Cumbernauld United slipped two places down the Super League First Division table to seventh after a disappointing 3-0 defeat by Kilwinning Rangers on Saturday.
Although scheduled as a home fixture, the game was switched to Ayrshire ground because of adverse conditions at Guy’s Meadow.
Facing a confident side unbeaten since September, United played some good possession football but seldom tested the Rangers ’keeper as they failed to capitalise on their chances.
The visitors were first to threaten when Dylan McGuigan forced a corner. Dale Clark’s flag kick was floated dangerously across the goalmouth but there were no United front men to take advantage.
Cumbernauld suffered a severe blow when McGuigan had to go off injured after going over on an ankle. Jordan McKechnie substituted.
United were somewhat disjointed following this unlucky blow and the locals took advantage.
Ace scorer Ian Cashmore almost opened the scoring when his clever lob went narrowly past.
Then Ben Lewis shot over followed by a Tommy Maitland header which was well saved by Barry Fraser in the United goal.
On the half-hour mark however the Buffs went ahead when a Barry Fleeting left wing cross found an unmarked Dean Agnew who knocked the ball home.
Shortly afterwards United should have equalised when a great high right wing cross from 21st birthday boy Ross Foley saw two United players going in to apply the final touch but get in each others’ way and fail to connect.
This was to prove a costly miss when, in the 40th minute, Kilwinning added a second goal.
From a free-kick to the back post Lewis found Cashmore who picked his spot to beat Fraser.
After the interval United settled to play some good football and a Scott McHaffie pass to Davie Dickson gave the 39-year-old Cumbernauld midfielder the chance to send a great shot just past.
United tried hard to get a goal back but in the 57th minute the homesters scored a decisive third goal when, from a corner, the tall centre back Isaac Kerr rose above the United defence to send a header past Fraser.
Cumbernauld manager John Queen brought on substitutes Scott Cummings and Simon Eeles in an effort to change things as the game progressed.
But the only notable happenings were the over officious referee’s decisions to flash five yellow cards, two for United, Simon Eeles and Alan Clark, and to three Rangers players, although it was never a dirty game.