Dalbeattie Star tasted defeat for the first time in six weeks as they fell to the Lowland League leaders East Kilbride at K Park.
It was a comfortable win in the end but Star can take some comfort in that the players never gave up and showed a great attitude throughout the 90 minutes.
The home side started brightly and it seemed striker and captain, Craig Malcolm, appeared to be on a solo mission to win the match on his own as early as possible. In the ninth minute he turned well inside the penalty area and his shot smacked off the post but keeper Vinnie Parker reacted well to clutch the rebound.
Six minutes later he attempted to beat Parker with a lob but the ball landed on top of the net, and soon after Parker did well to turn his effort for a corner. Midway through the half a brilliant clearance from Ross Thomson prevented a certain goal. However, the inevitable happened just two minutes later and it wasn’t a shock to anyone that it was Malcolm who opened the scoring when he turned home a cross from Paul Woods.
Just after the half hour Star came so close to an equaliser when Lewis Sloan’s free kick caused problems and the ball fell to Thomson whose volley from 15 yards produced a superb save from Matt McGinley in goal.
Just when it seemed Star would go in at the interval one goal down and still very much in the game, the home side netted a second. The referee awarded Star a throw in near the home corner flag but for some inexplicable reason changed it to a free kick for the home side.
The ball was played to the flying winger Chris Humphrey, even some of the home fans thought he looked a good couple of yards offside. However the officials waved play on and Humphrey made no mistake with a crisp shot that flew past Parker.
The killer third goal came just before the hour from the penalty spot when Thomson left out a trailing leg and brought down Woods, and Malcolm sent Parker the wrong way.