Hamilton Academical 1 Dunfermline 3

Hamilton Academical were the Pars opponents in the semi final of the SPFL Reserve Cup played on Tuesday afternoon at New Douglas Park. Both sides fielded starting elevens that included first team squad players. Rhys Breen returned to competitive action for Dunfermline, Sam Fisher and Andrew Tod started. Eight of the visitors starting eleven were in the first team squad on Saturday at Morton while their opponents had seven of their starting eleven stripped the previous Saturday against Cove Rangers.

Taylor Sutherland forced a fifth minute corner and when Joe Chalmers sent the ball in keeper Ryan Fulton spilled it. Brad Holmes latched on to the loose ball, travelling right before blasting an effort into defenders. Andrew Tod then had the opportunity but his shot suffered the same fate. 

A 15th minute free kick given for a challenge on Holmes handed the Fifers a free kick 30 yards out. Owen Moffat drove the setpiece into the Hamilton wall but when Andrew Tod swung the ball left it was quickly at the feet of Breen who played Paul ALLAN in to slot home from 16 yards out. 0-1

Hamilton created a good opening on 22 minutes when Jake Hastie was able to cross from the left. Mackenzie Kirk met it but the Hearts loanee’s effort was deflected over the bar by Fisher. Dunfermline took up the play again and when O’Halloran sent a low ball in from the right MOFFAT dispatched it to beat Fulton at his near post. 0-2

Cutting in from the right KIRK crashed a fierce low shot past Max Little to cut the deficit in 36 minutes. 1-2. The final chance of the half came when Xavier Benjamin knocked down a cross for Holmes but his shot cleared the crossbar.

Half time: Hamilton Reserves 1 Dunfermline Reserves 2

Moffat and O’Halloran switched sides of the park for the second half and it was the latter’s clearance that went straight to Euan Henderson but Little held the 23 year olds firmly struck shot from the edge of the box.

Benjamin picked up a yellow card in conceding a free kick 25 yards out and Little had to touch Henderson’s shot over his bar after it had cleared the four man wall. At the other end Fulton saved an attempt from Allan after Moffat had played a good pass into the Hamilton penalty box. O’Halloran embarked on a journey down the left channel in 58th minute but his right footed attempt from 20 yards went wide left.

O’Halloran cut inside from the left hugging the 18 yard line to lay the ball off to the awaiting Moffat. He hammered the ball but it went wide left of target. Fulton denied Sutherland after he broke through on the keeper from the half way line.

The place in the Reserve Cup final was sealed when a low O’HALLORAN strike from 18 yards rattled home off the left upright. 1-3 In the final Dunfermline will face Livingston who defeated Ayr United 5-2.

HAMILTON ACADEMICAL: Ryan Fulton, Michael Hewitt, Stephen Hendrie (Lennon Lyons 90) Chris Neeson (Aaron Preston 90), Jamie Hamilton, Lewis Latona, Euan Henderson (, Liam Morgan 79) Andy Winter, Mackenzie Kirk, Ben Black (Jared Lyons 64), Jake Hastie (Gravine Kalala 79)
SUBS NOT USED: Reece Murray (GK)
SCORERS: Kirk (36)
YELLOW CARD: Preston (90+3)

DUNFERMLINE: Max Little, Xavier Benjamin, Sam Fisher, Rhys Breen, Paul Allan, Joe Chalmers (c), Michael O’Halloran (Sam Young, 86), Andrew Tod (Ewan McLeod 78), Owen Moffat, Bradley Holmes, Taylor Sutherland
SUBS NOT USED: Michael Beagley, Jake Rennie
SCORERS: Allan (15), Moffat (24), O’Halloran (84)
YELLOW CARD: Benjamin (52), O’Halloran (59), Breen (69), Holmes (90+3)

REFEREE: Ryan Kennedy

NEXT MATCH: cinch SPFL Reserve Cup (home) v Airdrieonians, Tuesday 2nd April 2024, kick off 1.00pm at Ainslie Park

Coach Gary Montignani’s post match comments

Match Report: 11/03/24 – Dundee United Reserves 2 Dunfermline Reserves 3

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