Cumbernauld United’s promotion hopes were dealt a severe blow when they went down 2-1 to Kello Rovers on Saturday.
Two late goals sealed the visitors’ fate as the United faithful saw their side return empty-handed from the long trip to Kirkconnell.
In difficult conditions the visitors were soon on the offensive and in the opening 10 minutes efforts from Chris Lennon and Alan Benton were both saved by Kello keeper Penman.
This signalled what was to become a feature of the match with United dominating procession but with no reward to show for their efforts.
Penman once again made an excellent save, this time from Robbie Winters when he diverted a shot from the veteran striker over the bar.
However, for all the United pressure the home team did look lively upfront and Murphy was called into action to smother a Brown effort just before the break.
United began the second period in determined fashion. A Lennon free-kick was parried over and a minute later the same player shot high and wide from an acute angle when a pass looked a better option.
Next Penman brought out the save of the match when from a corner the ball broke to the in rushing Davie Dickson and his shot looked goal bound only for the keeper to somehow get a hand and divert the shot past the post.
This turned out to be the turning point of the match as Kello opened the scoring when a cross from the right broke to the feet of Shaw who slammed the ball home from eight yards.
It was all uphill now for United and as they pushed forward looking for the leveller but a counter attack for Kello saw Brown run unchallenged and he despatched past Murphy to seal the victory on 83 minutes.
United battled hard and Ross McCabe pulled a goal back in the last minute when he volleyed home from a corner. But it wasn’t enough and only a victory tonight against Rutherglen at Guy’s Meadow, kick-off 6.30pm, will keep their season alive.