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Hamilton Academical v Falkirk

cinch League 1
Saturday 16th December 2023 
3pm at New Douglas Park 

Hamilton  Accies 1 Falkirk 3

Accies web reporter Louise Davidson with her take on Saturday’s match

On Saturday we took on our top of the league rivals, Falkirk, in what was a highly anticipated game, 1st v 2nd. Both teams were aiming to claim top spot in the league. Boss John Rankin however lost Lee Kilday in the warm up, injured, and he was replaced in the starting line up by Stephen Hendrie. Andy Winter then came on to the bench. Barjonas, O’Hara and MacDonald  all made their 25th appearance for us.

The first half did not disappoint in terms of goal scoring action, with both home fans and visitors being given something to celebrate. Both teams ‘went for it’ right from the start with plenty early action

With just eight minutes on the clock, Falkirk thought they had broken the deadlock when Nesbitt’s flick towards goal was spectacularly clawed back by Fulton to deny the Falkirk midfielder his fifth goal of the season.

Falkirk only needed 22 minutes to open the scoring when a free kick led to a bit of a scramble in our box and resulted in a handball by Hendrie, gifting Falkirk the opportunity to score from the spot. In form Morrison stepped up to take the penalty which he rifled past Fulton into the bottom right corner for his 10th goal of the season. 0-1

We then lost skipper Scott Martin through a hamstring injury.

We didn’t take long to respond to this set back when just five minutes later we equalised through Lewis Smith. A hopeful ball up field from Hendrie resulted in the wind holding up the ball, making it awkward for ‘keeper Hogarth to collect. The goalkeeper, who was under pressure from O’Hara, flapped at the ball right on the edge of the area allowing it to fall kindly to Lewis Smith who lofted the ball from 18 yards  into an empty net. 1-1

We were unable to hold onto our draw however, and four minutes later Falkirk took the lead once again through Miller who created a great chance from nothing. He then smashed the ball into the bottom corner from 20 yards out, beating Fulton low to his left.

At half time we were forced into a substitution after Fulton appeared to have injured himself, in a collision just before half time. He was replaced by Jamie Smith.

We kept pushing in the second half, but it was not to be our night and we would concede another goal and forfeit our top spot in the league.

In the 65th minute, we had a wonderful opportunity to draw the scoring level once again, when a free kick from 25 yards out was taken by Henderson. His curled effort into the top corner proved to be a  comfortable save for the Falkirk ‘keeper.

The final blow was dealt in the 79th minute when a poor free kick deep in the Falkirk half from us allowed Falkirk to counter. Macdonald looked to have the ball covered but he appeared to stumble which allowed on rushing Morrison to slot the ball past Jamie Smith for his second of the afternoon. 1-3.

We must now turn our attention to next week’s home game against Kelty Hearts.

Post-match, boss Rankin gave his thoughts on the team’s performance: “I’m obviously disappointed with the outcome of the game, but it’s not been a great day considering we lose the spine of our team within a forty five minute period. I think when the game goes to 1-1 it could swing either way.

“Overall I don’t think we did enough to win the game, but I think we can obviously play better and that’s the disappointing part.”

Speaking on the suspected injuries of players Rankin stated: “Lee comes out in the warmup; Scotty comes out 20 minutes in and then Fulton just before half time starts to feel his arm. The extent of it is we think ones done a calf, the other a hamstring and the other has fractured an arm.”

Accies: Fulton (GK) ( J Smith (GK) 45), Longridge, Barjonas (Hewitt 59), Martin (Tait 24), O’Hara, Zanatta (Henderson 59), L Smith, Macdonald, McGowan, Tumilty, Hendrie (Mumbongo 72)

Unused Subs: Murray, Winter, McGlynn, Newbury.

Falkirk: Hogarth, Lang, McCann, Henderson (Ross 72), Donaldson, Morrison (Agyeman 80), Spencer, Nesbitt, Yeats, MacIver (Allan 83), Miller (Oliver 80).

Unused Subs: Long (GK), McGinn, Bisland, McKay, Mackie.

Referee- Calum Scott / AR1- Colin Drummond / AR2- Elliott Husband -Powton 

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