Cumbernauld United top of the table after three straight wins

Cumbernauld's players celebrate after Paddy McCabe's goal against St Roch's
Cumbernauld's players celebrate after Paddy McCabe's goal against St Roch's

Cumbernauld United moved clear at the top of the West Championship table with a 4-0 win over St Roch’s at Guy’s Meadow on Saturday.

The victory made it three wins out of three for Andy Frame’s side as they set the pace in the hunt for promotion to the top flight.

In glorious sunshine - and in front of a large crowd - manager Frame made one change to the starting line up with Robbie Kilpatrick replacing the unavailable Ross McCabe.

As early as the first minute Scott Thomson was unlucky to see a close range shot saved by Jamie McGuire in the St Roch’s goal.

At the other end a corner from Tam Hanlon was header wide by Kieran Martin with the Cumbernauld goal at his mercy.

United made the most of that escape to open the scoring after 12 minutes when top scorer Thomson was first to react to a mix-up in the St Roch’s defence, steering the ball home from eight yards.

The home side were playing some lovely, free flowing football and from a Paul Callander pass Chrissy Hall was unlucky as his turn and shot flew just over.

But United were not to be denied and went further ahead on the half hour mark, in controversial circumstance when the referee pointed to the spot after a handball by Barry Russell.

Kieran McAleenan’s spot kick was well wide of the target, only for the linesman to flag for an infringement by keeper McGuire, resulting in a retake which duly despatched by captain Tony Stevenson.

As half-time approached the visitors came more into the game and had two opportunities to reduce the deficit, first when a turn and shot by Connor Hughes was parried against the upright by Darren Hill.

The United keeper then produced an outstanding save, finger tipping an Anton McGuigan shot over the bar from 10 yards.

It didn’t take long for Cumbernauld to lay down a marker for the second half.

Thomson was played though by Stevenson and smashed the ball past McGuire to effectively finish the game as a contest.

It was now one-way traffic with Thomson again causing mayhem with his direct running and he was unfortunate to be called offside on two occasions when both times it looked like he had timed his run to perfection.

St Roch’s had no answer to the quick passing movement of United and this was highlighted when a Jack Harrison run and pinpoint cross found Paddy McCabe at the back post to send his shot high into the net.

That completed the scoring and United sit proudly at the top of the league with nine points out of nine, two points clear of Irvine Vics and three ahead of a clutch of teams on six points, including Shotts Bon Accord, Cambuslang Rangers, Darvel Juniors and Petershill.

Scott Thomson collected the man of the match award.

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