Kilwinning Rangers pulled off a major shock on Wednesday night as they stunned a strong Hamilton side.
The Buffs, who play in the SJFA West Region Premiership, ran out 2-0 winners on the night, thanks to an impressive acrobatic effort from Gary Fleming, followed by an Alex McWatters free-kick.
The Hamilton side included first team regulars with the likes of Aaron McGowan, Steve Davies, Johnny Hunt, Regan Mimnaugh and the new highly rated striker Korede Adedoyin all starting in what was a night to forget for the Scottish Premiership side.
Hamilton got the game underway as the sunshine beamed down over Buffs Park.
It was a bad start to the evening for the visitors, as regular first team starter, Steve Davies limped off injured after just three minutes. He was replaced by Andrew Winter.
The home side started the much better team, with Accies being bullied all over the park.
The first effort of the evening came on the seventh minute, when some nice link-up play between Alex McWatters and Carlo Monti led to a fizzing shot from the midfielder being parried away by Kyle Gourlay. Minutes later, a dangerous delivery by Monti found the head of Darren Frye and his header was well saved.
The away side eventually managed to get a shot at goal after barely being out of their own half in the first 20 minutes, when they were awarded a free-kick around 25 yards out. Regan Mimnaugh stood over the ball, before his curling free-kick took a wicked deflection and wrong-footed Adam Strain in The Buffs goal. Thankfully for him the ball trickled just wide of the post.
It was a much poorer contest than I had imagined, but I can only believe this was down to how poor Accies had been so far.
The junior side looked to be full of confidence and kept throwing everything at the Accies backline, with numerous dangerous crosses causing huge problems.
The final chance in what was a desperately poor first half, especially for the visitors, came just before the interval. A long throw-in by McWatters caused all sorts of problems in the Hamilton box after Gourlay flapped at the initial high ball. The ball ended up bouncing around the six-yard-box before being put out for a corner.
Half Time- Kilwinning Rangers 0-0 Hamilton
The away side made a couple of changes at half-time with Aaron McGowan and Korede Adedoyin coming off and they were replaced by Charlie Reilly and Marley Redfern
Adedoyin was so poor and he looks a mile off the pace which came as a huge disappointment as he came with such a huge reputation and Aaron McGowan has surely got to be struggling with fitness or I would imagine he wouldn’t be playing a friendly against a junior side on his 23rd birthday.
Anyway, the second half got underway and Accies looked a little bit sharper now. They started well and Charlie Reilly nearly made an instant impact on the 47th minute , when Leon McCann beat his man down the left wing before his cutback was side-footed into the side-netting by the 17-year-old.
Johnny Hunt was next to have an effort at goal for Hamilton, when his curling effort was tipped around the post for a corner by Strain.
The deadlock was broken on the 75th minute and It was Kilwinning who took the lead. A corner was delivered into the box by McWatters which found Gary Fleming in acres of space at the back-post and he made no mistake as his acrobatic effort went flying past Gourlay, who stood absolutely no chance.
Accies failed to respond and soon found themselves down 2-0. The Buffs were awarded a free-kick at the edge of the box which McWatters took,and his effort somehow beat substitute goalkeeper Jamie Smith, at his front-post.
It was a bitterly disappointing night for Accies, who hardly tested the hosts keeper all night. A night that will be quickly forgotten.
Full Time- Kilwinning Rangers 2-0 Hamilton
Well what can I say apart from that was another horrendous performance, and unfortunately its not been the first one so far this season. When I seen the team-sheet I was actually surprised as I thought it was a full reserve side, but we actually sent a couple of first team players down. Regardless of the team, the youth team should be comfortably beating a junior side like Kilwinning Rangers, who probably didn’t even play their strongest side also. The worst thing is that we hardly even tested them. It different if you walk away saying ” we dominated them but we couldn’t score” than saying “we had one or two shots on target”. Fitness seems to be a real problem around the squad at the minute. Adedoyin was a huge disappointment.
Thankfully we are back to the real stuff on Saturday, where a win at Airdrie could potentially seal us a place in the next round of the Betfred cup.
Just a quick shout-out to Kilwinning who have a great wee set-up and just need a stand to make it look even better. After speaking to a committee member, I did hear there are two stands being built if they are granted permission to do so.