Maxwell’s men to the four as they win League Cup opener

Rob Roy's Scott Fraser battles for possession with Cumbernauld's Scott Upton
Rob Roy's Scott Fraser battles for possession with Cumbernauld's Scott Upton

Kirkintilloch Rob Roy came from behind to win their opening exselgroup Sectional League Cup match against Cumbernauld United at Guy’s Meadow.

Rabs, the away side for a fixture at a ground both teams share, went a goal down before taking control and running out winners with plenty to spare against an understrength Cumbernauld side.

In a fairly even opening period, first chance fell to Cumbernauld with Scott McHaffie sending an opportunity over the bar. Then at the other end Willie Sawyers drive narrowly cleared the home crossbar.

The Cumbernauld side took a 17th minute lead when ex-Rob Roy midfielder Scott Upton sent a speculative 35 yard dipping volley high over the head of Rabs’ keeper Michael McKinven to bulge the net.

United should have doubled their lead two minutes later when Steph McDonald took advantage of slack defending but missed the target from short range.

Rabs pulled themselves back into the contest when Sawyers was tripped in the box by Kieran Brown, giving referee Ashwood little option but to point to the spot, Shaun Fraser took the award and confidently sent the ball low past home keeper Barry Fraser.

With Rabs now in control, Chris Duff saw his effort kicked off the line after a clever Sawyers lay-off, Kevin Green headed the ball over the bar before Kevin Watt’s overhead kick was saved on his line by Fraser.

In a United break upfield, McKinven made a fantastic double save as the sides went in all square at half-time.

Five minutes after the break Rabs went in front when Watt broke down the left before sending over a low cross for Fraser to stroke the ball into the net from a yard out.

Chris Duff was unlucky a few minutes later when he crashed a shot against the woodwork before Luke Whelan fired the ball into the side netting following a strong run from inside his own half.

Rabs put the result out of United’s reach and underlined their superiority with two goals in as many minutes.

In the 78th minute Duff’s corner kick from the right was headed past Fraser by Sawyers then a minute later the scorer turned provider when he delivered a perfect cross to the head of the unmarked Watt to put his side 4-1 in front.

The only downside to a competent Rabs victory was the last minute injury to influential full-back Danny McKenzie who limped off with a suspected hamstring problem.

Deep into stoppage time Rabs substitute Lee Gallacher should have embellished the scoreline but when through on goal sent his low drive past the post with only the home keeper to beat.

Saturday’s match was a poignant affair as the clubs will play for a trophy in memory of Carol Brown.

Carol, who died suddenly earlier this year, worked behind the bar at the Hat-Trix complex.

With Rob Roy currently sharing Guy’s Meadow for their home games she was well known to players, officials and supporters of both clubs.

Cumbernauld United chairman George Watson said: “It has been decided that Saturday’s match will be contested for the Carol Brown Memorial Shield and we would hope this will be an annual event.

“Carol’s sudden passing was a shock to us all and it’s a fitting tribute that her memory will live on for the clubs she looked after so well on match days.”