Your online local sport by Millar Stoddart

Lanark United’s season ends after defeat to Cumbernauld in Central League Cup

Ronan Kearney has been a key player for the Yowes this season

Lanark United were knocked out of the Central League Cup after a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Cumbernauld United at Moor Park last Saturday, bringing their season to a close.

The Royal Burgh outfit, playing against a side two tiers above them, battled bravely throughout the game but two second half goals from Chris Lennon was enough to separate the two sides.

Saturday’s defeat was Lanark’s first loss in eight outings and concluded a disappointing season, but new manager Colin Slater has a young and talented side at his disposal and the Yowes have every chance of success next term.

Cumbernauld were forced to field a makeshift team with goalkeeping coach Ian Wilson forced to deputise between the posts.

The visitors produced the first real chance when a Darren Bowie corner was met by the head of Ross McCabe but Gareth Hallford produced a fine save to keep the scoreline level.

Lanark looked up for the challenge and Ronan Kearney thought he had fired United ahead but his effort was denied by a terrific save.

Kearney has produced many moments of magic for Lanark this term, contributing many goals along the way, and a second effort went narrowly wide soon after.

Lanark had the best chance of the first half when left-back Martin Smith unleashed a ferocious strike that crashed off the post before being hastily cleared by the Cumbernauld defence.

Cumbernauld continued to create chances of their own when an Aiden Malone strike went over the bar before a Bowie header was saved by Hallford moments before the break.

The hosts were holding their own but were dealt a below soon after the interval when another Bowie corner was met by McCabe before Chris Lennon applied the finishing touch to put his side ahead.

Lennon could have doubled Cumbernauld’s lead soon after but Hallford produced a fine save to deny the forward.

Kearney then had an effort tipped wide for a corner by Wilson and the resultant corner was blasted over the bar by Scott Schoneville.

The second and final goal came under controversial circumstances when a high clearance caught out the Lanark defence with Lennon first to react, diverting the ball past Hallford and into the net, despite Lanark’s appeals for handball.

Lanark produced a late flurry of chances late in the game with substitute Jordan Moore testing Wilson in the Cumbernauld goal but the visitors held on to book their place in the next round, ending Lanark’s season.