United suffer ’Nock as they pay penalty
The visitors just about deserved their victory but it was two penalties that did the damage to a United side who gave as good as they got.
A decent following support had travelled from Ayrshire but it was the home team who made a positive start.
Cumnock’s first attempt on goal after eight minutes saw Montgomery play in Ronald who shot well over.
Minutes later, from a Cumnock free-kick just outside the area, Esplin’s shot well held by Fraser.
At the other end good build-up play from Clark and Foley saw Ross shoot narrowly past.
Cumnock were very much now in the ascendancy and Murphy had a 40-yard effort fly wide.
The visitors threatened again after the break when a header from Murphy was cleared off the line by McLaughlin before Watt should have done better than shoot high over from 10 yards.
United sub O’Halloran had an immediate impact when, after a fine run, his pass found Mullen but the United centre’s shot was saved by Johnston.
However Cumbernauld were still very much in the game and levelled after 75 minutes when Mullen’s cross was turned in off the post by veteran David Dickson.
But with the home team looking for the winner disaster struck as young Kieran Brown upended Ronald just inside the box and Burns gave Fraser no chance with a powerful shot into the bottom corner.
Despite the defeat United can take plenty of positives from the game against a team who will be thereabouts at the end of the season.
This Saturday United are on Scottish Cup second round duty with a long trek to face Spey Valley. There are still some seats available on the bus; anyone wishing to travel can call Hattrix on 01236 722883. The bus will leave Guy’s Meadow at 9.55am and the town centre at 10am.