Thorniewood’s hopes of beating the drop suffered a major setback when they lost to fellow strugglers Ardeer Thistle on Saturday.
The Ayrshire side left Robertson Park with all three points to leave United deep in the Super League Division One relegation zone.
Thorniewood looked up for the challenge and won a corner in the opening seconds.
This was followed by Chris Lennon shooting wide of the far post and Daly McSorley heading over before defender Dominic Green was called upon to produce a solid tackle in the 10th minute to thwart an Ardeer counter.
The lively Lennon showed good control before driving a shot over the visiting bar from the edge of the area.
But United lacked a quality final ball and Thistle began to impose themselves.
Lee Munro cut in from the left and forced United ’keeper Chris Fitzpatrick to put behind for a corner.
Seconds later Munro again forced Fitzpatrick into action, this time the ’keeper doing well to save with his legs at the foot of the post.
The visitors should have taken the lead in the 22nd minute when Stephen Reid brought out a fine stop by Fitzpatrick and sclaffed the rebound, allowing Green to mop up on the line.
Scott Reid fired a 20-yard effort just wide before, at the other end, Thorniewood’s Brian Johnston had a goal ruled out for offside.
But Thistle were well on top and Scott Reid forced another fine save out of Fitzpatrick who then made two further stops from Stephen Reid.
Just before the interval United’s Johnston was put through but the veteran striker’s weak effort was easily held by Paul McCann.
Fitzpatrick then had to get down well to his right to ensure ’Wood went in at the interval on equal terms.
Thorniewood started the half the brighter and a Davie Hamilton shot in a crowded six-yard box was blocked by the chest of a visiting defender before McCann then excelled himself with a superb tip over from Lennon’s postage stamp bound free kick.
Gary Duggan fired over from just outside the area and substitute John Paul McBride’s well struck volley was saved by McCann.
But Thorniewood couldn’t find a way through and it was Ardeer who grabbed the winner in the 85th minute, STEWART reacting quickest to head home after Graeme Hamilton’s shot came off the underside of the bar.
Thorniewood created one last chance but Lennon’s lob was gathered by McCann.
Thorniewood: Fitzpatrick, Green, Smith, Hamilton, Fleming, McSorley, Getty (Forbes 68), Law, Johnston, Lennon, Duggan (McBride 78). Subs not used: Grant, More, Trialist.