Red sky at night, Shepherd’s delight
Hamilton u20 vs Falkirk u20
Tuesday 4th October 2016
Hamilton: 34 Woods, 2 Breslin, 3 Sowah (20 Quitongo), 4 Want (14 O’Halloran), 5 Canning 6 Hughes, 7 Cunningham, 8 Ferguson, 9 Tierney 10 Boyd, 12 Roy (17 Smith)
Subs not used: 15 J Boyd, 16 Connelly 18 Kelly 1 R Connelly
Falkirk: 1 McMinn, 2 Finlayson 3 Henderson, 4 Mitchell, 5 Grant (15 Jarvis) 6 Johnson, 7 Walker (14 Munro) 8 Blues 9 Shepherd 10 Stowe (18 McBride) 11 Langton
Subs not used: 12 Erskine, 16 Dunne 17 Keary
As the sun went down on a lovely day in South Lanarkshire, Falkirk won the toss and elected to switch ends.
Hamilton handed a start to German left back Lennard Sowah who signed this week, whilst overage players Canning and Roy both joined him in a strong looking Hamilton side.
A few of the Falkirk players look to have been rested ahead of the Challenge cup game on Friday though the side included Peter Grant, Liam Henderson and Scott Shepherd. The entire Falkirk bench were born after the turn of the Millennium giving a nod to the club’s philosophy of bring young players through.
Hamilton drew first blood in the first minute as Roy chased a through ball into the Falkirk beating McMinn to the ball, McMinn bringing the twenty-eight year old down in the process. The referee pointed straight to the spot and Ryan Tierney made no mistake sending the goalkeeper the wrong way as he slotted in the bottom left corner. 1:0.
Hamilton were clearly starting the game the better side and dominating possession. They soon capitalised on the early pressure with their second. Jack Breslin found himself on the right side right with the ball, he ducked and dived and curled a left footed shot at goal which was cruelly deflected by Falkirk’s Peter Grant into his own net. 2:0
Hamilton could have soon scored again. Steven Boyd found himself in a one on one with Lewis McMinn , though his dinked effort was tipped it over the bar by the Bairns’ goalkeeper. From Boyd’s resulting corner Shaun Want was free but he couldn’t steer his header goal-ward.
Hamilton were soon to rue their missed chances as Falkirk grew into the game. An error in the midfield left Shepherd free to run at Watt. He held the ball up very well, laying off to Cameron Blues who passed into the goal from an easy angle. 2:1.
Falkirk almost went level as Mark Stowe found himself one-on-one with Woods but his left footed shot trickled wide of the post. Accies then made a change as captain Shaun Want was forced off with an injury and was replaced by Daniel O’Halloran.
The game was now completely at odds with the first twenty minutes. Falkirk had woken up and they soon equalised. A freekick on the left hand side for Falkirk taken by Conor Langton, beautifully whipped in, was met by the head of Scott Shepherd leaving Gary Woods with no chance.
HALF TIME: Hamilton u20 2:2 Falkirk u20
First teamer Peter Grant played forty-five minutes as part of his recovery from injury and made way at half time for Jason Jarvis who only turned sixteen this week.
Falkirk soon picked up where they left off as Shepherd nearly added to his assist and goal. Mark Stowe broke on the counter down the left hand side, his pass found Shepherd unmarked in the box but he couldn’t find a way past Woods who pulled off a fine block to deny him.
The second half was not living up to the billing of the first in the way of chances and was becoming quite a feisty encounter. The ever lively Falkirk coach Alan Maybury was soon sent to the stands with the referee citing ‘persistent infringements’. Ever dedicated, he jogged to the top of the stand and communicated to the bench for the reminder of the game via phone ensuring he could still influence the game.
The game petered out with few clear chances. Despite the very slow start, Falkirk deserved something from the game having fought back from two goals down and a draw was a fair result. Scott Shepherd was the stand out performer and will be right to be knocking down Peter Houston’s door for a senior start soon!
FULL TIME: Hamilton u20 2:2 Falkirk u20
Man of the Match: Scott Shepherd.
See you pitchside next time,