Cumbernauld United took the early season local bragging rights with a 1-0 win in Monday night’s League Cup derby at Kilsyth Rangers.
The clash at Duncansfield was one both teams needed to win to have any chance of progressing to the knockout stages.
And it was the home side that started the brighter; three minutes in a well struck free kick was fired over.
A couple of minutes later a Kilsyth corner brought out a good save from the Cumbernauld keeper who came out and gathered the ball with confidence.
But despite the early pressure from Kilsyth it was the visitors who took the lead on 15 minutes as an excellent ball in from David Reid was fired past the keeper by Alan Benton.
The goal seemed to spur on Cumbernauld and an effort from Conor Stevenson was cut out by the home defender.
The resulting clearance started a Kilsyth attack which Ross McCabe had to stretch for to clear the ball to safety.
The game was still pretty even, if anything Cumbernauld were slightly more creative than the home side., but the score remained 1-0 at half-time.
Two minutes into the second half and Cumbernauld had the ball in the net, but it was rightly ruled offside.
But United were starting to exert more pressure and an attacking move saw the ball hit both posts before being gathered in by the keeper.
Cumbernauld weren’t going to have things all their own way though; from a corner Kilsyth had their best chance of the game as the Nauld keeper came to collect the ball which fell at his feet, resulting in a melee with both sets of players trying to get a foot to the ball which was eventually put out for a goal kick.
With 20 minutes to play Cumbernauld were reduced to 10 men, Ross McCabe was deemed to have fouled the Kilsyth player which resulted in him being given a yellow card.
The big defender seemed to think this was unjustified and fired the ball away, leaving the referee no choice but to give him a second yellow followed by a red card.
If anything the sending off seemed to make Cumbernauld even more determined to get the victory and they had the better of the chances in the closing stages.
With no further scoring Cumbernauld were deserved winners on the night, but Kilsyth acquitted themselves well and can take heart with the way they played.
The sides complete their League Cup section tonight (Wednesday) with Cumbernauld at home to Glasgow Perthshire and Kilsyth away to Gartcairn. Both games kick-off at 7pm.
The new West Championship season kicks off on Saturday with Rangers at home to Craigmark Burntonians and United away to Whitletts Victoria.
More junior reports in Sports Digest (right)