United back on the winning trail

Cumbernauld United 4Vale of Leven 2Stagecoach Central LeagueDivision One

WITH the weather at last perfect for football and the Guy's Meadow pitch looking good after the severe winter, both sides served up a very absorbing game.

After last week's draw at Cambuslang, United desperately wanted to get back on the winning trail and, although they did so, the visitors put up a strong fight and bad luck just possibly robbed them of a point.

United started well and after six minutes the Vale keeper did well to deflect an effort from Caldwell for a corner. United were keeping the Vale defence on its toes and after 17 minutes took the lead. Winning a free-kick midway into the Vale half, James Brown hit in a perfect ball for David Marsh to crash home a header from 12 yards out.

Vale gradually came into the game and after forcing a couple of corners they drew level. David Marsh lost the ball to Filshie. He was then brought down by keeper Buchanan, who was booked, and from the resultant spot-kick Vale's Buchanan levelled the scores on the 25 minute mark.

The game was now evenly balanced and although both sides did their best neither could get the all-important second goal. Just before half-time United's Gary Gibson had a super header tipped over the bar, and the scores remained level at the interval.

United started the second half in style, with a cracking goal from James Brown in the 49th minute. However, just ten minutes later, Vale were back on level terms when Lacey knocked in a Buchanan cross.

Vale were proving hard to break down but United again went ahead when Craig Hill fired in a Jarvis header to make it 3-2 to United in the 71st minute.

Vale again put in the effort to draw level and with two minutes left on the clock a long-range effort grazed the United crossbar and went over.

Then right on time United netted their fourth goal when Mills, surrounded by defenders, managed to swivel and hit the ball into the back of the net.

Another three points to United on their promotion march, but not the best they can play. the effort was there, but the midfield still really need to control the game and get back the passing ability they are capable of.

CUMBERNAULD UNITED: Buchanan, Hill, McConville, Marsh, Deerie, Jarvis, Brown, Gibson, Mills, Steele and Caldwell.