Injury-hit Cumbernauld Colts went down 4-3 to Hawick Royal Albert in their Lowland League clash on Saturday.
Colts, fielding no less than seven under-20 players, fell behind in just two minutes when Kris Mitchell beat Colts keeper Chris Fahey with a header on meeting a well flighted Hamish Hunter cross.
Minutes later Hunter sprayed a pass to the feet of Josh Morris who shook off two challenges before rattling in a shot that Fahey did well to block.
Colts rallied and were denied a goal by the woodwork when Sean Brown headed a Jonathan Black cross against the upright with the keeper beaten.
Fahey prevented the home side from going further ahead by tipping over a rasping Jon McInally free-kick, but Jamie Broadfoot then squandered a chance to level when his shot was blocked by Shaun Spence.
Recent Hawick signing David McKenzie hit the Colts bar with a cross-shot before the visitors levelled on 42 minutes when Craig Murray broke upfield and whipped a low cross over the face of the goalmouth which was stuck away by Brown.
A minute into the second period Black rattled in a shot which Hawick keeper Andy Jack diverted away with an outstretched leg.
Hawick replied with a spell of pressure that brought in the 53rd minute when Morris found the top corner of the net with a thundering angled drive.
In the 66th minute the Colts drew level once again, substitute Jeff Fergus blasting home from close range, and only the woodwork prevented Colts going ahead as Stephen O’Neill drdrove a Brown cross against the bar.
Hunter put Hawick back in front on 74 minutes with a good finish from a difficult angle and added a second a few minutes later to make it 4-2.
Colts reduced the leeway three minutes formn time when O’Neill chipped Jack and seconds from the end Brown fluffed a golden opportunity to square matters.