A second half comeback wasn’t enough to salvage a point for Cumbernauld Colts in their Lowland League encounter at Spartans.
Three goals in the first period put the home side in command and although the visitors pulled two back after the break, Spartans held on for a 3-2 victory.
Colts went into the match looking to get back on track after losing their unbeaten record to Bonnyrigg Rose and then being held 0-0 at struggling Gretna.
But it was the home side who struck first after 20 minutes as Scott Maxwell fired a long-range shot past Colts keeper Jordan Grier.
Maxwell had another effort blocked before the visitors enjoyed a spell of concerted pressure which failed to bring them any reward.
The home side pushed forward again and Leeroy Makovora had an effort saved by Grier.
But Spartans then hit Colts with a two goal burst in the space of three minutes just before half-time.
Aaron Murrell doubled their advantage with a fine finish from the edge of the box after being set up by Makovora.
And just three minutes later a clever dummy by Murrell laid on the chance for Maxwell to score again and the stunned visitors in at the interval three goals behind.
Colts made a change at the break, replacing Michael McAnespie with Lewis Bonar as they sought a way back into the game.
And they got it eight minutes in as a cutback found Marty Wright whose finish cut the deficit.
Spartans, for whom Gregor Woods had earlier hit the post with an effort from 20 yards, came close again when Dean Hoskins fired wide from an angle eight yards out.
But Colts stayed in it and it was game on when they grabbed a second from a close-range header by Steven Tart with 11 minutes remaining.
But it wasn’t enough and Spartans saw the game out to take the points and send Colts back to Cumbernauld empty-handed.
Spartans: Carswell, Brown, Maxwell, Bolochoweckyj, Hoskins, Scott, Woods, Corbett, Murrell, McFarland, Makovora.
Colts: Grier, Tart, Fergus, Pascazio, O’Neill, Bembo (Johnston 59), Wright, Team, Murray (Trialist 86), McAnespie (Bonar 46), Kirwan.
The defeat lefts Colts ninth in the table with a haul of 11 points from their opening seven games.
Next up for Colts is a home match with reigning champions East Kilbride at Broadwood on Friday, September 6, kick-off 7.45pm.
That’s the first of a triple-header of home matches - all in different competitions.
Next Friday, September 13, they take on fellow Lowland League side Dalbeattie Star in the South Challenge Cup.
And last weekend’s draw for the first round of the senior Scottish Cup handed Colts a home tie with East of Scotland League outfit Penicuik Athletic which will be played at Broadwood on Saturday, September 21