Cumbernauld Colts go down to Lowland League leaders East Kilbride

Craig Malcolm was on target twice against Cumbernauld Colts
Craig Malcolm was on target twice against Cumbernauld Colts

Two goals by Craig Malcolm fired East Kilbride to a 3-0 win over Cumbernauld Colts at Broadwood.

It was a disappointing start to the New Year for the Cumbernauld side as the visitors increased their lead over BSC Glasgow at the top of the Lowland League table to six points.

Colts started the game brightly and created the best opportunity in 14 minutes when Craig Holmes's cross from the right was collected by Fraser Team, but the striker's neat lob crashed off the cross bar with visiting keeper Matthew McGinley well beaten.

East Kilbride responded well a few minutes later, putting the Colts defence under real pressure, but the rearguard stood firm to block goal bound attempts from Malcolm and the dangerous Jamie Longworth.

The league leaders began to take the game to Colts and in 26 minutes made the all-important breakthrough after some poor defending by Colts.

Jeff Fergus misplaced a defensive clearance which was collected by ex-Motherwell man Chris Humphrey, who slipped in Longworth and the striker burst into the penalty box before cutting the ball across the face of goal for Malcolm who was on hand to clip the ball past Colts keeper Jordan Pettigrew.

On the stroke of half-time matters went from bad to worse for Colts when the visitors forced a corner, causing panic in the Colts defence.

Jordan Marshall had the chance to clear the loose ball but his weak clearance broke to East Kilbride full-back Craig Reid who made no mistake, drilling the ball low past Pettigrew from close range.

East Kilbride started the second period on the front foot and almost added a third shortly after the break when Longworth latched onto a loose ball just inside the box and smashed a low shot off the post with Pettigrew stranded.

Colts tried in vain to get something going in an attempt to play their way back into the game but on too many occasions their final ball from the wide areas let them down.

And in 63 minutes the visitors secured the points with a third. Humphrey delivered a deep cross to the back post which caught Pettigrew out of position and Malcolm headed into the empty net from close range for his second of the game.

The Cumbernauld men worked hard to prevent East Kilbride from further increasing their lead, and they did create a couple of late half chances, but McGinley was equal to efforts from Sean Brown and Stephen O’Neill.

The defeat means Colts have now lost in three of their last four league games ahead of three consecutive matches on the road where they travel to play Dalbeattie Star, Vale of Leithen and Whitehill Welfare in the coming weeks.