Cumbernauld United win festive derby clash with Kilsyth Rangers
Cumbernauld United earned the new year local bragging rights with a 2-0 derby win over Kilsyth Rangers at Guy's Meadow on Saturday.
The visitors arrived full of confidence on the back of a fine win over St Roch’s, but they were soon brought down to earth by a second half performance as good as anything seen from United all season.
This was United’s first competitive game in four weeks and it showed in their first half play.
Kilsyth were the better passing team, but despite having the majority of the play they never really threatened Graeme Murphy in the United goal,
Phil Dolan on the left side was causing them the most problems with his driving runs but they failed to capitalise on this and paid the price in the second half.
Although they weren’t at their best United still had the better opportunities of the first half chances with Alan Benton, Chris Hall, and McAleenan all going close.
But after the interval Cumbernauld took the game by the scruff of the neck and soon had Kilsyth on the back foot as they struggled to cope with the pace of Conor Scullion, a half-time replacement for the unwell Stefan Law.
On 55 minutes an excellent through ball from Conor Stevenson found Kieran McAleenan at the edge of the box, but his effort was saved.
Scullion then got on the end of a Hall pass only to see his effort come off the bar and be cleared away by the defence.
It was all United now, and they took a deserved lead on the 66th minute when further inter-play from Hall and Scullion resulted in Hall slotting the ball past the diving keeper.
United almost extended their lead as Paddy McCabe gathered the ball deep in his own half before going on a tremendous driving run that took him to the edge of the Kilsyth box, but just before he got his shot away he was brought down.
There were further chances for McAleenan and Hall before United eventually did extend their lead on 71 minutes.
A ball played out wide by Stevenson found Scullion on the byeline and he cut inside and drove past three Kilsyth defenders before rifling the ball into the far corner.
Despite keeping up the pressure United couldn’t add to their tally - but they had done enough to secure the win which moved them above their rivals in the Championship standings.