Betfred League Cup, Group Stage
Berwick Rangers 0-4 Hamilton Academical
at Shielfield Park, Berwick upon Tweed
on Tuesday 24th July 2018, kick off 7.50pm
We opened our goals and win account with this comfortable win over the border on Tuesday night against League 2 side Berwick Rangers.
A hat trick from Mickel Miller – his first goals for the club – and a late effort from Rakish Bingham, deflecting in Dougie Imrie’s shot, were enough to give us a much needed win and goals boost.
Manager Martin Canning made several changes from last week’s draw with Livingston, with some players back from injury, and one or two out with a niggle. Adam Phillips made an impressive debut while Shaun Want made his first appearance of the season after his hernia op at the end of May, as did Ryan Fulton and Steven Boyd. Lenny Sowah also made his first appearance in his second spell with us.
We opened the scoring in the 4th minute when Dougie Imrie’s cross from the right was headed home at the back post by Mickel Miller. Both teams continued to probe each other, we had a few runs creating half chances, while Berwick launched a few high balls at Ryan Fulton who dealt with them comfortably. We doubled our lead in the 28th minute. Scott McMann, who had another good game, did well down the left, evading a couple of challenges, before putting a good cross in which Miller rose to knock home, under pressure from tight marking by the Berwick defence.
Want, Boyd and Bloomfield all had chances shortly after, then Imrie, Phillips and McMann combined well to give Miller another chance, but his ‘goal’ was ruled out for offside.
Boyd was lively early in the second half, setting up Bloomfield as well as having a chance himself, before Gordon and Sowah put in a couple of good tackles to deny Berwick advancing.
Bingham replaced Bloomfield on the hour, then we got a penalty when Miller was tripped and the Londoner stepped up to score from the spot and complete his hat trick! 3-0 Accies in the 63rd minute. We had another deflected effort ruled out for offside after Imrie and Bingham combined before we made it 4-0 with four minutes remaining. The ball came to Imrie about 25 yards out who shot at goal, taking at least one or two ricochets on its way in, but after being credited to Imrie it later emerged that it was Rakish Bingham who had got the final touch to send the ball over the line.
Two minutes later a Lyon shot was ruled out for offside as well, but that was the end of the scoring.
Overall a much needed and comfortable win with McMann, Phillips, Want, Gordon and others all impressing. A good travelling support too given the distance on a midweek night, so thanks to all who ventured south.
Accies – Fulton, McMann, Gordon, Phillips, Imrie, Miller, Bloomfield (Bingham 59), MacKinnon (c) (Lyon 68 ), Boyd (S Kelly 72), Sowah. subs unused – Woods, Taiwo, Cunningham, Stanger
Referee – Greig Aitken; Assistants – Graeme Leslie & Craig Ferguson
Att: 336 (125 Accies)