BEFORE this match, a point might have been an acceptable result for Greenock, but in the end they were left a bit disappointed not to have taken all three.

They took a commanding 2-0 lead into the second half, and it wasn’t until eight minutes from time before Cumbernauld snatched a late equaliser.

The torrential rain which lasted the full 90 minutes didn’t affect the quality of play from both teams, in what turned out to be a highly entertaining encounter.

Cumbernauld opened the brighter side, with Greenock keeper Mark Monk called into action to produce a fine save from a point-blank header from McGuigan with just eight minutes on the clock.

But Greenock gradually came more into the game, as Kenny Munro broke clear down the left before drilling the ball across the face of the goal, only to see it just evade the touch required from the in-rushing Greenock players.

Greenock were now increasing the pressure, as Munro sent in a shot from the right which went inches past, and almost immediately thereafter Barri Stanton fired a 25-yard drive just a foot over the bar.

But the pressure finally paid off on 28 minutes when Jamie Cunning, making his first start since his recent signing, sent a 30-yard pass to Allan Docherty, who had breached the offside trap.

There was still a lot of work to be done, but Docherty surprised everyone when he coolly clipped the ball over the advancing Cumbernauld keeper Fraser, who could only watch on as it took forever to land in the back of the net.

The Ravenscraig men were well on top and looking good for a second, which was duly delivered on 35 minutes, again as the result of sustained pressure.

A corner from Martin Orr was eventually nodded home from close in by Thomas Docherty.

With Cumbernauld limited to attempted breakaways, Greenock were well worthy of their 2-0 lead at half-time.

The visitors threw more players forward after the interval, but with Greenock’s front two being very alert, the third goal of the game looked more likely to come from the home team.

But a pivotal moment in the match came on 67 minutes, when Cumbernauld’s Foley picked up a loose ball wide on the left and delivered a cross into the box, which Ryan Begley rose to head clear.

As both teams turned to deal with the clearance, referee Kevin McElhinney blew his whistle, as the sides looked to see what the infringement was.

To most people’s amazement, the official awarded Cumbernauld a penalty, indicating that in his opinion Begley had clambered over a Cumbernauld forward in order to make the clearance.

Striker Chris Zok converted easily from the spot to make it 2-1.

The penalty incident gave Cumbernauld the initiative, and they equalised on 82 minutes, when Brown followed up on a Monk save to slip the ball home from four yards .

The visitors had their tails up now, sensing a dramatic winner, but Greenock upped their game again and pressed hard in the closing stages.

Tam Jamieson was put through one-on-one but finished weakly, and with two minutes left, a Docherty shot beat keeper Fraser but Mackie cleared the ball off the line.

Then in stoppage time Fraser pulled off a great save from a 20-yard drive from Greenock sub Craig Brown, and the final whistle sounded moments later.

Greenock manager Martin Campbell said: “I am a bit disappointed for the boys to only have taken a point, after all the effort they put in.

“To be honest, though, over the piece a draw was a fair result, but after going 2-0 up and also losing that late goal, it felt more like a defeat.

“As for the penalty, we were all puzzled as to why it was given, as none of the Cumbernauld players even claimed for it.’’ Greenock: Monk, T. Docherty (Murray 84), McGarrigle, McLaughlin, Begley, Cunning, Orr, Jamieson, Stanton, A. Docherty, Munro (Brown 70). Subs not used: Gillan, Boyd.

Greenock Juniors are sponsored by SAVEHEAT, and the Lighthouse Bar, who were also sponsors of Saturday’s match.