Cumbernauld United stay on promotion course with win at Irvine Victoria

Cumbernauld United sit third in the Championship table
Cumbernauld United sit third in the Championship table

Cumbernauld United maintained their promotion push with a 3-2 win at Irvine Victoria on Saturday.

Despite not being at their very best,they returned from Victoria Park with three points to remain third top of the West Region Championship.

After losing an early goal to the hard working locals, United equalised and then took a two-goal lead, only to be pegged back to give their supporters a few anxious last minutes.

On a perfect afternoon for football the opening spell of the match was uneventful until Irvine took the lead in the 15th minute.

Some slack play in the United midfield saw Vics' Kevin Adam find Hamish McKinlay in the clear and the home forward got past United goalkeeper Alan Colquhoun to put the the home side ahead.

United were struggling to find their usual form but when they did surge upfield they were not helped by some dubious offside decisions from a linesman.

The Cumbernauld men, however, begin to show their quality and equalised in the 30th minute with an excellent goal.

Midfielder Conor Stevenson, from 20 yards, released a terrific right foot shot which beat Irvine goalkeeper Ryan McLaren completely in the top right hand corner of his goal.

There were no more goals in the first half but three minutes into the second period United went ahead.

Following a corner, several attempts at scoring were blocked until Paul Callander fired a low right foot shot past McLaren.

Vics responded with an Adam attempt which cleared the crossbar before, from a Stefan Law left wing cross, Cumbernauld veteran striker Bryan Prunty's header hit the bar with the home keeper beaten.

Kieran McAleenan then got into the act with a great run through the Irvine defence only to be thwarted by Vics' McLaren who made one of many excellent stops.

In the 77th minute United were awarded a penalty kick. Paddy McCabe, substituting for an injured Stefan Law, went on a run and set up Bryan Prunty who was brought down by McLaren.

Prunty took the spot kick himself to put the visitors two ahead.

Two minutes later Irvine's Adam reduced the deficit with a header and this signalled the redoubling of effort from the home team.

But United were equal to the task and threatened with efforts from Conor Stevenson and Scott Davidson who, however, were unable to beat the excellent McLaren.

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