Cumbernauld United beat Dalry Thistle for fifth win in a row

Cumbernauld United manager Andy Frame
Cumbernauld United manager Andy Frame

Cumberanuld United climbed up to third in the Championship table after a very comfortable 4-1 victory over Dalry Thistle.

Andy Frame's side travelled to Ayrshire for the second successive week hoping to follow up their win at Craigmark with another three points to boost their promotion push.

They were two goals ahead after 10 minutes at Merkswirth Park and proceeded to dominate the first 45 minutes with some excellent all round play, adding a third before the half-hour mark.

Paddy McCabe was the star, grabbing two goals and proving almost unstoppable in the opening half.

Yet United were slow to start and goalkeeper Graeme Murphy had to save a first minute shot from Dalry winger Kieran Oliver, although it was one of the few stops he had to make throughout the game.

The visitors then took over and, in the eighth minute got their reward when, following some sparkling play, skipper Paul Murphy's cross from the left was met by Chris Hall whose header looped over Marc Fisher in the home goal to put the Cumbernauld men in front.

Two minutes later United struck again with a terrific counter. This time midfielder Paul Callander provided a cross from the left wing which was met on the volley by Conor Scullion, giving goalkeeper Fisher no chance at all - a wonderful effort from a player who is proving a real asset to the Cumbernauld team.

In a rare Dalry attack Oliver sent a shot wide of the target before United struck again on 25 minutes.

A Hall effort was well stopped by Fisher but the ball rebounded to McCabe who rounded the keeper to put the visitors three up and coasting.

Another McCabe foray down the left saw the United man drift past defenders to send a low ball across for Scullion but this time his shot was well over.

After the break Dalry's Ian Cashmore had an opportunity to reduce the arrears but the striker's attempt at goal was wild and wide.

The game was devoid of excitement at this stage, although a Paul Murphy-McCabe move gave Hall the chance to get his second goal but the United man blazed well over.

However the visitors got goal number four in the 83rd minute when McCabe beat Marc Fisher with a fine shot from 18 yards.

Dalry got a consolation goal before the end when a tremendous Kyle Lochhead-free kick from 35 yards rocketed past Graeme Murphy in the United goal.

But it wasn't enough to prevent Cumbernauld's fifth successive victory in league and cup.