Cumbernauld United blew Motherwell away in a league match at Muirhouse on Guy Fawkes day.
It may have been the 5th of November but you could be forgiven for thinking it was the middle of Spring due to the crisp, clear weather conditions as the match kicked off. Like the sky, Cumbernauld were kitted out in light blue shirts and Motherwell sported their famous claret with amber trimmings.
The pitch at Muirhouse looked suspect and cut up in places but it didn't hamper the away side as they looked dangerous from the get-go. An early searching ball landed to the feet of Dylan McSharry and his snap-shot was comfortably saved by Ryan Kane in the Motherwell goal.
Cumbernauld continued to apply the pressure in the first five minutes and Murray Penman cut in from the right wing before hitting the deck in the box in front of a Well defender. The attacker's appeal for a penalty fell on the deaf ears of the referee.
The early exchanges of the match played out with Motherwell standing up to the early onslaught from United but there were no clear cut chances for either side. Like a bonfire on a cold winter night, the match was a slow burner.
Craig Scott limped off with an injury on the 18th minute to be replaced by Akeem Kareem for Motherwell. Immediately after the substitution Well had their best chance of the half to go ahead when a header from Adrian Cuevas bounced off the chest of a Cumbernauld defender on the line and was subsequently cleared.
A neat passage of play from United in midfield ended in a through ball to Josh Burn inside the box who poked his shot high and wide over the bar under pressure from the defender.
On the 27th minute Cumbernauld made a switch and brought off Dylan McSharry, their number 7, for another player wearing number 7.
There was potential for some early fireworks when Cuevas put in a crunching tackle through the shin of Kyle Brown but the referee didn't see fit to reach for his pocket despite calls from the away dugout.
It wasn't to be the last time United would call the referees decision making into question. Kane had his kick out latched onto by Jack Wilkie who headed into the pathway of number 7 who burst down the right wing. His cross come shot was fumbled by Kane on the line and Cumbernauld were claiming the ball had crossed over before the Motherwell defence cleared the danger.
The game was starting to show some potential as a spectacle at this stage and it seemed like it needed a goal to spark it into life. The fuse was finally lit on the 37th minute when Cumbernauld won a penalty. Wilkie took a deft touch in the box before being swiped out the game by Kane who came rushing off his line.
Wilkie stepped up to take the kick and jetted the ball into the bottom left corner past the goalkeeper who dived in the wrong direction. The ball was still in the back of the net as United decided to hook their number 21 and bring on Jordan McDonald.
Burn demonstrated excellent vision to pick out Gregor Johnston whose shot on goal was thwarted by Kane in what was to be the last significant chance of the first half for United.