Cumbernauld United remain a point behind leaders Darvel after a comprehensive 4-1 win over a youthful Craigmark Burntonians.
Both teams did well to adapt in difficult conditions and serve up at entertaining afternoon’s football at Guy’s Meadow.
United were on the offensive from the start and young Craigmark keeper Elliott Masterton was called into action to tip a Scott Thomson rocket over the bar.
Further excellent saves followed as he from turned a goalbound Thomson shot round his post and then kept out a low Mark Burbidge drive at his near post.
Burbidge who was causing the visitors all sorts of problems and had a fierce 25-yard shot blocked full on by Campbell, the big defender receiving treatment for his heroics.
But for all their superiority United went behind in the visitors’ first real attack. From a corner Whittaker rose unchallenged to power a header which was cleared off the line by Stevenson only for Adam Lowe to react first and scramble the ball home from eight yards.
United’s response was immediate; within a minute a Burbidge cross from the left was headed home by the unmarked Kieran McAleenan.
United then added the second their play deserved when McAleenan set up youngster Jamie Macdonald who powered a shot low into the bottom corner of the net for his first goal for the club.
United were first to show after the break when Klark Thomson looped a header over from a Burbidge cross.
But the visitors were far from out of it and enjoyed their best spell of the game midway through the half.
United keeper Darren Hill was called upon to deflect a drive from Ali Boyle, and from the corner Grant Kirkwood headed wide with the goal at his mercy.
There was then a further let off for United with Hill producing an outstanding save from a McKay 30 yard free kick.
As the game entered its final stages United manager Andy Frame introduced John McStay and Paul Callendar and the changes made an immediate impact when Callander released Burbidge wide on the left the United winger turned two defenders before cutting the ball back to McStay who had a simple task to slot home from six yards.
With the game over as a contest United added a fourth when the outstanding Burbidge once again cut in from the left and McStay in a carbon copy of his first goal had a simple tap in to send the United faithful home happy with another welcome three points.
With league leaders Darvel on cup duty next week United have the opportunity to go back in prime spot in the league when they host Irvine Victoria.