Cumbernauld United’s promotion hopes took a severe dent when they lost 2-1 at home to rivals Rossvale.
United went into the game on the back of a recent run of victories and certainly weren’t lacking in confidence.
But Rossvale dealt what could be a crushing blow to United’s dream of playing in the top flight with a well deserved victory.
United have now managed to take only four points out of a possible 15 points from matches against other promotion contenders, something that could come back to haunt them come the end of the season.
The game itself failed to live up to expectations with scoring opportunities few and far between.
Cumbernauld started the game well enough and took only three minutes to test the Vale keeper; a short corner played into Conor Scullion was laid back to Paul Callander whose cross found Ross McCabe, but his header went straight to keeper Jamie Donnelly.
Next up was Conor Stevenson who tried his luck from distance, but his long range shot sailed high over.
It was the visitors who opened the scoring on 26 minutes thanks to an own goal. The referee decided that Tony Stevenson had blocked the run of a Vale player wide on the right and when Liam McGonigle played the free-kick into the box his cross came off the head of Kieran McAleenan into the net.
Cumbernauld weren’t behind for long, equalising six minutes later when, following a fine move involving Stevenson, Hall and Scullion, Alan Benton's cross found Paddy McCabe unmarked at the back post and he safely controlled the ball before firing it past Donnelly.
The second half began in a similar way to the first half with neither side producing anything that would test the keepers - but that was to change in 70 minutes when Rossvale once more went ahead.
A ball was played out to McGonigle who controlled it superbly before volleying the ball past Graeme Murphy in the United goal.
United piled on the pressure in the last 10 minutes but couldn’t get past the resolute Vale defence.
Their best, and last, chance came from a goalbound effort from Stefan Law which was cleared of the line by Gary McMenamin.
It wasn’t the greatest of games but overall Rossvale were worthy of the points. As for United it's back to the drawing board as they are now very much reliant on results elsewhere if they are to realise their promotion dreams.