SCOTTISH COMMUNITIES LEAGUE CUP HAMILTON ACCIES 2 ANNAN ATHLETIC 0
Half Time 0-0. Hamilton Accies – J Routledge 67 min, J Kirkpatrick 86 min.
Hamilton progressed to the next round of the Scottish Communities League Cup with professional polished performance against a gallant Annan team who were eventually worn down by the youthful talented Hamilton team who scored two second half goals .
The pattern of the game became evident almost from the kick off with Hamiton’s crisp passing game stretching Annan ,makiing the Annan team work so hard all over the pitch but defensively Annan looked solid with the partnership of Steven Swinglehurst and Michael McGowan at the heart of the Annan defence providing a last line of defence which proved to be an obstacle which the home team found difficult to penetrate. Eventually fitness and quality did pay off with Hamilton deservedly securing the victory that their play merited. Annan for their part will no doubt be disappointed in the manner in which they conceded the two second half goals which ensured Hamilton’s place in the second round of the Scottish Communities Cup.
Hamilton had a lot of possession and their young talented squad looked very comfortable on the ball but for all their possession chances in the first half were a rarity and Hamilton failed to seriously test Summersgill in the Annan goal . The one real opportunity created in the opening half came in the 35th minute when Jon Routledge and Andy Ryan carved open the Annan defence down the left and Routledge slipped the ball past the upright. It was only real scoring opportunity in a half which Hamilton controlled in terms of possession.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first with shots from Ryan sailing over the bar and past the post , Craig Summersgill pulled off his first serious save of the match to deny Grant Gillespie in the 53rd minute as the home team pushed for the opening goal which eventually arrived in the 67th minute. The goal however was by no means a classic and one which the Annan defence will no doubt feel could have been avoided when indecision presented the opportunity for Jon Routledge to prod the ball into the corner of the net from the edge of the 6 yard box after Jon McShanes effort was blocked .
Hamilton finally put the game out of the reach of Annan in the 86th minute when substitute striker Darian Mackinnon who had been only on the field a matter of minutes put the finishing touches to a move involving McShane and Hendrie which started with a throw in that was incorrectly awarded to Hamilton.
Annan’s scoring chances were few and far between but in the 88th minute Scott Chaplain set up Alistair Love with an opportunity when Chaplain cut the ball back from the bye line but Love’s shot sneaked past the upright.
Hamilton Boss Billy Reid complimented his team and picked out Jon Routledge as his man of the match with the player having been signed prior to the match from Stockport County. We worked hard all the players were comfortable on the ball and today we did enough in the final third to secure the victory. It was like a re run of our game against Airdrie last week when they grabbed the winner against the run of play but today we scored the goals and importantly it sets us up for the league match at Starks Park next Saturday.
Annan boss Harry Cairney was not too disheartened the team worked hard competed well against a very good Hamilton team, the back four defended well but eventually Hamiton’s quality paid off and they were rewarded. We are endeavouring to play a passing game and today we found it difficult to find the spaces which was made difficult by the manner in which Hamilton pressed us.
Hamilton Accademicals – K Cuthbert, C McGlinchey, S Hendrie, M Canning, M Devlin ,G Gillespie ( J Kirkpatrick 84 min), J Routledge, G Fraser, J McShane (A Neil 74 min), A Crawford, A Ryan (D Mackinnon 80 min) Substitutes not used C Shaw and Z Gordon.
Annan – C Summersgill, J Blake, G Thorburn, S Swinglehurst, M McGowan, S Chaplain , G Bell ( G Ramage 71 min), C Jardine (J McKechnie 58 min), M Daly , J Steele , D Murray ( A Love 45 min). Substitutes not used A Mitchell, K McGachie.
Referee – W Collum. Assistants - S Hodge and R Marshall