Rossvale earn vital win over promotion rivals Cumbernauld United

Liam McGonigle celebrates after scoring Rossvale's winner at Cumbernauld (pic by HT Photography/@dibsy_)
Liam McGonigle celebrates after scoring Rossvale's winner at Cumbernauld (pic by HT Photography/@dibsy_)

Rossvale picked up three vital points with a hard fought away win over Championship promotion rivals Cumbernauld United at Guy’s Meadow on Saturday.

It was always likley to prove a tough return to league business for Vale after their Scottish Junior Cup exploits.

And as early as the second minute Cumbernauld’s Connor Scullion fired over a lovely cross into the box but Jamie Donnelly made Paddy McCabe’s header look easy.

Connor Stevenson tried his luck from long range but again it was easily handled by the Vale defence.

Vale weren’t sitting back though and David Leadbetter found Stephen McGladrigan whose shot on the turn just scraped the upright.

A Craig Buchanan header from a Liam McGonigle corner was then only just too high as Vale worked their way into the game.

And they took the lead on 26 minutes when McGonigle fired in a free-kick from the right and his ferocious cross took a deflection off Kieran McAleenan on its way into the far corner.

Cumbernauld were stunned, but hit back quickly when, following some play down the right, Alan Benton’s cross found Paddy McCabe unmarked at the back post with time to bring the ball down and fire home.

Just on half-time Gary Giffin nearly put the Vale ahead again, but his superb free-kick just sneaked past the far post.

After the break both sides were mainy restricted to long-range efforts. For the visitors Leadbetter tried an audacious effort from 40 yards which went narrowly over and Giffin’s shot from 20 yards was kept out by keeper Graeme Murphy.

But with 15 minutes to go a piece of genius from Liam McGonigle broke the deadlock. Donnelly’s goal kick found him closely marked, but before his opponent could react McGonigle brought the ball down, spun round and buried the ball in the back of the net.

Cumbernauld came close in the final seconds but Gary McMenamin cleared off the line to secure the points.