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Accies 0-3 St Mirren, 3rd April 2021

Accies media team Martin McConnell was at NDP on Saturday…

The Scottish Cup, Round 3

Foys Stadium, New Douglas Park, Hamilton

on Saturday, 3rd April, 2021, kick off 3pm.

Hamilton Academical 0 St Mirren 3

A much delayed Scottish Cup competition this season, saw us start in round 3, and play our first Scottish Cup tie in April, since we appeared in the 1935 Final v Rangers.

The match also marked skipper Brian Easton’s 400th career appearance.

We were knocked out at the third round of the Scottish Cup following a strong showing from the Buddies. Two spectacular goals and a spot kick proved too much on the day but it was far from a battering as we dominated for spells.

Hamilton got off to the worst possible start when McGrath put the visitors ahead after a few minutes of play. Although Accies then had a better second half, they just couldn’t create enough in front of goal. St. Mirren struck twice more when Dennis struck from distance and McGrath tucked a penalty away.

An emotional Brian Rice said afterwards, “It was never a 3-0 game. Never in a million years. The first 20-25 minutes, St. Mirren were by far the better team. I thought we dominated the rest of the game but that’s just my opinion.

I’d like my boys to get some credit for their performance today because as I said, it was never a 3-0. They’ve given it everything despite us being down to the bare bones and now we’ve got to pick ourselves up and go again. And we will.”

Both teams made a couple of changes to the starting line-ups that faced each other in the Premiership just a fortnight ago. Hamilton had Ronan Hughes and David Moyo replace Ben Stirling and Callum Smith. Whilst St. Mirren had McAllister and Tait replaced by Connolly and Erhahon.

Bruce Anderson had an early shot on goal from 20 yards and although it was a decent effort, the ‘keeper comfortably held. Within seconds, play switched to the opposite half when Durmus sent the ball wide for Jamie McGrath who lifted it perfectly over Fulton’s head and in at the back post.

The visitors had by far the best of the play after 25 minutes. McGrath had a further couple of shots both saved by Fulton, and Durmus and Obika both watched efforts sail wide of the right-hand post.

Accies finally produced a great chance themselves when Hughes played the ball inside for McMann, then again quickly fed wide for Lee Hodson. His blistering shot stung the palms of Alnwick who managed to turn it out for a corner kick.

Hamilton began to see a bit more of the ball inside the last third and were awarded a free kick when Scott McMann was brought down as he tried to force his way into the penalty area. Callachan did manage to curl the ball low around the wall but Alnwick was perfectly positioned to make the save.

A better start to the second half almost saw Accies pull themselves level. A nice piece of close control by Anderson followed by a nice touch wide, allowed Callachan to race up the right and send a perfectly weighted cross towards the back post where Moyo headed narrowly over the cross bar.

Hamilton continued to chase for that elusive equaliser but their hopes were dashed when Obika played the ball wide for Dennis, who then took a touch inside and struck beautifully over the head of the ‘keeper and straight in at the back post top corner.

St. Mirren found a third just a few minutes later when Obika went down inside the penalty area as Fulton dived for the ball. The spot kick was awarded and McGrath duly struck the ball home to pick up a brace for his excellent day’s work.

Accies: Fulton, Odoffin, McMann, Easton, Anderson, S Martin (Hamilton 38 ), Hughes (Munro 77), A Martin, Moyo, Hodson, Callachan. Subs Unused: Gourlay, Scully, Stirling, Stanger, C Smith.

St. Mirren: Alnwick, Shaughnessy, McCarthy, Doyle-Hayes, Obika, Durmus (Henderson 85), McGrath, Connolly (Dennis 63), Fraser, Erwin (Flynn 54), Erhahon. Subs Unused: Lyness, Tait, McAllister, MacPherson, Finlayson, Reid.

Goals: McGrath 4, 78 pen, Dennis 73.

Referee: Euan Anderson. Assistants: Alan Mulvanny & Stuart Stevenson. 4th Official: David Lowe.

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