Cumbernauld United open up with fine win over Blantyre Victoria

Cumbernauld United saw off the challenge of Blantyre Vics at Guy's Meadow (pic: Blake Welsh)
Cumbernauld United saw off the challenge of Blantyre Vics at Guy's Meadow (pic: Blake Welsh)

Cumbernauld United opened their league campaign with a comprehensive victory over newly promoted Blantyre at Guy’s Meadow.

A strong United line up took to the field in glorious sunshine for their Championship opener in front of a decent crowd .

And the home side were soon on the offensive when a Paddy McCabe cross from the left was headed wide by Kieran McAleenan with the goal at this mercy.

The visitors were certainly not there to make up the numbers though and United keeper Darren Hill had to look lively to turn an Aaron Black shot over the bar.

United were forced into a early substitution when Cameron Taylor was unable to continue and was replaced by Div MacKay.

The match was very even midway through the first half, play flowing from end to end, and next to show for the Vics was Lewis Macdonald, cutting in from the left, but his shot was off target.

The visitors’ wide players were causing problems for United with their pace and following a Black cross Garry Campbell headed over.

But with half-time approaching United opened the scoring with an excellent goal.

Chris Hall found space down the right and his clever pass to Scott Thomson allowed the sticker to pick his spot high into the net, giving keeper Liam Campbell no chance.

With no further changes at the interval the Vics continued to push forward and from a corner the ball broke to Keirin Coleman whose shot from six yards produced a fine instinctive save from Hill.

This seemed to be a wake-up call for United as they laid siege on the Vics goal and a pinpoint pass from McCabe played in Thomson, but for once the big striker lacked composure and shot wide.

However it was a different United now and on the hour, following a lovely Hall pass, Paddy McCabe, in on goal, was taken out by Campbell.

The referee had no hesitation in awarding the spot kick and McAleenan made a expert job, sending the keeper the wrong way.

It was all United and it should have been three when, in the move of the match, a Stevenson pass to McCabe saw the Cumbernauld man round two defenders with ease. His cutback was met full on the volley by Thomson only for Campbell to produce a fine save.

But the United fans didn’t have long for the third and a fine individual effort it was as McAleenan turned the full-back inside out and from the edge of the box curled a fantastic shot high into the net.

As the game entered the final stages Vics pulled a goal back when Ross McCabe was penalised for a infringement in the box, Ross Caldwell reducing the deficit with a well taken kick.

However any hopes the visitors had of making a game of it were short lived when that man McAleenan fired home superbly from 20 yards to complete his hat-trick.

Overall it was a fine performances from United with a special mention to Kieran who justifiably received the MOM award.

Next up for United is a trip to Shotts Bon Accord tonight (Wednesday), followed by St Roch’s at home on Saturday.