SALTCOATS Victoria first team coach Fraser Gunn says the club is prepared to give youth a chance - as they showed when the new season kicked off last weekend.

The club went into their latest campaign after a difficult 2021/22 season saw them pick up only seven points from 30 games.

Though they are coming into the new season with a renewed mindset, and coach Gunn says the Vics are “aiming to be competitive in every game”.

They showed exactly that in their opener against Vale of Leven on Saturday, July 30 as they picked up a point on game week one after a 2-2 draw - a result they will feel could have been better.

Saltcoats started the game in the best possible way, taking the lead after only two minutes.

Kyle Anderson picked the ball up on the right wing, showing great pace to get past his man, before slotting under the Vale ‘keeper.

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It was two after 20 minutes when Ally Patrick’s free kick was looped over the goalkeeper, by Callum McDade who was unable to claw the ball out from behind him.

Vics would have hoped to keep their two goal lead intact until half time, though Vale would get back into the match before the first 45 was out.

Saltcoats failed to win the first and second ball from a goal kick, and Joe May was slotted through to finish well for the away side.

Saltcoats held out resolutely in the second half, and it looked like they would hold on for all three points as the full time whistle approached.

A free kick from just inside the Vale half was lofted into the back post, the ball ricocheted around before it fell to Adam who prodded the ball into the Vics net.

It was a bitter blow to take, though coach Gunn remained positive.

He said: “Saturday was an encouraging performance, we spoke about starting the game well and we did that by scoring early.

“We’re disappointed not to have taken all three points after leading for so long but there’s plenty of positives for us to focus on.

“We’ve assembled a squad with a lot of young players who we are keen to develop, six of our starting 11 were 21 or under, we believe that the best way for these boys to learn is by playing regularly and we’re prepared to give them game time here.”

The Vics followed up their opening day draw against Vale of Leven with a 4-3 defeat away to East Kilbride Thistle last night (Wednesday) - more reaction to the West of Scotland Football League Third Division matches in next week's Herald.