New Douglas Park, SPFL Championship, 25/2/22
Entrance – £20 Me, £10 Wee Man
Attendance – 1187 (109 Caley including us)
Pie – £6 Pie, Crisps, Coffee, Juice (however, I got £7 change off a tenner)
Pint – No time, this was a straight from school run job
Hamilton Academical Football Club
Founded – 1874
Nickname – The Accies
Honours – Scottish First Division– 1985/86, 1987/88 and 2007/08. Scottish Second Division – 1903/04. Scottish Third Division – 2000/2001. Scottish Challenge Cup – 1991/92 and 1992/93
Random Fact – In 1971 the club became the first British club to recruit players from behind the iron curtain.This when they signed Alfred Olek from Górnik Zabrze and Zagłębie Sosnowiec duo Roman Strzałkowski and Witold Szyguła .
After missing out on a floodlight Friday last week due to being snowed in we were back on our travels, this time to South Lanarkshire to Hamilton to the longest named fixture in the SPFL. Straight from the school run we made bloody good time down the road and parked up at Sainbury’s, this to allow me to stock up my new favourite beer, Cranborne Poacher(Badger) which I only seem to find in Sainbury’s and there is not one near me. Any excuse. With a clearly excited Wee Man as we walked toward the lights of the ground he strangely asked if we could sit in the away end. A quick check of Accies twitter outside the gate and there was a link for Caley fans. Easy done as the Accies use Fanbase which I have used in the past for games so I had an account. Two minutes later we were in the sparsely populated Invernesian end. Incidentally the only other time we have sat in the away end on our travels out with Aberdeen was when I took him to Tannadice where the Arabs were up against…….Caley. Did this play a part in his decision? One decision that was definite was my choice of visiting New Douglas Park was to take me down to one left of the forty two SPFL grounds still to visit as for some reason NDP has seemed to elude me when in the Premier. I can’t put a reason to not watching the Dons there but, I do know we had many a midweek game there which wouldn’t have helped.
I thought this game was a great advert for the Championship. It was end to end, exciting , poorly officiated, benches going mad constantly and just an interesting game of fitba. Very chuffed with this choice. It also seemed to fly in too. It was over in a flash.
As stated this was end to end and right from the off too. The first big chance fell to Josh Mullin who headed a corner over the bar. He surely had to hit the target at least but he sent it over the bar in the direction of Wee Man and me. The Accies did take an early lead not long after and it was Mullin making amends for his earlier miss when he was gifted the ball from some terrible defending from ICT, but that doesn’t take anything away from the strike that followed. A cracking hit across the goal and well out of reach of Cammy McKay in the visitors goal. I’ll need to see it back to see how good, but I do know for sure, the defending was dreadful. The game continued to ebb and flow but both teams didn’t have the final product. Robbie Deas was unlucky when he headed a cross goal ward but it was cleared off the line by an Accie’s defender. The equaliser came in the thirty fifth minute when an initial shot was blocked well but fortuitously landed at Sam Pearson who struck home with ease. One all and fair going on how the game had panned out in its constant end to end fashion. Something else that was constant was the poor officiating from Alan Muir and his cronies, it seemed as if they were tossing a coin for everything, this creating some animation on both benches with Stuart Taylor and Billy Dodds losing the plot often. So much so Doddsy was even seen to thump the dugout roof ( I am surprised he reached). The half ended with an extremely dangerous ball being played across the Caley box but Moyo, Mullin etc could not capitalise.
HT 1 v 1
Let me just say, the half time music was fucking horrific, I was ready to leave as my brain hurt during the break. 2 Unlimited, 2 Fucking Unlimited. That says it all. I could not concentrate on reading the programme and Wee Man even said “daddy this is too loud and rubbish”.
The game carried on in the same exciting fashion as the first half and it was not long until there was a decent chance. A rapid counter attack from Caley saw Billy McKay bring out a solid save from Ryan Fulton and given the reaction from the Irishman he thought he should have done better. McKay was again to find himself looking at the turf in frustration when another break saw a long ball bounce perfectly for him to lob Fulton but he did not give it enough oomph, this meaning Fulton was allowed to get the slightest finger tip touch on the ball stopping Caley taking a lead. Zimbabwean David Moyo up top for Hamilton was next to be disappointed in himself when he headed over from close range, but I think Kirk Broadfoot did just enough to put the big striker off. Caley seemed to be the better team and Wee Man and me were speaking about number seven Sam Pearson. Juniors words “he’s well fast” and I stated that he works really hard with his effort being second to none. This put the kiss of death on him as after a great team move leading to Shane Sutherland laying him off, he had the goal staring at him but he missed the target completely. Very poor from a man who was probably my man of the match. Hamilton then went up the park and rattled the post when Moyo managed to get a shot through a pile of bodies but Cammy McKay’s left hand post came to the rescue/ With the time of the game being in “sub time” I couldn’t help but think the corona set up at New Douglas Park was daft. The benches are in the normal place, but the subs are found across the pitch in the gazebo. Was there walkie talkie communication to summon the incoming players who then had to run round half the pitch to get on? The officials really needed to be substituted in the second half as they continued to guess decisions, whether throws, goal kicks and even a penalty claim for Caley which I am sure was handball. Alan Muir was closer yet missed it but Wee Man saw it and so did I. The player action was not finished going into the final moments and Moyo again was left frustrated when he latched on to a through ball but McKay was brilliantly aware and sprinted off his line to thwart the striker. From here Caley broke , McKay got a shot away which deflected wide and did so clear as day. Alan Muir didn’t know what to give, his assistant also did not and kept his flag down. They both looked at eachother for around five seconds before Muir gave the goal kick. A strange few seconds but it really summed up their performances. The game ended on a huge chance for Caley who again broke at speed with the ball landing at Joe Hardy who let fly but Fulton managed to get a strong foot to it. This was probably justice as from where we were Hardy looked offside, the ball was cleared and the final whistle went. A very very good game to watch and one I am glad I decided on taking on. The night ended on us leaving the ground and everyone around us speaking German. There was not an English word spoken in the vicinity barring Wee Man and me. A bit surreal. Remnants of Dortmund’s support from last night making a weekend of it?
Now to complete the 42 very soon
Me 223, Wee Man 97