A Davie Dickson goal in the 80th minute gave Cumbernauld United three terrific and vital points against leaders Largs Thistle at Guy’s Meadow on Saturday.
The Ayrshire team had only lost one previous league game this season and this defeat was a severe blow to their promotion hopes.
United on the other hand, needed to get back on the winning trail as they had been slipping down the league table recently.
With Barry Fraser and Steven McGuire unavailable due to injury and illness, United fielded new goalkeeper Jamie McGowan, on loan from Morton, and he had a faultless debut.
United started well but Largs threatened first when a shot from Sean Pierce was well saved by McGowan.
Scott McHaffie then came to Cumbernauld’s rescue with a vital clearing header as the visitors put on the pressure.
United settled to play some good football but Largs again threatened when an effort from full-back Ciaran Friel went just past. There followed an excellent save from Jamie McGowan when dangerous striker James Markes tested the keeper.
United then had a really impressive spell when after good work from Mikey McLaughlin, McHaffie’s effort was wide of goal.
McLaughlin himself and Ross Foley tried their luck as United impressed and winger Dale Clark got into the picture until a shot that provided a corner.
Kieran Brown then attempted a characteristically powerful free kick but Thistle ’keeper Ross Lundy was able to hold the young man’s rocket.
Foley and Dickson had further attempts at goal prior to the half time break but it was all square after 45 minutes.
After the break United continued on the offensive and Dylan McGuigan went on a terrific run, taking on half the Largs team before finally being stopped.
Cumbernauld had a good shout for a penalty when Foley was grounded in the box but the referee was not interested.
McLaughlin became the first of six bookings in the match as both teams went all out for a win.
The visitors’ Markes shot over before United manager John Queen introduced Stevie Mullen and Dom O’Halloran to the fray - a postive move to try for the three points.
Largs forced a couple of dangerous corners, one of which was excellently punched clear by McGowan and the other well cleared by defender Alan Clark. United skipper Ryan Sullivan also had an effective game in defence.
In the 80th minute Cumbernauld got the vital match winning goal.
After a great save by Lundy from Mullen, from the corner the ball came out to Dickson and the veteran’s left foot volley went through the packed goalmouth and past Lundy.
The result will give Cumbernauld confidence for their trip to Ardrossan Winton Rovers on Saturday.
Kick-off is 2pm and a supporters’ bus will leave Guy’s Meadow at 11.45am and the town centre at 11.50am.