Hamilton Academical v Alloa Athletic
cinch League One
Saturday 16th September 2023
3pm at New Douglas Park
Hamilton Accies 2 Alloa Athletic 1
Accies website reporter Louise Davidson with the details of Saturday’s win….
This weekend we were aiming to maintain our unbeaten run and striving to hold on to our top of the league position when we took on ex-manager Brian Rice’s Alloa who were searching for their third win of the season.
Rankin made four changes to the team that won at Coleraine the previous week with ‘keeper Ryan Fulton making his first appearance since his injury in May, and O’Hara, Tait and Barjonas all returning to the starting XI. Our captain, Scott Martin also made his 150th appearance for the club.
The first half provided us with a few opportunities to take the lead early on, however, we were unable to convert these chances.
The first 11 minutes proved to be an exciting start to the game when Kilday’s chip from 20 yards out found the feet of Barjonas in the Alloa box, but he was unable to provide the vital touch to send the ball past the ‘keeper.
Our only other real opportunity of the first half came in the 34th minute when Longridge and Henderson had some lovely link up play in the box, which allowed Longridge to shoot from six yards out, but his shot was a relatively easy save for the goalie.
Even though we had the bulk of possession and some of the best opportunities of the half, the visitors stood firm and held us at bay for the last 15 minutes of the half. Alloa also had to replace their goalkeeper Morrison through injury
The second half proved to be a testing time for both teams, with both eager to take the lead and avoid conceding the first goal.
We struck first in the 46th minute when Barjonas came in from the left side and easily skilled past his man in the box to cut the ball back to Henderson who was waiting to guide it into the bottom left corner.
Alloa didn’t allow this set back to stop them as in the 67th minute, a free kick from 20 yards out, taken by O’Donnell, hit the junction of the goal and ricocheted back into play. This caused a bit of a scramble in our box, which allowed Alloa striker, Luke Donnelly to hammer the ball past Fulton into the top right corner of the goal bringing the game back on level terms.
We left it late to take the lead with a Joe McGlynn goal in 90+3’ seeing us grab the three points. Scenes!
In additional time, Martin was wiped out just past the halfway line during a great driving run, which gave us a last opportunity through a free kick. Martin stepped up and took it quickly, passing it to MacDonald who had peeled away to the right touch line. A sublime cross found McGlynn who had lost his man in the centre of the box allowing him to instinctively flick the ball past the Alloa ‘keeper Ogayi and into the back of the net, sealing the win for us.
Post-match John Rankin stated, “I am absolutely delighted seeing us in the game right at the death we get the winner…I have to give the players huge credit as they kept going right to the death.”
Rankin also commented on the movement from McGlynn to give us all three points “You have to look at Joe’s movement as he got across the defender in the first place, and I thought to take the defender one way to move across him was really good and it was really mature for his age.”
The win this weekend sees us remain joint top of the league with Falkirk, with us now having taken 16 points from six games. Next weekend we move on to face Queen of the South who are searching for their second home win of the league season.
Accies: Fulton (GK), Longridge, Kilday, Barjonas (Murray 82), Henderson (Hewitt 82), Martin, O’Hara (L Smith 61), MacDonald, McGowan, Tait (McGlynn 74), Tumility (Zanatta 74).
Unused Subs: J Smith (GK), O’Brien, McGinn, Hendrie.
Alloa: Morrison (GK) (Ogayi (GK)), Taggart, Hetherington, Roberts (Virtanen), Cawley (Donnelly), O’Donnell, Bebayo, Devine, Sammon (Cannon), Neill, Steven.
Unused Subs: Deveney, Graham, Rodden, McKay, Buchanan.
Referee- George Calder / AR1- Stuart Stevenson / AR2- Thomas Denholm
1,259 (66 away support)