Cumbernauld United left Meadow Park in Irvine on Saturday with three valuable league points after a hard fought encounter.
United grabbed an early goal and, despite all Irvine Meadow’s efforts, comfortably proved the stronger team to take the honours.
The home team put on the pressure from the start and a Con Boyle shot went past and a Craig Buchanan header sailed over the bar as the hosts threatened.
It was United, however, who took the lead in the 11th minute with what would prove the only goal of the match.
A great long defence-splitting ball from new signing Paul McMenamin beat the Meadow offside trap and Cumbernauld’s alert front man Fraser Team ran on to round goalkeeper Shaun Newman and slot home.
The Ayrshire men, stung by this reverse, hit back and United goalkeeper David Buchanan had to look lively to save from Boyle and James Marks.
After Meadow’s Jared Willet had to be substituted following an injury, Cumbernauld settled to control the match and Davie Dickson and Mikey McLaughlin came near with efforts at goal.
Jamie Kennedy replaced an injured Alan Benton in time to see United’s latest capture Alex Wyper, from Arthurlie, take the eye with strong running at the home defence.
Just before the half-time whistle David Buchanan brought off a tremendous save from Meadow sub Jordan McGuire to prevent an Irvine equaliser.
United were first to show after the interval and a McMenamin left-foot drive was wide of the upright as the visitors attacked.
Then a Paddy McCabe pass gave Team an opportunity to extend the visitors lead but the United striker disappointingly cleared the bar with his attempt.
Cumbernauld were clearly the most likely team at this stage of the game and in the 73rd minute should have gone two goals in front.
From the halfway line Wyper ran clear of the Meadow defence and attempted to go round Newman in the home goal. The Irvine keeper, however, foiled the United man when he managed to grab the ball from his toes.
The home side staged a bit of late pressure to try and salvage something from the game.
But the United defence, as throughout the contest, was rock solid with Paul Murphy and Tony Stevenson ably supported by new signings Ross McCabe and McMenamin.