Visitors snatch victory from the jaws of defeat

United's Chris Zok accepts the congratulations of his team mates after scoring the opening goal against Troon on Saturday.
United's Chris Zok accepts the congratulations of his team mates after scoring the opening goal against Troon on Saturday.

Cumbernauld United............. 1

Troon.................................... 2

Stagecoach West of Scotland
Super League First Division

United pressed the self destruct button to gift Troon three points in an eventful afternoon at Guy’s Meadow.

The homesters were in total control of the match and one to the good when Paul Thomson saw red for a rash challenge on Chatham, a decision which looked a bit harsh on the midfielder who arguably was the best player on the park, this gave the visitors a lift and in the end two late goals secured three points when prior to this they would have bitten your hand off for one.

A healthy crowd saw Troon kick off with a strong wind behind them and after two minutes a corner was headed wide by Gilmour, in the next attack Moore had a powerful run down the left but his cross found no takers. After six minutes United had a chance when a strong run and cross by McCafferty was just missed by Foley and a minute later a neat through pass found the same player in on goal but this shot was well saved by Johnston.

The visitors were next to show when McGowan and Murphy combined well but his shot hit the side netting.

Midway through the first half United had a great opportunity to open the scoring when first Thomson put through McLaughlin but the United front man having rounded the keeper saw his effort cleared for a corner. The resulting kick by McCafferty found Brown unmarked at the back post but his shot was diverted off the line by Keenan.

In their next attack a Fraser pass pick out Jim Steele and his shot produced an excellent save by Johnston. It was all United and it was the post which came to the visitors’ rescue when Chris Zok released Foley, but his shot agonisingly came off the post. At half-time United should have been out of sight but the half ended goalless.

It was more of the same as the second half got under way and United were awarded a free-kick six yards out when Gilmour was penalised for a pass-back but McLaughlin’s shot was headed over by the number five.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 60th minute when United keeper Buchanan launched the ball upfield and the ball broke to Chris Zok who, seeing the keeper off his line, chipped Johnston from twenty five yards – a truly inspirational finish from United’s top scorer.

Further chances fell to McLaughlin who hesitated with his pass which should have left Borland with an easy tap in and a strong run by captain Fraser saw his shot deflected for a corner.

In 65 minutes the game changed on its head when Thomson having a fine match was late with a tackle on Hardie thus leaving the referee a difficult decision to make and one he deemed to be red.Troon seeing their chance upped their game but just as it looked like United would hold out poor defending from a corner found David Gillies unmarked and his header beat Buchanan at his near post.

As the game entered added on time a hopeful pass by Murphy was missed by Brown and a reckless challenge on Turner resulted in a penalty which was duly converted by Wilson.

More misery was to follow for United when Borland was red-carded for lashing out on Hardie and there ended an eventful game which saw Troon snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. A sore one for the home team but full marks to Troon who capitalised on the self-inflicted errors from United.

This Saturday United play host to Aberdeenshire side Cruden Bay in the third round of the Scottish Junior Cup. Kick-off at Guy’s Meadow is at 1.45 p.m.