A last-minute penalty miss cost Cumbernauld two crucial points in their showdown with promotion rivals Arthurlie at Guy’s Meadow on Wednesday.
The 2-2 draw virtually ended Arthurlie’s hopes of going up and left United relying on Rossvale slipping up in one off their last two remaining fixtures.
Arthurlie started on the front foot and went ahead in the second minute when, from a corner, James Marks was left unmarked at the back post to drill home a left-foot shot.
The United faithful in a decent crowd didn’t have long to wait for their side to get back on level terms though, as Kieran McAleenan cut in from the left past two defenders to fire a great shot high past James Digney in the Arthurlie goal.
The home side began to control the play with Connor Scullion’s pace causing the visitors and the United forward was soon on the scoresheet; a sublime pass from captain for the night Tony Stevenson released him in on goal and the youngster showed great composure to slot past Digney.
Cumbernauld’s dominance continued throughout the remainder of the half and they were unfortunate not to increase their lead with efforts from Connor Stevenson and Chris Hall both well saved by Digney.
After the break the visitors certainly had more purpose in their play but a string of corners came to nothing and any efforts were from long range and rarely troubled Thomson in the United goal.
But approaching the last quarter Arthurlie were handed a lifeline when slack defending allowed Docherty to cross to Marks whose soft header was agonisingly fumbled into the net by Thomson.
In a frantic finish a lovely through pass from McCabe found McAleenan who was taken out by Digney. But Tony Stevenson’s spot kick was superbly saved by Digney and United had passed up a great chance to put a stranglehold on third place in the league.