Hamil­ton Ac­cies win D & K Cup

Saints man­ager very pleased with first out­ing of the sea­son

The Oban Times - - Front Page -

OBAN Saints got prepa­ra­tions for the 2016-17 sea­son un­der way last Satur­day when they took part in the 23rd play­ing of their an­nual tour­na­ment, spon­sored by D& K Laf­ferty Con­trac­tors Ltd. Once again the tour­na­ment at­tracted top qual­ity par­tic­i­pants in the form of reg­u­lars Al­loa Ath­letic, Dundee United, Hamil­ton Aca­dem­i­cal and tro­phy hold­ers Heart of Mid­loth­ian who, to­gether with the hosts, en­ter­tained the large crowd of spec­ta­tors to a feast of foot­ball de­spite damp con­di­tions.

Mainly as a re­sult of their early in­volve­ment in the new style SPFL League Cup, the vis­i­tors were rep­re­sented by their Un­der 20s de­vel­op­ment league teams with Saints get­ting in on the act by blood­ing young­sters Jay Cooper, Matthew Kelly and Fraser MacFar­lane.

Dundee United and Hamil­ton Aca­dem­i­cal got pro­ceed­ings un­der way at Moss­field, Oban, with Ac­cies edg­ing a tight game 1 - 0 cour­tesy of soli­tary strike from player of the tour­na­ment Steven Boyd early in the sec­ond half.

Ref­eree Jim Pear­son handed Dundee United a late life­line award­ing the Ter­rors a penalty kick when Matthew Smith went down in the box. Smith took the penalty kick him­self but was foiled by an ex­cel­lent save from Alex Mar­shall in the Ac­cies goal.

The first match at Glen­cruit­ten was con­tested by Heart of Mid­loth­ian and Al­loa Ath­letic and ended hon­ours even with the Wasp’s Adam Martin can­celling out David Wil­son’s strike for the Jam Tarts.

Saints en­tered the fray against a youth­ful Al­loa Ath­letic side at Moss­field. The first 20 min­utes were played in heavy rain and was dom­i­nated by Saints with­out caus­ing the Wasp’s de­fence too many prob­lems.

The rain abated in time for the sec­ond half and it was the vis­i­tors who had the first at­tempt on tar­get in­side the first minute. Don­ald Camp­bell con­ceded a free kick 25 yards from goal and Gra­ham ‘Su­gar’ Dou­glas had to look lively to tip it over his cross­bar. Al­loa also won the header from the re­sult­ing cor­ner kick which, for­tu­nately for Saints, went wide of Su­gar’s right hand post.

Saints re­sponded with a free kick of their own after Scott Mait­land had been brought down on the left wing. Wil­lie Gem­mell sent a deep cross to the back post, which Craig Camp­bell headed back across goal only for the ball to be taken off the fore­head of Don­ald Camp­bell by an ex­cel­lent clear­ing header at the ex­pense of a cor­ner kick.

Saints opened the scor­ing in the 27th minute with a cool fin­ish from the ev­er­green Ross Mait­land. Martin Bonar flicked on a long ball from the back from skip­per Marc Maccal­lum with Ross tim­ing his run per­fectly to get in be­hind the Wasp’s de­fence and lob the ad­vanc­ing keeper from 18 yards.

Saints had a good op­por­tu­nity to ex­tend their lead three min­utes later when David McArthur won a cor­ner kick on the right. Ross Mait­land landed a per­fect de­liv­ery onto the head of Martin Bonar who made good con­tact but was un­able to di­rect his header on tar­get send­ing it 18 inches over the cross­bar.

Saints made the points safe with three min­utes re­main­ing from the head of young Fraser MacFar­lane.

Martin Bonar once again pro­vided the flick on for Ross Mait­land on the right who sent over a ter­rific cross for debu­tant MacFar­lane to head home from six yards.

There was one fi­nal at­tempt from David McArthur who took down a rak­ing di­ag­o­nal pass from Don­ald Camp­bell and fired a shot wide of the top cor­ner be­fore ref­eree Jimmy Lit­ster brought pro­ceed­ings to a close.

The sec­ond match at Glen­cruit­ten was a thriller be­tween Hamil­ton Aca­dem­i­cal and Heart of Mid­loth­ian with the Ac­cies com­ing out on top by the odd goal in five. Jamie Bran­don and Rus­sell Ma­cLean were on tar­get for Hearts with Ross Cun­ning­ham re­ply­ing be­fore that vet­eran of many fix­tures ‘tri­al­ist’ net­ted twice to clinch the points for Ac­cies.

Saints con­tin­ued on Moss­field against Heart of Mid­loth­ian where it was very much a case of de­fences on top in a goal-less draw.

Saints en­joyed the ma­jor­ity of pos­ses­sion through­out and came clos­est to scor­ing in the third minute when Scott Mait­land cracked a 20-yard left foot drive off the cross­bar with the goal­keeper well beaten.

A minute later, Craig MacEwan cut in from the left and fired in a low shot which the keeper did well to hold on the slip­pery sur­face.

Paul Carmichael was win­ning more than his fair share of headers and tested the goal­keeper in the 13th minute with a loop­ing

header from the edge of the box which the keeper did well to hold un­der pres­sure from Marc Maccal­lum.

Hearts showed a lit­tle more prom­ise in the sec­ond half and Dene Cas­sells had to look lively to head away a dan­ger­ous look­ing cross from the left wing in the 35th minute.

With two min­utes re­main­ing, Paul Carmichael made space for a well-struck left foot shot from 22-yards but was un­lucky to see his ef­fort go straght into the goal­keeper’s midriff. Hearts had their only at­tempt on tar­get in the fi­nal minute which Thomas McCul­loch saved com­fort­ably be­fore ref­eree An­drew Tay­lor, mak­ing his tour­na­ment de­but, blew for full time.

At Glen­cruit­ten, Dundee United re­cov­ered from their open­ing match de­feat to early pace set­ters Hamil­ton Aca­dem­i­cal to claim their first points of the day against Al­loa Ath­letic. Goals from Gra­ham Tay­lor and tow­er­ing cen­tre half Harry Sout­tar sealed a con­vinc­ing vic­tory for the Ter­rors over the Wasps.

Dundee United’s third fix­ture was against Heart of Mid­loth­ian at Moss­field where United racked up the big­gest win­ning mar­gin of the day de­feat­ing the Jam Tarts by three goals to nil with the goals com­ing from Matty Smith, Lo­gan Chalmers and Gra­ham Tay­lor.

Saints crossed to Glen­cruit­ten for the crunch match against Hamil­ton Aca­dem­i­cal and sur­vived a close shave in the first minute when they failed to deal with a Steven Boyd free kick into the box with Thomas McCul­loch re­lieved to see Ross Cun­ning­ham’s shot slip wide of his left hand post.

Boyd had an­other chance to show his dead ball prow­ess mid­way through the half and sent a de­cent ef­fort nar­rowly wide of McCul­loch’s right hand post.

Ac­cies broke the stale­mate two min­utes into the sec­ond half with a spec­tac­u­lar op­por­tunist ef­fort from Boyd. There ap­peared to be lit­tle dan­ger when Thomas McCul­loch cleared a Dene Cas­sells pass back but as the ball fizzed in Boyd’s di­rec­tion he caught the Saints keeper well off his line with a per­fectly ex­e­cuted first time vol­ley into the un­guarded net.

Saints Man­ager Alex Craik opted to freshen things up re­plac­ing Martin Bonar and Fraser MacFar­lane with Paul Carmichael and Craig MacEwan. The sub­sti­tutes quickly com­bined, with Craig get­ting in a good cross from the right which Paul headed just over the cross­bar.

MacEwan was again in­volved in the 34th minute, win­ning a cor­ner on the right which ul­ti­mately led to the Saints equaliser. Wil­lie Gem­mell’s cor­ner kick was forced be­hind by the Ac­cies de­fence giv­ing Wil­lie a sec­ond op­por­tu­nity to pick out a Saints head in the box. The Ac­cies de­fence again stood firm but could only clear the ball as far as Keith Mil­lar who was fouled 25-yards out be­fore he could re­turn the ball to the dan­ger area. Wil­lie Gem­mell lined up the free kick and sent an ex­cel­lent de­liv­ery to the back post where Don­ald Camp­bell got round be­hind the Ac­cies de­fence to send a sen­sa­tional div­ing header into the postage stamp cor­ner giv­ing keeper Alex Mar­shall no chance.

The Ac­cies de­fence ap­pealed for off­side but as­sis­tant ref­eree John Scott’s flag re­mained down and ref­eree John Stobo awarded the goal en­sur­ing the match fin­ished all square.

Go­ing into the fi­nal round of matches, the cup was still up for grabs with Dundee United, Hamil­ton Aca­dem­i­cal and Oban Saints all still in con­tention, al­beit with Ac­cies in pole po­si­tion.

Saints and Dundee United were in di­rect op­po­si­tion at Glen­cruit­ten where a win for ei­ther would clinch the tro­phy but only if Ac­cies were to slip up against Al­loa Ath­letic at Moss­field.

In an end-to- end match at Glen­cruit­ten Saints and Dundee United gave it all they had to find the goals re­quired to pip Ac­cies but the roars com­ing from the Hamil­ton faith­ful at Moss­field left both in no doubt they were fac­ing an up­hill strug­gle.

An event­ful match for Saints keeper Gra­ham Dou­glas be­gan when ref­eree Archie Mitchell in­sisted he change his lu­mi­nous or­ange shirt which clearly clashed with United’s colours.

Gra­ham swapped his or­ange shirt for Thomas McCul­loch’s even brighter yel­low shirt and pro­ceeded to keep the United at­tack at bay with a string of ex­cel­lent saves. At the other end, his op­po­site num­ber was also in good form deny­ing Craig MacEwan and Don­ald Camp­bell.

‘Su­gar’s’ hero­ics took a heavy toll when he picked up a calf strain mak­ing an­other ex­cel­lent save from Lo­gan Chalmers which saw him re­turn the yel­low jer­sey to Thomas McCul­loch who came on for the clos­ing four min­utes.

By this time Saints and United were play­ing only to de­cide who would fin­ish as run­ners up as Lewis Smith and tour­na­ment top scorer ‘Tri­al­ist’ had Ac­cies two goals in front against Al­loa Ath­letic.

Saints had one fi­nal chance to clinch all three points against Dundee United when Dene Cas­sells made a strong run out from cen­tral de­fence and found Craig MacEwan on the left wing.

Craig beat the United full back and sent in a tempt­ing cross which, de­spite get­ting his head to, Dean Smith couldn’t di­rect on tar­get send­ing his header wide of the keeper’s left hand post re­sult­ing in the match fin­ish­ing all square and United edg­ing out Saints for sec­ond place be­hind tour­na­ment win­ners Hamil­ton Acac­dem­i­cal.

Tour­na­ment or­gan­iser David Buchanan thanked the spon­sors D & K Laf­ferty, Con­trac­tors, the vis­it­ing teams for their con­tin­ued sup­port of the tour­na­ment and con­grat­u­lated win­ners Hamil­ton Aca­dem­i­cal and player of the tour­na­ment Steven Boyd on their suc­cess.

David also thanked the spec­ta­tors, many of whom had trav­elled con­sid­er­able dis­tances to be there, and the match of­fi­cials Don­nie Brooks, David Dun­lop, Jimmy Lit­ster, Archie Mitchell, Jim Pear­son, Martin Rae, John Scott, John Stobo and An­drew Tay­lor with­out whom the event couldn’t take place.

David then called upon Coun­cil­lor Roddy McCuish to present the win­ning team with their in­di­vid­ual tro­phies and the win­ning cap­tain Ro­nan Hughes with the D& K Laf­ferty Cup.

Saints man­ager Alex Craik was de­lighted at the per­for­mance of his squad. He said: ‘ We’ve just come off a very hard and tir­ing sea­son and only had a three week break.

‘ We haven’t started pre-sea­son train­ing prop­erly yet al­though we had a wee kick about on Wed­nes­day be­fore the tour­na­ment.

‘I thought the boys played some ex­cel­lent foot­ball to­day, which bodes well for the new sea­son.

‘I also got the chance to field three young play­ers - Matty Kelly, Fraser MacFar­lance and Jay Cooper - and they all showed up well.

‘The boys will have an­other week off then get down to se­ri­ous pre-sea­son train­ing be­fore our friendly matches against Vale of Leven Ju­niors, St An­thony’s, East Kil­bride and Lochgilp­head Red Star, plus the Ar­gyll and Bute tour­na­ment.’

Re­port: Derek Black. Pho­tos: Kevin McG­lynn, Derek Black and David McPhee.

A happy Hamil­ton Ac­cies squad after win­ning the D&K Cup tour­na­ment last Satur­day.

The Oban Saints squad be­fore the tour­na­ment.

Don­ald Camp­bell, num­ber 19, dives to head home Wil­lie Gem­mell’s free kick to equalise against Hamil­ton Ac­cies.

Young Fraser MacFar­lane, play­ing his first game for the Saints se­nior team, heads home the sec­ond goal against Al­loa.

The Hearts coach­ing team, lead by for­mer Dundee United and Rangers striker Jon Daly, look on dur­ing the game against Saints.

This Hamil­ton Ac­cies header flew inches over the bar.

Paul Carmichael stretches for the ball in the 0- 0 draw with Hearts.

Craig MacEwan in ac­tion against Hearts, the team he sup­ports.

Coun­cil­lor Roddy McCuish hands over the D & K Cup to Hamil­ton Ac­cies cap­tain Ro­nan Hughes.

No way through for this Al­loa player as he is crowded out by Saints Scot­tish Am­a­teur in­ter­na­tional de­fender Scott Mait­land, left, and Fraser MacFar­lane.

Keith Mil­lar in a tus­sle for the ball dur­ing the game against Al­loa.

Don­ald Camp­bell fends off his marker.

DB meets DB. Oban Saints sec­re­tary David Buchanan meets up with old friend, for­mer Scot­tish in­ter­na­tional and Dundee United coach Dave Bow­man who has been com­ing to the tour­na­ment for many years.

Saints skip­per Marc Maccal­lum clears his lines dur­ing the game against Dundee United which fin­ished 0- 0.

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