Hot-firing McLaughlin can carry Cumbernauld

Cumbernauld United gaffer John Queen is tipping striker Paul McLaughlin to silence his Guys Meadow critics.

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Cumbernauld boss John Queen
Cumbernauld boss John Queen

The often enigmatic front man has, by his own high standards, failed to hit the heights since dropping down to the ambitious Super First Division outfit from Petershill during the summer months.

But his overall performance in United's 4-1 Emirates Junior Cup replay victory over Forfar West End that saw him net a brace of goals has Queen insisting it's only a matter of time before the one-time Celtic signing's name is getting mentioned for all the right reasons.

He said: "In the first game, when Forfar came to our place, Paul missed a couple of snips in front of goal that someone of his ability should be scoring with their eyes shut and I wasn't slow in voicing my feelings.

"But nobody knew this better than Paul himself and at training last midweek he pulled me aside and said he would be making up for those misses in the replay.

"Well he certainly did that and a bit more on Saturday with a quite inspirational display.

"His first goal to level the scores was one that only someone of his talent could have scored.

"He was at a very acute angle and couldn't see a lot of the goal with West End's keeper marking his front post, yet he somehow smashed a shot into the net off the underside of the crossbar to leave everyone stunned – even his own team-mates.

"His wonder strike lifted the whole team and we went on to win the tie comfortably 4-1 with Paul confidently stroking away a penalty kick for our third goal.

"Our potential next Emirates opponents Kelty Hearts took in the game and I 'd imagine they will now have pinpointed Paul as our main danger man so no doubt he can expect some close marking attention when the fourth round is played."

Meanwhile, supporters of second-top Largs Thistle will be breathing a huge sigh of relief after team boss Pat McIlvogue revealed the news on injured front man Euan Lindsay is not as bad as first thought.

A crunching challenge from Kilbirnie defender Shaun Dillon in the 3-1 weekend defeat by the Blasties ended the former Hamilton Accies striker's participation in the game and necessitated a hospital visit afterwards.

Said McIlvogue: "Euan is on crutches but the diagnosis is a badly sprained knee rather than ligament damage which we were all fearing after Saturday.

"He'll definitely miss this week's trip to face Kilsyth Rangers and the likelihood is he will be sidelined until early January.

"It it a bit of a blow because he has established himself as one of the key players in our side this season."

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