cinch League 1
Saturday 11th November 2023
3pm at New Douglas Park
Hamilton 5 Stirling 0
Accies web reporter Louise Davidson reports from our weekend victory…
This weekend we took on Stirling Albion who were searching for their third away win of the season. We were looking to get back to winning ways after our defeat to Cove Rangers last weekend, which ended our 18-match unbeaten run.
Rankin made two changes from the defeat last weekend to Cove Rangers with Tait and O’Hara making their return to the starting XI. Saturday’s match also saw Reghan Tumilty make his 250th career appearance.
We started the first half with high intensity and looked to be a threatening side, which would provide us with numerous goal scoring opportunities.
Just 10 minutes in O’Hara had a great chance to open the scoring when his shot was blocked by ex- Accies goalie, Currie, from a very tight angle.
Three minutes later O’Hara proved that he doesn’t miss twice when a through ball found him in the box. He took a few touches to open up the angle for himself, then coolly slotted the ball into the bottom corner scoring his 4th goal of the season. 1-0.
The next 20 minutes brought numerous free kicks and corners for ourselves- none of which we could capitalise from.
In the 37th minute, a quick kick out from ‘keeper Fulton found O’Hara. Bearing down on the Stirling goal, he crossed the ball to Henderson, who rounded the goalie and slotted the ball into an empty net to score his 5th goal of the season. 2-0.
We started the second half as we meant to go on and bagged a few more goals along the way, giving the fans plenty to cheer about.
The 55th minute saw a cheeky pass into the box from captain Scotty Martin, who had his pick of teammates lining up to strike home his pass; the lucky man was O’Hara who tapped in his second goal of the afternoon. 3-0.
Our fourth goal wasn’t far behind, when sub Smith went rampaging toward the Stirling goal. Despite looking like he had just run out of room, a fortunate slip from McLean allowed him to skip into the box and square it to Henderson who slotted home his second of the afternoon. 4-0
The 77th minute brought about a Kevin O’Hara hat-trick, when a pass from Smith found O’Hara in the box who curled his effort into the bottom left corner of the goal. 5-0.
We had another goal scoring opportunity when Martin danced his way into the Stirling box and was brought down by Moore gifting us a penalty. Henderson who was also aiming for a hat-trick stepped up to take it, but his low effort was an easy save for Currie denying his old team a sixth goal.
In the dying embers of the game, Hilson saw red for a bad challenge on Tumilty, which seemed to be an outburst of frustration, leaving Stirling with 10 men for the last three minutes.
The win this weekend sees us remain three points of top of the league rivals Falkirk, but we must look to Friday when we take on Raith Rovers in the SPFL Trust Trophy as we look to advance to the semi-finals for the second year in a row.
Post-match boss Rankin stated: “I am delighted to get the three points and the manner we got them in was extremely pleasing… and we had to bounce back from the game last week.”
Rankin also commented on the performance of Kevin O’Hara: “Kevin O’Hara is massive for what we are trying to do and for the type of football I want to play, the way he presses, the way he shuts down and his work rate is fantastic to see.”
Hat-trick hero Kevin O’Hara gave his thoughts on the game: I am delighted to get a hat-trick… It was a really good result and I think we were due a result like that, and I think that performance was coming cause the boys were excellent.”
Accies: Fulton (GK), Longridge (Hendrie 72), Kilday, Barjonas (L Smith 61), Henderson, Martin, O’Hara (Murray 77), MacDonald (Zanatta 61), McGowan, Tait (Hewitt 72), Tumilty.
Unused Subs: J Smith (GK), O’Brien, Mumbongo, McGlynn.
Stirling: Currie (GK), McGeachie, McLean, McGregor, Carrick (Dunsmore 73), Leitch (Curtis 73), Moore, Banner (Hilson 65), Wilson, Miller, Milne (Thomson 65)
Unused Subs: Weir (GK), Clark, Omobude.
Referee- Chris Fordyce / AR1- Alastair Mather / AR2- Steven Wilson
1433 (159 away)