It was a game swung both ways, played in sweltering extra time heat in Port Glasgow . In the end PFD United emerged as worthy Tom McPhillips League Cup winners on the balance of chances at Parklea, but only after being pushed into extra time by Accies. The game’s decisive moment may just have been late on when Accies were reduced to 10 men, which PFD were to take full advantage of in the additional time against tiring opponents.
Perhaps PFD might have wondered why the game was not beyond Accies in normal time, having carved out by far the best of the opportunities. Instead it was Accies who gave them a lesson in finishing to take the lead on the cusp of half time. But United regrouped to eventually lift the Tom McPhillips Cup and cap a successful season.
Both sides set up in 4-4-2 formation as the game began a midfield chess match, with neither side quite stamping their authority on it. Both were earning set pieces around the box, allowing the respective keepers to get an easy touch of the ball for the opening 20 minutes.
The first real test for Stephen Mooney in the Hamilton goal was to pick the ball out of his net on 21 minutes as his side were undone from one of these set pieces. This time Connor Gunn’s free kick caused some hesitation in the defence and Alan O’Malley was on hand to nip in and score at the far post.
PFD were looking rampant and threatened to put the game out of sight two minutes later, but Charlie McQuillan could only shoot over after good feet had got him through on the Mooney’s goal. Up front Patrick Carrigan was also causing chaos with some tricky runs beyond the Accies defence, but unable to convert opportunities.
Hamilton’s best effort on target to this point was a Robbie Torrance strike from the edge of the box, which the PFD keeper handled to parry clear. They turned it round though, against all odds, to go into the lead at half time.
Firstly, a great run down the right by Aaron Black found the winger in space to pick out Robbie Torrance in the box. He tapped home the equaliser from close range. And Accies went one better again as they took the lead right on the ref’s whistle for the break. It came down the opposite flank, as Reece Patrick Coyle found Cameron Wray with a good through ball to cross for Stephen Coupland unmarked to finish.