William Hill Scottish Cup Round 4
Saturday 9th January 2016
Annan Athletic 4 Hamilton Academical 1
We travelled south to our fourth round cup tie, full of hope and a much changed first XI, enforced by injury and suspension. Michael Devlin (back from long term injury), Alex D’Acol and Danny Redmond all on from the start. Annan went ahead early on with a goal from Matty Flynn, Josh Todd doubled their advantage at the start of the second half. Greg Docherty got one back, but any thoughts of a fight back were forgotten, when Omar scored twice.
To say that it was a shock when Annan scored in the 5th minute would be an understatement, the locals were ecstatic but a little unsure at first. The ball was played long into the Accies half, Weatherson headed on, Todd touched into the penalty area, and Flynn stuck to the side of Michael McGovern for the opener, 1-0.
Then to rub salt in an open wound, goal scorer Flynn, won a challenge and knocked inside. Josh Todd took it to the corner of the penalty area and crossed for Peter Weatherson on the edge of the 18 yard line. He struck first time, but his shot lacked power and McGovern was on hand to gather. Accies then sent a 35 yard free kick, high over the cross bar.
Weatherson was causing all sorts of problems for Hamilton. The ball was played long and beyond the Hamilton back post, it was sent back in and Weatherson struck with an outstretched foot, but McGovern saved. From an Ali Crawford corner, Alex D’Acol rose to head just high of the goal. Annan almost made it two when Devlin was caught out at the back, Todd intercepted and shot by the post.
Ziggy Gordon made a run out on the left and passed inside to Eamonn Brophy on the edge of the Annan penalty area. Brophy brought under control with his back to goal, turned and shot, but Jordan Hart was on hand to make his first save. Brophy then sliced a volley well past the post from 15 yards, closely followed by another headed D’Acol effort that went wide.
Greg Docherty, who was having a decent game, cut inside from wide and evaded two defenders before shooting wide from 22 yards. Ali Crawford shot close past the post, then Devlin headed over from a Crawford corner. Accies were trying everything to get that equaliser, their play outside the penalty area was okay, but a goal wasn’t on the cards.
As the clock ticked down on the first half, Accies moved the ball around well then went down the right hand side of the park. Brophy held the play up, then knocked inside for Greg Docherty, the midfielder curled his cross into the Annan Athletic penalty area, Alex D’Acol then managed to out jump the Annan defence and head wide.
Some fans where just returning to their seats, when the unthinkable happened. A minute into the second half, the ball went forward to Josh Todd, played a one two with Weatherson and shot past the charging McGovern, 2-0. Docherty had a shot saved after doing well to outpace three defenders, Brophy had a 20 yard strike saved by Hart, then struck past the post from close range.
Nothing was working, then we brought on new signing 23 year old Christopher Mandiangu for a debut, the German having signed earlier in the week. He made an immediate impact when Jesus Garcia Tena sent a long cross field ball into space. Mandiangu controlled, cut inside and struck toward the near post from 25 yards, Hart held comfortably. Gordon then crossed for Brophy, but struck wide.
Then Accies pulled one back. Garcia Tena played the ball into the penalty area, Brophy controlled and played inside, and Greg Docherty struck from seven yards, 2-1. The joy didn’t last long as Annan made it three just 30 seconds later. Todd picked up the ball from a mix up in Hamilton’s defence, his shot was blocked, but Rabin Omar was on hand to follow up and strike from eight yards, 3-1.
The misery was heaped on when McGovern saved from 30 yards, the ball rolled out and Devlin attempted to clear, Todd slid in and the ball struck the post! The fourth came in the 70th minute from a short Ryan Finnie free kick. It struck the chest of Carlton Morris, who had just come on, on the edge of the penalty area, Omar challenged, the ball went free, Omar chased down and sent past McGovern from eight yards, 4-1.
Gutted Accies boss Martin Canning said afterwards “I’m bitterly disappointed, what I will say is I think Annan deserved to win the game, which is disappointing from our point of view. Coming down here, I would fully expect us to win this game, it’s always a difficult place to come to down here to a lower league club, where it’s a massive game and massive occasion.
“As a manager and a player, you’ve got to keep on working hard and believe in yourselves, that’s something the group and myself have got to do. We’ve got to set about things right, but results wise, they’re just not good enough and performances recently and today are a million miles away from what I expect.
“It sums up the day for us when you look at it, we put ourselves in a position where you’ve got to try and come back from 2-1 down to Annan, and as I say they’re a League Two club. As we are a Premiership side, you’d think we would come down here and win the game, but all credit to them, they’ve worked they’re socks off and deserve the result.”
Annan: Hart, Black, Sloan, McNiff, Watson, McStay (Osadolor 68), Finnie, Flynn (Park 90+1), Weatherson(MacDonald 88), Todd, Omar. Subs Unused: Currie, McColm, Norman.
Goals: Flynn 5, Todd 46, Omar 66, 70.
Cautions : Omar, Todd.
Accies: McGovern, Gordon, Devlin, Gillespie, D’Acol (Morris 70), Redmond (Mandiangu 56), Crawford, MacKinnon, Brophy, Docherty (Lyon 85), Garcia Tena. Subs Unused: Sendles-White, Nade, Hughes, Martin.
Goals: Docherty 65.
Referee: Barry Cook Assistants: Alisdair Ross & David Roome.