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Accies website reporter Louise Davidson was at NDP for Saturday’s win…

Hamilton Academical v Stirling Albion
cinch League 1
Saturday 16th March 2024
3pm at New Douglas Park 

Hamilton 3 Stirling 0 

This weekend we took on Stirling Albion aiming to maintain our recent good form. Boss John Rankin made two changes to the starting XI from last weekend’s win, Barjonas and Lewis Smith replaced Redfern and Winter.

We were arguably the better team in the first half and had ample opportunities to pull ahead, however these were squandered. Even though we had a few missed chances we went into the break leading the visitors.

In the 9th minute Williamson thought he opened the scoring when Smith’s cross from the goal line was dummied by O’Hara which allowed Williamson to fire his shot goal bound from the edge of the area, but it went just wide of the target.

Just five minutes later, we had an excellent opportunity to take the lead when we were awarded a penalty after Rose was wiped out in the box by McLean. Rose stepped up to take the penalty, but his low strike was saved in the bottom right corner by ex- Accies ‘keeper Currie.

We didn’t need much longer to find the net as in the 19th minute O’Hara netted his 14th of the season. Tumility’s driving low shot was parried out by Currie and O’Hara was on hand to stroke the ball in at the front post and give us the lead. 1-0.

We continued our scoring from into the second half and gave the crowd plenty to be pleased with. Our second half performance would see us secure all three points.

In the 52nd minute, Rose popped up to join in the scoring action. O’Hara’s cross from the right side was met by the head of Rose who powered the ball into the top right corner, taking Rose’s goal tally to seven for the season. 2-0.

We toiled for the next 30 minutes, but just couldn’t manage another shot at goal.

In the 87th minute, substitute Hastie crossed the ball to O’Hara who looked destined to get his second goal, but he poked the ball wide from six yards out.

The icing on the cake came in the 90+2 when Hastie found space in the box and slotted his shot into the bottom right corner with Currie rooted to the spot. This saw Hastie bag his first goal for Accies but his 5th for the season.

This great performance saw us seal another three points for the season. Next weekend we take on Cove Rangers away as we search for another clean sheet and three more points.

Post-match Rankin gave his thoughts on a convincing performance: “I am absolutely delighted, I have to say when you are going through a tough period you have to find a different way of winning and we have been doing that the last couple of weeks. 

“We were much more like ourselves. We went out and we earned the right to play, and we won the battle. I thought we played some good football at times.”

Jake Hastie spoke of his delight at scoring his first goal of the season “ It feels really good, especially on the back of a good win. I thought the boys were brilliant and it was a good performance from the team.”

Accies: Lyness (GK), Longridge (Hendrie 90), Barjonas (Henderson 79), O’Hara, Rose ( Winter 62), L Smith (Hastie 79), McGowan, Davidson, Tumilty (Kilday 90), Owens, Williamson 

Unused Subs: Fulton (GK), Murray, Hewitt, Kirk.

Stirling: Currie (GK), McGeachie (Cooper 58), Clark, McLean, McGregor, Carrick (Spence 90+1), Leitch, McPake (Banner 58), Milne (Molotnikov 73), Hilson (Offord 73), Crane.

Unused Subs: Weir (GK), Moore, Petrie, Cooper.

Referee- Duncan Nicolson/ AR1- Graham McNeillie / AR2- Chris Gentles 

Att: 762 (131 away)

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