Substitute Ben Currie’s second half double sealed Rossvale Inter’s place in the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth District League Cup final and ended Hamilton Accies hopes of an unlikely comeback.
Some of the Hamilton players were still in their beds sleeping when Christopher McKeown volleyed home from a corner to give Rossvale the lead and when they finally woke up after Kieran Hamill had doubled the advantage they found they had a mountain to climb. An unstoppable drive from Cal Connolly made it three before the break and Currie’s goals either side of consolations from Evan Duffy and Lee Brown made it a dream performance from Rossvale.
Accies nightmare began when they went behind with the first meaningful attack of the game. Slack marking allowed McKeown to ghost in from outside of the box and volley home Connolly’s corner from 12-yards.
Neither side looked particularly fluid or commanding. This wasn’t a free-flowing football match, more a battle for supremacy in a tightly packed middle of the pitch. Accies managed to force Jamie Brown into a smart stop from Conner Smith’s twisting volley, but Smith’s resulting corner was easily dealt with.
Then, as quick as a flash, Rossvale were 2-0 up. A rapid counter attack looked to have been mopped up by the Accies defence but Fraser McLennan dispossessed a defender and instantly played through Hamill who lobbed Jordan Pettigrew in the Hamilton goal with ease. It was all too easy for Rossvale who were alert and ready to pounce on any Accies slip up.
Going two down finally seemed to rouse Accies who managed a sustained spell of pressure for the first time in the match. They caused some panic in the Rossvale defence with cross balls that the keeper struggled to deal with, but despite some spills and scrambles the defence held firm. It looked for all the world that Brown was about to pull one back for Accies when Duffy’s shot was parried into his path with the goal gaping but it was taken off his toes by an excellent tackle from Owen McGoldrick.
Accies were still suffering from the same frailties at the back however, switching off and allowing Connolly to play through Hamill one on one only for the striker to screw his shot wide. The lack of concentration was pervasive throughout the Accies team and contributed to the third goal. A simple pass in midfield went astray, with Rossvale showing more fight and desire to get to every ball first, Hamill this time turned provider to Connolly who hit a curving, dipping drive from 25-yards right into the postage stamp, leaving Pettigrew helpless.
It was a stunning strike and with only a few minutes till half-time you felt it was a killer blow for Accies. They threw everything forward to try and get back into the game before the break, Smith coming close after Duffy had won the second ball from a deep free-kick. Something Accies hadn’t done enough of in the rest of the half.