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Hamilton Academical v Montrose Cinch League One Saturday 27th January 2023 3pm at New Douglas Park 

Accies web reporter Louise Davidson reports from NDP…..

Hamilton 1  Montrose 1 

On Saturday we took on Montrose aiming to seal another three points on our push for the title. Boss John Rankin made two changes to the starting XI from our last game against Cove Rangers, with suspended Williamson making way for debutant Jake Hastie, and Henderson swapping with Hewitt.

The first half was relatively quiet leaving Jamie Smith with very little to do. We began to find our flow as the minutes went on, which allowed us to lead  at half time.

O’Hara thought he had opened the scoring in the 7th minute when a good long ball from Owens gave him space to run into to, which allowed him to drive towards goal. O’Hara appeared to attempt to dink the ball over the keeper and surely into an open net, but Montrose’s Dillion was on hand to clear the ball off the line.

Eight minutes later Kevin O’Hara made sure that he found the net this time to push us into the lead. A great Lewis Smith cross from the left touchline found O’Hara in the box whose scissor kick beat keeper Gill and found its way into the bottom corner. 1-0. That was his  12th goal for the season.

We went into half-time comfortably with the 1-0 score line despite having plenty of opportunities to double our lead.

The second half proved to be much like the first, although we were dealt a bitter blow at the end that would see us throw away two points.

In the  57th minute, O’Hara pressured the Montrose ‘keeper into a poor pass which fell kindly to Hewitt who tried his luck from 30 yards out with his shot narrowly dipping over the crossbar.

Montrose had a good opportunity to level scoring just a few minutes later through Machado whose effort lashed just past the right post, however, his shot didn’t appear to trouble Smith.

The 85th minute brought agony for us when a poorly defended free kick allowed Montrose to steal a point. A quality cross from substitute Callaghan found the head of Quinn who somehow manged find Graham unmarked in the box. He coolly poked the ball into the bottom corner past Smith to ensure that the points were divided equally. 1-1.

Post-match a disappointed Rankin gave his take on the team’s performance: “I’m really frustrated, actually I’m more than frustrated, I’m disappointed… I felt when we scored, we lacked the personality we had previously where we could have gone on to score again and dominate play.

“When we score, we allowed Montrose to come on top of us and we allowed them [Montrose] to dictate parts of the game and then it became a game of basketball where we didn’t have any control.”

Boss Rankin spoke positively of Jake Hastie and his debut performance: “Jake has lots of pace and he is really quick, he can get forward and at times he takes off and it’s hard for the opposition to catch him.

“He had opportunities in the game to get shots away and he’ll make a ball out of nothing for himself just with his pace. I’m looking forward to seeing the impact that he can make.”

Accies: J Smith (GK), Longridge, Barjonas, O’Hara, Smith (Winter 76), Hastie (Kilday 58 ), Macdonald, McGowan, Tumilty (Kirk 86), Hewitt (Henderson 58 ), Owens.

Unused Subs: Lyness (GK), Redfern, McGlynn, Hendrie, Latona.

Montrose: Gill (GK), Steeves, Quinn, Webster, Watson (Batchelor 69), Hester (Craig 69), Lyons (Callaghan 45), Dillon, Shrive (Machado 45), Graham, Brown (Martin 78)

Unused Subs: Matthews (GK), Grant.

Referee- Calum Scott/ AR1- Craig Ferguson / AR2- Chris Hobbs 

Attendance – 778 (30 away)

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