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Hamilton Accies cruised through to a Scottish Cup final against Linwood Rangers following a comfortable victory over a spirited Burnhead Colts side. The much postponed tie finally took place on the 4G surface at Hamilton Palace in front of a large and expectant crowd. There was a certain nervousness in the air but thankfully the heavy rain from earlier in the day had disappeared, although it was replaced by a strong, howling wind which made playing conditions very difficult.
After an excessive display of refereeing pedanticness including a prolonged warm up and forcing a couple of Burnhead players to remove their under armour, the game finally got under way. Within the first minute Accies Connor Reid had a great opportunity to open the scoring as he was put through on goal. However his effort was well blocked by the outrushing Burnhead keeper Scott McLuggage. This early threat from Accies provided the theme for a first half which they dominated.
Burnhead were finding it difficult against the wind and were being met by incessant Accies attacks, particularly down the right from Robbie Torrance. Torrance was linking well with Reid and another Accies forward, Dylan Henry. Reid soon had an effort ruled out for offside, much to the chagrin of the Accies fans nearby. Reid did not allow this to phase him however, soon setting up Lewis Campbell for a chance but he shot wide.
It was proving a real struggle for Burnhead to even take a goal kick in the conditions but they were hanging in there and defending competently. Left back Greg Torrance was relishing his battle with namesake Robbie. The players were doing well to make a game of it at all given the conditions with Burnhead having their first shot at goal in the seventeenth minute from Darren Park, the hero of their quarter final victory. This effort was comfortably saved by Josh McGill however.
Any confidence Burnhead took out of this attack was soon shattered as Hamilton went one ahead in the nineteenth minute. Torrance showed great perseverance to chase a ball down and keep it in play before a fantastic piece of skill took him past his man. His cross was of a similar quality and after breaking off a Burnhead defender Henry was there to adroitly knock home past the helpless McLuggage. Accies were deservedly ahead in the tie.
Burnhead were hanging in there and almost created a great chance to equalise in the twenty fifth minute. The ball would simply not break to them in the box with Callum McAig’s eventual shot blocked by an Accies defender. This was to prove to be a crucial intervention as with their next attack they moved two nil ahead. Henry burst into the box and showed great strength to hold off his man to create a shooting opportunity. Once the opportunity presented itself he wasted no time to lash a shot high into the net to put his side two goals up.
Within five minutes it was three nil and looking like game over. Campbell took full advantage of the opportunity to shoot from outside the box, hitting a great long range effort high over the despairing dive of McLuggage. Accies found themselves three nil ahead as the half time whistle went and already dreaming of the final in Airdrie.
Half Time: Burnhead Colts 0-3 Hamilton Accies BC
Given the effort put in by both sides it was no surprise that the second half was a less eventful affair. Burnhead always played as if they were still in with a chance and if they were able to get an early goal they may well have been.
Unfortunately from Burnhead's point of view however it was Accies who got the next goal, six minutes into the second half. This time it was Reid on the score sheet, showing typical strikers instinct to turn in the box and prod the ball into the net.
Burnhead were desperate for a goal that their efforts on an occasion such as this deserved. They pressed hard which in turn led to space opening up for Accies. Torrance shot into the side netting for Accies before Burnhead’s Brandon Laing was very unlucky to see his snap shot cleared round the post for a corner. Laing seemed to have lifted the spirits of his side and he could be seen chasing balls down into the corner right up until the full time whistle.
The full time whistle arrived though and it was met with great joy by those of a Hamilton persuasion. An excellent first half performance had seen them through and they can look forward with confidence to their final against Linwood Rangers. Burnhead’s cup run was over but they can be very proud of their display, both in this game and over the course of the competition.
Full Time: Burnhead Colts 0-4 Hamilton Accies BC