Vale of Leven boss Brian Brown heaped praise on his side after they battled to a fine 2-1 friendly win over League One outfit Wishaw Juniors on Saturday at the Millburn.

Following friendly defeats to Premiership club Beith and Championship side Cumbernauld, Vale welcomed another higher-placed team in Wishaw at the weekend as they continued their pre-season preparations.

The visitors opened the scoring early on before Scott Arthur levelled 25 minutes in with a powerful close-range header.

Richie Stewart fired home Vale’s second just two minutes later as Brown’s side comfortably saw it out to register their first pre-season win.

And the gaffer was delighted to see his men get up and running.

He said: “Saturday was a lot better from us. That’s the way we expect the boys to play, so I’m really pleased with that. That’s the best we’ve played this pre-season so I’m definitely happy. 

“We played some good football and all the boys are starting to find their legs again. I think a heavy-duty pre-season has seen us take a wee while to get up and running, but we are definitely up and running now.

“After playing against Cumbernauld and Beith, who are a different standard, it was good to play against Wishaw who are just the one league up.” 

READ MORE: Vale of Leven to begin their league campaign at the Millburn

There was also a special mention for Arthur who bagged his first goal since rejoining the Vale earlier this summer. 

“That’s exactly why we’ve brought Scott in,” Brown added. “His goal on Saturday is where he usually plays, just inside the six-yard box and cleverly using his movement. It’s good for him to get himself off the mark and hopefully it’s the first of many for the upcoming season.”

Elsewhere, Vale wrapped up their pre-season fixtures against top amateur side Thorn Athletic last night with Brown admitting he used the fixture solely to hand game time to his entire squad ahead of this weekend’s Sectional League Cup kicking-off.

He said: “Thorn presented us with a good chance to look at the squad ahead of the Sectional Cup.

“I don’t think any of the boys have let themselves down over pre-season, so I think it will be quite difficult to pick a starting XI. That’s what any manager wants, though, to have that depth and that choice. It’ll just be a case of balancing it and keeping them all ticking over and interested.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s clash with Premiership side Clydebank, Brown acknowledges it will be a tough test but is hopeful his side show up well at the Millburn.

“Clydebank on Saturday will be a big game for us and we’re expecting a big crowd,” he said. “They are one of the top juniors teams so it will definitely be a tough test. The whole point of taking on the friendlies against some of the top teams was to get us ready for this.

"It’s a tough challenge but they’ll be coming to the Millburn so we need to make sure we give a good account of ourselves and all the boys are ready and up for it.”

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