Tuesday marked our fourth and final pre-season fixture, which came with a trip to Dumbarton FC. I was expecting to see a young side out last evening since on Monday we sent a near enough, full strength squad out to play Stirling Albion. I have probably said this before but I hold our youngsters in very high regard as they are a very good bunch of players, so seeing a squad like this out didn’t make me think ” well that’s us lost” . It was about a week or so ago “The Sons” had to cancel a pre-season fixture against Dunfermline due to the lack of players in Jim Duffy’s side. They have numerous players out of contract and a large sum of players left the club at the end of last season. They managed to get their first friendly played on Saturday when they faced Dundee United at the Dumbarton Stadium. It looks like they just about to manage to pull a squad together with TEN trialists involved. Six started and four were on the bench. Fair play to everyone involved as they defied the odds and beat a strong United side 3-2 which included United’s new signing Lawrence Shankland, who was the Championship top goal-scorer last season with 24 goals.
Last Time We Met
The last time faced Dumbarton was a friendly in 2014 where Mickael Antoine-Curier scored a hat-rick in a 3-1 win but the last time we competitively faced The Sons was in 2013 which was a day most of us probably wont haven’t forgotten for all the bad reasons. It was the day where we got knocked off the top spot in the Championship table and allowed Dundee to over-take us with just one game left remaining. Scott Agnew put the hosts ahead following a free-kick but Jason Scotland equalised just before the break. The second half was a half to forget. Colin Nish headed the home side ahead before Alex Neil was sent off for violent conduct. It continued to get worse the Accies with Mitch Megginson and Jordan Kirkpatrick both adding goals to make it 4-1 to Dumbarton, summing up a day to forget for Hamilton. It ended their 11 game unbeaten run actually. Although it wasn’t done there. The next weekend we went on to hammer the already relegated Morton 10-2, matching our club record highest scoring victory. Our impressive victory meant nothing though as once again Dumbarton done us no favours and lost to Dundee.
As we all know they went on to beat Falkirk 2-1 on aggregate in the play-off semi-final before losing 2-0 at home to Hibernian in the first leg of the final. Accies never gave up and went to Easter Road and won 2-0 to take it to extra time before the most nerve-racking penalty shoot-out ill ever watch live in my life. Hamilton won the shoot-out after scoring all of their penalties which meant getting promoted to the Premiership.
Still to this day we are proving the pundits wrong and defying the odds of being tipped for relegation every single season
It wasn’t that bad, right? 😉
Accies got off to a flyer in this one as they took the lead on the second minute. It came from a poor pass from one of The Sons trialists(No-14) ,who gave the ball away cheaply in midfield, allowing Charlie Reilly to snatch the ball and pick out Ross Cunningham with a pin-point pass. Cunningham took a touch and slotted it by Conor Brennan to give the young Accies side an early lead. On the ninth minute Marios Ogkmpoe was sent running down the line before the Cypriot tried to cut it back for Cunningham, but the ball was taken off the feet of the striker before he could unleash his effort.
Dumbarton’s first chance of the evening came from a corner which was floated in from Stefan McCluskey. It found the head of Trialist(No-4), who headed over the bar from inside the six-yard box. The hosts came close again to getting themselves back on level terms when some link up play from trialist(No-3) and trialist(No-17) led to a shot from the former which was almost dropped into his own net by the Accies trialist keeper.
If this wasn’t a pre-season friendly the Dumbarton keeper would have 100% been sent off. On the 23rd minute Brennan came racing off his line before bringing Cunningham down just outside the area, as the Accies man was just about to round him and probably put Hamilton 2-0 up. Regan Mimnaugh stepped up and curled the resulting free-kick just over the bar. Minutes later Ogkmpoe did manage to round the keeper this time without being touched, but he fired his effort into the side-netting.
It was a very feisty first-half for a pre-season friendly to be honest and if referee Colin Steven wasn’t so lenient we would have of had probably seen two red cards and a bunch of yellow. However Dumbarton’s trialist(4) was eventually booked after committing two/three terrible challenges.
Accies did indeed double their advantage on the 41st minute when a deep cross by George Stanger was chested down by Ogkmpoe into the path of young Jack Breen, who bulleted a half-volley home into the roof of the net, giving Brennan absolutely no chance. That’s the midfielders second goal of pre-season as he continues to impress.
Half Time- Dumbarton 0-2 Hamilton
There was unfortunately very little action to report from the second-half, which was probably one of the poorest and most boring half’s of football I’ve ever and will ever see. There wasn’t one shot on target, dangerous free-kick or anything.
The only memorable chance of the second half came on the 49th minute, when a Dumbarton corner was delivered in and met by the head of trialist(No-18) who headed over.
The hosts controlled most of the possession for the majority of the half but when it got to the business end they always seemed to make a mistake and couldn’t test the Accies trialist keeper. Full credit to the young Accies defence who were excellent all evening.
Dylan Forrest made his debut for Hamilton, playing the final 15 minutes. The 17 year-old signed from Celtic last week and will be placed in the very talented development squad. He will bring plenty experience to the side as the central midfielder has caps at U16 and U17 level for his country as well as captaining them.
Full Time- Dumbarton 0-2 Hamilton
Brennan, Crawford, Trialist, Trialist, Neill, Carswell, McCluskey, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist,
Subs- Trialist, Hutton, Tierney, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, McMillan, Pettigrew
Trialist, Stanger, McCann, Hamilton, Fjortoft, Wilson, Mimnaugh, Breen, Ogkmpoe, Reilly, Cunningham
Subs- Connelly, Meikle, Forrest, Smith, Winter, Slaven
Referee- Colin Slaven
Assistants- David Roome & Elliot Husband-Powton
Goals- Cunningham(2), Breen(41)
Yellow Cards- Dumbarton(Trialist No-4)
Red Cards- 0