Cumbernauld United lose out to Gartcairn in League Cup opener

Action from Cumbernauld United's match with Gartcairn
Action from Cumbernauld United's match with Gartcairn

Cumbernauld United's season got off to a disappointing start as they went down 3-2 at home Gartcairn in their opening League Cup group match on Saturday.

United’s pre season campaign couldn’t have had a worse start due to injuries, so much so that after playing only two games they had to cancel all thier remaining games.

The lack of game time would clearly play a part in how the game against Gartcairn would pan out. Despite taking an early lead on three minutes through Martin Shiels it was clear as the first half progressed that they were struggling to get going against a Gartcairn side that were shutting the ball down at every opportunity.

Gartcairn equalised on 13 minutes when David Buchanan parried a shot from outside the box which fell to Ryan Donnelly who slotted the ball into the corner.

Three minutes later Gartcairn were ahead. A corner from the left found Liam McLaughlin unmarked in the box and he tapped in.

United had several chances to equalise. A shot from Scott McManus on 19 minutes went over the bar and four minutes later Stefan Law should have scored from a close range header.

But Gartcairn continued to control the play and were unlucky not to extend their lead when an excellent shot from well outside the area was touched over the bar by Buchanan.

However Cairn did eventually extend their lead on 40 minutes when their striker was brought down by a rash challenge from Paul McMenamin and Thomas Kilmartin made no mistake in slotting the ball into the corner, sending Buchanan the wrong way.

Cairn came out in the second half and could have extended their lead when they had a shot blocked and another effort put wide.

This seemed to finally spur United into action and on the hour youngster Marc Anthony Byrne, wide on the right, turned inside a defender before calmly firing the ball into the corner, giving the diving keeper no chance.

Cumbernauld continued to dominate the second half but couldn’t convert any of the chances that came their way, notably in stoppaged time when a cross from McMenamin found Law who headed over with the goal gaping.

Next up for Cumbernauld is the derby clash at Kilsyth Rangers on Monday night and a home encounter with Glasgow Perthshire on Wednesday, both with 7pm kick-offs.