Cumbernauld 2 Glencairn 3: United suffer first league defeat
It was third v first when Cumbernauld United took on Glencairn at Guy's Meadow on Saturday - and the result was a match with everything that you could ask for.
There were goals, controversial talking points and plenty of good quality football on show from both teams.
And while Cumbernauld ended up suffering their first Championship defeat of the season, it’s doubtful anyone left disappointed with what they had just watched.
United were first up to test the keeper when a Kieran McAleenan free-kick was cleared away by the Cairn defence.
A couple of minutes later an excellent piece of play from the visitors brought out a quality save from Kenny Giles who stopped a shot fired in from the edge of the box.
Cumbernauld took the lead on eight minutes when pressure from Paul Callander on the defence saw a back pass from Kris Gebbie fail to reach the keeper who had to come charging out to clear it; unfortunately for him the ball fell at the feet of Scott McManus who made no mistake in playing a ball over the top of the retreating defender .
Glencairn were unlucky not to equalise on 11 minutes when Giles parried a Gary Smith effort onto the bar.
Cumbernauld had two loud penalty appeals for handball waved away by the referee and the score remained 1-0 at the break.
Alan Benton came to Cumbernauld’s rescue by blocking a netbound Del Esplin shot, while at the other end Scott Davidson’s saw a shot come off the legs of the Glencairn keeper.
United were to regret that missed opportunity; on 61 minutes the visitors got a deserved equaliser as Esplin blasted a shot past Giles.
The visitors went ahead after 72 minutes as slack play in the midfield from Callander led to an attack which ended with an unmarked Dale Simeon firing into an empty net.
But United were back on level terms six minutes later. A ball from Tony Stevenson through to Shiels was cut out by Ryan Kerr, but the defender - under pressure from Shiels - played the ball into his own net.
The game was settled on 82 minutes. Ross McCabe was given a straight red card when he brought down Esplin on the edge of the penalty area and the ensuing free-kick from Smith found the Cumbernauld net off the inside of the post.