Hamilton progressed into the fifth round of the Scottish Cup with a comfortable 5-0 win against League Two side Edinburgh City.
Saturdays victory was Accies biggest Scottish Cup win since 1922, where Hamilton ran out 9-0 winners against Gala.
The game was dominated by the Premiership side and in reality was put to bed by half time. Andy Dales opened his Accies account just 22 minutes into his debut, before Scott McMann’s strike from distance doubled Hamilton’s advantage five minutes later.
Brian Rice’s men sealed their spot in the next round on the stroke of half-time when Scott Martin’s strike from distance took a deflection off Conrad Balatoni and sent the wrong-footed Alan Martin the wrong way.
The second-half wasn’t great, with Accies beginning to take their foot off the gas, but there was still time for more debut goals.
17-year-old academy graduate Andrew Winter came off the bench for the final half hour and the loudest cheer of the afternoon came on the 80th minute when the teenager made it 4-0 with a fantastic curling effort into the far corner.
The visitors were beginning to fall apart as Mickel Miller added a fifth shortly after. Substitute, Johnny Hunt crossed from the right-hand side and it was Miller who rose highest and guided his header beyond Martin.
Hamilton head coach Brian Rice made four changes from the side that beat Motherwell before the break. Owain Fon Williams and Markus Fjortoft both returned to the starting 11 for the first time since November, replacing the recalled pair in Luke Southwood and Sam Stubbs. New signing Andy Dales made his Accies debut, replacing Will Collar while Blair Alston came in for Derby Day hero, David Moyo.
James McDonaugh made two changes to the Edinburgh City line-up that lost to Queen’s Park last weekend, with Callum Crane and Chris Kane coming in for Marc Laird and Jonathan Court.
From the outset you could tell that Hamilton were well up for this and they were in complete control from the first whistle.
The first opportunity of the afternoon arrived on the 10th minute. Mickel Miller raced by a couple of Edinburgh City players before cutting inside and firing at goal, but Alan Martin got down well to block the effort.
Five minutes later, Hamilton came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock when the impressive Andy Dales got on the end of Miller’s cross and his header came crashing back off the underside of the bar.
On the 22nd minute, Accies deservedly took the lead through Dales. The goal came from a similar chance to his first effort, but this time it was Aaron McGowan who was the provider and the winger guided his header past Martin to put Hamilton ahead.
Brian Rice’s side continued to pile the pressure on the League Two side and doubled their lead five minutes later. Scott McMann picked up the ball on the edge of the box and his low drive ended up beating the static Martin.
Dales seriously impressed and looks to be the creative spark that Accies have been crying out for. On the 40th minute, the on loan Scunthorpe United man darted forward from inside his own half, leaving a bunch of City players in his wake. He curled an effort at goal which was comfortably saved by Martin.
Inside the dying moments of the first half it was 3-0 as Scott Martin bagged his first Hamilton goal when his long ranged effort took a huge deflection off Conrad Balatoni and ended up the back of the net.
The second half saw academy graduate Andrew Winter come on to make his first team debut aged just 17-years old. The teenager has been banging in the goals for the Reserve Side and repaid the faith that was put in him as he made it 4-0 on the 80th minute. After receiving the ball on the right-hand-side, Winter twisted and turned past his man and curled an effort into the far corner.
The Citizens looked like they had thrown the towel in and Miller added a fifth soon after as he got on the end of Johnny Hunt’s cross and headed beyond Martin.
A near perfect afternoon for the Premiership side, with the only negatives being that both Aaron McGowan and Scott McMann came off with knocks. Hopefully it was just precautionary substitutions with the midweek fixture at Easter Road against Hibernian in mind.
Full Time- Hamilton 5-0 Edinburgh City
Brian Rice- “I think it was a bit of a continuation from the Motherwell performance, especially in the first half where we were on the front foot. We scored a couple of good goals and that put the game to bed in the first half”
Andrew Winter- ” I’m buzzing. I had a feeling today was the day I would get on and when I did I just tried to make as much of an impact as I could. When I got my chance I took it.”
Andy Dales – ” I think to score a goal on your debut is what you dream of and it’s a great feeling. I just want to play games and to play with a smile on my face.”
Fon-Williams, McGowan(33), Fjortoft, Easton, McMann(46), Gogic, Martin, Miller, Dales(61), Alston, Oakley
Subs- Gourlay, Hunt(46), Collar(33), Smith, Ogkmpoe, Davies, Winter(61)
Edinburgh City XI
Martin, Thomson, Balatoni, Wilson, Henderson, Brown, Crane, Harris(81), Handling, Shepard(77), Kane
Subs- Beveridge, Newman, Quate, Shaw, Court(77), Sinclair(81), Stewart
Referee- Euan Anderson
Assistants- Frank Connor & George King
Attendance- 1,040 (90 Edinburgh City)
Goals- Dales(22), McMann(27), Martin(44), Winter(80), Miller(84)
Yellow Cards- Shepard(23), Fjortoft(53)
Red Cards- N/A