Cumbernauld United...... 2
Glenafton Athletic .... 5
In front of a decent crowd United got off to a terrific start when they were awarded a penalty in the third minute, Glenafton’s goalkeeper Ally Semple fowling Paul Thomson. Cumbernauld skipper Jim Steele took the spotkick to put the locals ahead.
United looked the likelier team in the first 15 minutes and had good efforts at goal from Jim Steele and Kenny Jarvis.
After Glen’s John Paul Boyle spilled a good chance to square the match, headers from David Marsh And Dominic O’Halloran went past as United continued to press.
It was Glenafton, however, who got an equaliser when confusion in the home defence enabled Paul Murphy to score – time 26 minutes.
Four minutes later the visitors went ahead when United keeper Dave Buchanan left his area in an attempt to foil an attack, missed the ball completely, and Glenafton’s Boyle hit the ball into an empty net.
Undismayed Cumbernauld hit back with a terrific bit of football when, from a great move involving several players, Gary Gibson’s low cross was tucked away by Dominic O’Halloran.
A great first half for spectators with United’s football skills pitted against the strong physical challenge of the league leaders.
The second period began with controversy over a third goal for the visitors. The ever dangerous Glenafton striker John Paul Boyle volleyed a long ball which hit the underside of the crossbar, bounced down on to the goalline and was cleared. To the consternation of the United faithful a goal was awarded by the assistant referee who indicated to the match referee that the ball had indeed gone over the line, and United were behind.
Worse was to follow for the home team when David Marsh was ordered off following a mix-up between the defender and his goalkeeper. Marsh was adjudged to have fouled an attacker and prevented a goalscoring opportunity. Glenafton’s Gareth Campbell scored from the spot.
Two goals ahead and against ten men the visitors were in confident mood and United were struggling. As the game progressed however, the depleted homesters came right back into the contest playing as well as they had done in the match.
Manager John Queen made substitutions at this stage bringing on Paul Hanlon and then Stuart McNally and Andy McEwan and there was a feeling that if United managed to score again there could be a very interesting last period to the game.
Unfortunately it was Glenafton who scored again when their substitute Bobby Colligan in a breakaway, slammed the ball high into the net to secure the three points in the Ayrshire side’s bid not only to get promotion to the Super Premier League back to win the 1st division title.
Cumbernauld United have secured their position in the Stagecoach Super League 1st Division for next season 2012/2013.
Despite a horrific start to the present campaign when they languished at the foot of the table, the Cumbernauld team have lifted themselves safe from relegation worries remembering that four sides go down from this league every season.
United’s last two fixtures are against Shotts Bon Accord, home and away. Shotts, Scottish Junior Cup Finalists, could still win the 1st Division if they are successful in their remaining matches so United are up against it in the last two games.
United: Buchanan, Borland, Petrucci, Marsh, Brown, Jarvis, McCabe, Thomson, O’Halloran, Steele, Gibson. Subs: McNally, McEwan, Hanlon.