United open their points account

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Cumbernauld United.............. 2

Dalry Thistle....................... 1

Stagecoach West of Scotland Super League First Division

UNITED have now opened their points account by claiming all three points against the Ayrshire opposition.

United really should have had the points in the bag long before Stuart McNally knocked in their last minute winner.

The match was really spoiled and the ref had to double book two Dalry players and a straight red to Dalry’s Maitland for back chatting the ref when he appeared to protest about United’s last-minute winner. United also had right-back Borland sent off. Again a double booking that looked quite soft.

The game started lively enough with both sides playing reasonably well in an effort to get on top. After 15 minutes United’s Jim Steele got through the Dalry defence and from a wide of goal position shot at the keeper, when across the keeper looked the better option.

Five minutes later United again broke. Borland took the ball from the midway point, drove through the Dalry defence, gave Petrucci the perfect pass but in his haste, Nicky wasted the chance by hitting over Treacy’s cross bar.

United were certainly in command with Dalry having the odd breakaway and on the 31st minute mark United keeper Buchanan had to look sharp to fist away a Maitland long range drive.

United kept plugging away and in the 42nd minute went ahead. Midfielder James Boyle latched on to the ball and gave brother Nick a perfect forward pass. Nick advanced a couple of yards and floated the ball over keeper Treacy giving United a deserved 1-0 lead. Could they add to this in the second half and take the points? Well it certainly looked likely.

The second half started badly for the visitors. No. 4 Johnston was sent off and the Dalry coach accompanied him for verbal disagreement with the referee.

United were in total control and chances came and chances went. It looked like it was going to end 1-0 to United but the last 15 minutes saw chances fall to Nicky Boyle then Nicci Petrucci and then Steele just missed to connect with a Burns cross. United’s Borland then got a second yellow for following through on defender. Dalry’s Barbour was next to go. He got a second yellow for kicking the ball away after the Ref awarded a freekick to United.

After 42 minutes Dalry levelled the scores when in an effort to clear, the ball struck Petrucci in a packed six yard box area and bounced into the United net.

So with three minutes left United threw everything at Dalry and right on time Phil Barclay romped up the right side, beat a defender and sent in a low far post cross that was met by sub Stuart McNally who made no mistake and rattled the ball home to win the points.

A good victory for United and hopefully the start of points coming into Guy’s Meadow and should see a steady climb up the league table. With six new players it takes time for them to gel but the signs are good and the will and effort to keep battling was there. Also both George Watson and Tony Elliot did a good job to keep the squad’s spirit up.

Next Saturday it is the short journey to Uddingston to play Thorniewood United at Robertson Park on League business – a hard one this. The following week it’s Glencairn at home – both kick off at 2pm.

CUMBERNAULD UNITED: Buchanan, Borland, Hanlon, Marsh, Dearie, N. Boyle, McDonnell, J. Boyle, Burns, Steele, Petrucci. Subs: McNally, McDougall, Cullan, Jarvis, Barclay, O’Halloran, T. Elliot.

DALRY THISTLE: Treacy, Kinnaird, Stewart, Johnston, Holden, Paterson, Chesney, Docherty, McKenna, Barbour, Maitland. Subs: Graham, Pearce, Todd, Walker, Munro, Davidson, Doak.