Vale of Leven fell to their second successive league loss on Saturday after throwing away a two-goal lead in a 4-3 defeat to Muirkirk Juniors.

Following last weekend’s 3-1 loss to table-toppers Johnstone Burgh, Chris Jackson and Scott Arthur put Vale 2-0 up inside the opening five minutes as the hosts got off to a flyer at the Millburn.

Brian Brown’s side looked in control for the best part of the first-half until sloppy defending cost them 42 minutes in as the Kirk pulled one back. Things then went from bad to worse as the visitors quickly grabbed their second just before the break as the sides went in level.

Vale did well to restore their lead through Arthur who slotted home a spot-kick on the hour mark, but Millburn hit back immediately before going on to clinch all three points minutes later as Brown’s men suffered their second defeat of the season.

Brown defended Vale after last week’s Burgh loss but has called on his side to improve quickly after admitting the Muirkirk loss just wasn’t good enough.

Speaking to Reporter Sport, he said: “That was another hard one to take. After Johnstone Burgh last weekend, I asked the guys to come flying out of the blocks, which they did. We went 2-0 up after just six minutes and then we shoot ourselves in the foot.

“Some of the goals we’ve lost over the last two weeks have been a comedy of errors. That’s something we need to sort out quickly. Up to last week we were defending quite well so we shouldn’t be giving away these kind of goals.

“We get ourselves back ahead at 3-2 after the break before going on to lose two sloppy goals from set-pieces which just isn’t good enough.

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“There’s a lot of stuff to work on now. I backed the players up last week after the Burgh loss but this one is just not acceptable now. That wasn’t good enough.

“Saying that, over the last two games, we still had more of the game but just gave away poor goals. Neither Johnstone Burgh or Muirkirk have really cut us wide open or went on to create a lot of chances through open play.

“The majority of goals we’ve conceded are our own doing so I’m not overly concerned about the form at the moment.

“We just need to sort out the goals we’re conceding and get back up and running quickly.”

Next up, Vale travel to Newmains this weekend with Brown urging his side to get back in the victory mindset.

He added: “The quickest way to sort it is to get back to winning ways this Saturday.

“We are away to Newmains who are struggling down near the bottom but we’ll be focusing on ourselves.

“If we continue to shoot ourselves in the foot like we have been doing recently then it will be difficult but I’m hoping the proper Vale turn up and we can turn a corner.

“There was always going to be bumps on the road as it’s a long season but we just need to get back to winning and go on another wee run.”

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