Cumbernauld United still in title chase after win over Craigmark

Paul Callendar heads in Cumbernauld's third goal (pic: Chloe Kelly)
Paul Callendar heads in Cumbernauld's third goal (pic: Chloe Kelly)

Cumbernauld United promotions hopes are back on track following a comfortable victory against Craigmark Burntonians on Saturday.

After picking up just one point from their previous two games, Andy Frame’s side got back to winning ways to remain three points behind leaders Darvel at the top of the Championship table.

On a decent playing surface there was a sensational start to the game when as early as the second minute United went behind.

The goal came from the impressive Scott Neil who waltzed past three Cumbernauld defenders to send his shot high into the net past a stranded Darren Hill.

However the home team’s joy soon turned to despair when - straight from the kick-off - a rash tackle from Paul Golightly on Paul Callander led to the big Burntonians full-back seeing red with just four minutes on the clock.

Cumbernauld manager Andy Frame then had to reshuffle the United defence when Ross McCabe retired through injury to be replaced by Div Mackay.

However, with a numerical advantage, United then began to dominate proceedings with Paul Callander and Klark Thomson pulling the strings in midfield.

And their play was soon rewarded with a 22nd minute equaliser when a cross from Jack Harrison was slotted home by Kieran McAlleenan.

It was one-way traffic now and United duly went ahead on the half hour mark when, from a corner, the ball broke to Thomson who smashed an unstoppable shot high into the net.

Followwing the break the visitors were soon back on the offensive and after one of many driving runs a Paddy McCabe cross was diverted for a corner.

The resulting kick was met unchallenged by Callander and he glanced a fine header past Fulton to put United further ahead.

The home team were rarely seen on attack with United content to control proceedings from the back, with Jordan Murch and Tony Stevenson strolling through the game.

United introduced defender Alan Benton and strike John McStay for Harrison and Chris Hall and the big United forward was soon in the thick of the action, having the ball in the net with literally his first touch only to be ruled offside, but there was no further scoring.

It was a welcome three points at a venue which is never easy.

Craigmark deserve credit for never giving up and will trouble most teams at Station Park.

Next week United have no game with the following Saturday seeing them on their travels to Neilston.

Cumbernauld United: Hill; Harrison, Murch, Stevenson, R McCabe; K Thomson, Callendar, P McCabe; Burbidge, Hall, McAleenan.

Subs: Murphy, Benton, Mackay, McStay, S Thomson