Promotion chasing Cumbernauld United returned to winning ways on Saturday with a well deserved 3-2 win away to Gartcairn.
The victory not only saw Andy Frame’s side bounce back from their defeat at Renfrew, it also pushed them up with within a point of leaders Darvel whose game was postponed.
Once again the United squad was put to the test with Ross McCabe unavailable through suspension and John McStay on holiday; on the plus side Chris Hall declared himself fit and managed a place on the bench.
The ‘Nauld started the game in determined fashion, knocking the ball about well on a difficult surface, and Scott Thomson had the ball in the net after five minutes only for it to be ruled offside.
On their very next attack the United striker was again unfortunate when a curling shot came off the inside of the post.
However the breakthrough soon followed when excellent combination play between David Mackay and stand-in skipper Kieran McAleenan set up Mark Burbidge who took a touch and beat the ‘Cairn keeper at his near post.
Gartcairn, who started with four ex-United players in their line-up, had their first attempt when a Sean Crighton free-kick was missed at the back post by Murphy.
United increased their lead in controversial circumstances when Thomson was fouled what looked like outside the box, only for the linesman to rule the offence occurred inside the box and award a penalty. Thomson himself made no mistake from the spot.
United started the second half as they left off as Paddy McCabe cut inside but his shot was weak and easily saved.
The United winger was a constant threat with his direct style of play and on his next attack was taken out by a clumsy challenge by McArdle with the referee having no option but to award another penalty, Thomson once again converting from the spot.
With the game entering the final 10 minutes and United appearing in total control, Gartcairn were given a lifeline went out of the blue when Crighton collected a loose pass some 30 yards from goal to send an unstoppable shot high past Hill who had been a spectator for most of the game.
This spurred the home side on and a second soon followed when a corner from Guy deceived everyone and ended up in the United net.
Gartcairn threw everything at the United goal in the final five minutes but United were not to be denied and fully deserved the three points.
This Saturday United host Neilston with a 2pm kick-off.