for Vale is the daunting task of taking on league leaders Lanark United at Millburn this weekend and despite the fact that the Yowes have lost just one match in the league this season, Brown is adamant his side will go into the match confident of picking up a result.

“We’ve got a big test against league leaders Lanark United this weekend,” Brown said. “That will definitely be a tough game as they’ve only lost one league game all season. It will be a very tough game for us but we always fancy ourselves at home. We’ve been looking quite good at the Millburn as well, so we’re all quite confident enough that we can take something out of it.”

Elsewhere, Brown admits he is unlikely to bring in any fresh faces to bolster his squad for the run in, instead opting to back the players who had done so well in getting them up to third place in the table.

He added: “We’re not really looking to bring anyone in at the moment to be honest.The squad we’ve got are more than capable of doing what we want to do this season so I don’t think there will be any new faces coming in.”