Dom Thomas scored a dramatic extra time winner to send Kilmarnock through into the last quarter-finals of the Betfred Cup, releasing a little pressure off the shoulders of Angelo Alessio.
The Italian has come under a bit of stick from the Killie faithful, as his side had lost three on the spin, including the humiliating Europa League result against the part time Connah’s Quay Nomads. I personally believe had we won yesterday, It would have been no surprise if he was sacked.
It wasnt the best of games, with the torrential rain potentially playing a part. Kilmarnock enjoyed a huge amount of possession for the majority of the first-half but couldn’t get by the stubborn Accies defence.
The hosts were the first side to threaten, when on the 15th minute a deep cross was parried away by Owain Fon-Williams, but only as far as Rory McKenzie, who beat his man and saw his low drive at goal blocked by Aaron McGowan.
Midway through the first-half, Stephen O’Donnell had his long-ranged effort saved by Fon-Williams, and Sam Stubbs put the loose ball over the bar with Eamon Brophy lurking on the rebound.
The resulting corner found captain Kirk Broadfoot in acres of space, but he sent his header over.
Hamilton’s first chance of the afternoon came on the counter-attack, when Ross Cunningham played the ball out wide to Darian MacKinnon, who’s low cross was inches away from connecting with George Oakley.
On the 50th minute, a dangerous cross by Scott McMann found Oakley and the back-post, but Stuart Findlay made a fine challenge to prevent the Englishman breaking the deadlock.
Up the other end Will Collar made a mistake, which gave Eamon Brophy a chance. The former Accies man took the ball before bursting forward into the box and just as he was about to shoot, Sam Stubbs made a excellent sliding challenge to divert the ball for a corner.
The hosts best chance of the afternoon arrived on the 70th minute when Brophy’s cut-back was skied over the bar by substitute Liam Miller.
Hamilton nearly nicked it right at the death, when a mistake in the home defence allowed McGowan to pick up the ball before he unleashed a thunderous strike at goal which was well saved by Branescu.
The visitors had a fantastic opportunity within just one minute of the re-start. Mickel Miller drilled the ball across the face of goal which Branescu didn’t deal with very well. The ball fell to the feet of Marios Ogkmpoe, who put his effort wide from close-range.
It was in the 113th minute my heart and other Hamilton fans hearts were broken, as Dom Thomas squeezed the ball home from a tight angle. Greg Taylor went down the wing before his cross found Thomas at the back-post and he narrowly squeezed the ball home past Scott McMann and Fon-Williams to put Killie ahead.
Accies tried to their best to get an equaliser, but Kilmarnock saw the game out to make sure their name was in the hat on Sunday evening.
Full Time- Kilmarnock 1-0 Hamilton (AET)
Yesterday was a real sore one, we didn’t deserve to lose. I left Rugby Park absolutely gutted. We played excellent and it was a team full of fighters and winners on the park. I was delighted to see Jamie Hamilton get his debut and I thought he played exceptionally well alongside Sam Stubbs, who is becoming a fan favourite after just two games.
Next week is the the big one. Back to league business as we face Motherwell in the Lanarkshire Derby. Bring it on!
Branescu, O’Donnell, Broadfoot, Findlay, Taylor, Burke(105), Power, El Makrini(91), McKenzie(61), Innes(98), Brophy
Subs- MacDonald, Bruce, Millen Dicker(91), Kiltie(98), Millar(61), Thomas(105)
Fon-Williams, McGowan, Stubbs, Hamilton, McMann, Gogic(100), Collar(76), Cunningham(60), Smith, MacKinnon, Oakley(87)
Subs- Southwood, Fjortoft, Hughes(100), Mimnaugh(76), Miller(60), Moyo, Ogkmpoe(87)
Referee- Kevin Clancy
Assistants- Frank Connor & David Doig
Fourth official– Nick Walsh
Attendance- 3,762(253 away)
Yellow Cards- Gogic(65), Power(76), Miller(98), Dicker(120)
Red Cards- 0