Cumbernauld lose cup opener

Cumbernauld celebrate Scott Upton's goal ... but that was as good as it got for the home team.
Cumbernauld celebrate Scott Upton's goal ... but that was as good as it got for the home team.

Kirkintilloch Rob Roy proved too strong for an under-strength Cumbernauld United in their opening Sectional League Cup tie at Guy’s Meadow on Saturday.

United had so many regular players unavailable that there were six trialists in the squad, not advisable against a side of Rob Roy’s calibre.

Rabs started strongly and forced a number of corners which United did well to defend.

Scott McHaffie had the home team’s first effort at goal before Willie Sawyers went close with a shot over the bar for the visitors.

It was United however who took the lead in the 17th minute, Scott Upton seeing Rob Roy goalkeeper Michael McKinven out of position to score from all of 30 yards.

It was a brilliant goal from Upton in his first appearance for Cumbernauld since his comeback to the Cumbernauld set-up from Rob Roy during the summer.

Almost immediately the home team had a great chance to increase their lead when Upton found Steph McDonald in the clear but McKinven was quickly out to block the big striker.

The game then swung to the other end and Rob Roy were awarded a penalty when Kieran Brown brought down Sawyers in the box and Shaun Fraser made no mistake from the spot.

The visitors continued the pressure and United’s Ross Foley saved the day when he cleared a goalbound Rob Roy effort off the line.

The Kirkintilloch team were rampant and the United defence had to work hard to prevent any further score before the interval.

Following the break a Kevin Watt cross set Fraser up to score his second with an easy tap-in, time 48 minutes.

In the 77th minute Rabs got a third goal when, from a corner, the dangerous Sawyers headed past Barry Fraser.

Minutes later it was 4-1 due to some great play by Sawyers who initially had his back to goal.

However he managed with sheer persistence to turn the defence, got to the byeline and chipped a perfect ball onto the head of Watt who scored easily.

United never gave up but will need to get some of their regular players back before results improve.

Saturday’s match was a poignant affair as the clubs will play for a trophy in memory of Carol Brown.

Carol, who died suddenly earlier this year, worked behind the bar at the Hat-Trix complex.

With Rob Roy currently sharing Guy’s Meadow for their home games she was well known to players, officials and supporters of both clubs.

Cumbernauld United chairman George Watson said: “It has been decided that Saturday’s match will be contested for the Carol Brown Memorial Shield and we would hope this will be an annual event.

“Carol’s sudden passing was a shock to us all and it’s a fitting tribute that her memory will live on for the clubs she looked after so well on match days.”