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Daily Record
Daily Record
Paul Thomson

Hamilton Accies 4 East Kilbride 0: Andy Ryan hits wonder strike on road to hat-trick in cup cruise

Andy Ryan hit a sensational hat-trick for Hamilton Accies as they eased past Lowland League East Kilbride in the Scottish Cup third round.

Ryan took his tally for the season to nine for the season with a terrific treble which was rounded off by lobbing East Kilbride goalkeeper Curtis Lyle from 30-yards.

Hamilton's 16-year-old substitute Ryan One also got in on the act with the third goal of the comfortable game for the Championship side.

Ryan came back to haunt his old Stirling Albion boss Kevin Rutkiewicz, whose Kilby side will feel the scoreline isn't a fair reflection of their efforts early on.

Lowland League Kilby have upset SPFL sides before, knocking out the likes of Stenhousemuir and Cowdenbeath when they were in the ranks, but Championship strugglers Accies proved a bridge too far in this South Lanarkshire derby.

It's Hamilton who go into the hat for Monday's fourth round draw and the result brought some welcome respite after a difficult few weeks in the Championship, where they are currently bottom of the table.

Accies made two changes from their league defeat to Dundee last week, with Ellis Brown and Lewis Smith coming in to replace Michael Doyle and John-Pierre Tiehi.

Kilby made a host of alterations after last week's narrow 1-0 win over Abbey Vale in the South Challenge Cup with boss Rutkiewicz opting for seven changes.

There were plenty of familiar faces for Accies fans in the away squad and in came Dylan McDonald, Ronan Hughes and Kyle Munro against their old side along with Stephen Bronsky, Conor Morgan, Neil McLaughlin and Cami Elliott. Out went Mark McLuckie, Ross Taylor, BJ Coll, ex-Accie Jonathan Page, Joao Victoria, Reece McGuire and Ben Hughes.

Accies, who went out at this stage last season to West of Scotland League side Auchinleck Talbot, were given a big scare inside the opening 60 seconds at New Douglas Park, as the ball fell kindly for Kilby's Cami Elliott in the box and the striker forced Ryan Fulton into a smart stop.

East Kilbride's Cami Elliott, left, went close early on (Angus Fong)

Three minutes later Accies pounced on a really slack pass from Neil McLaughlin in the centre of midfield and they sent Zanatta bursting in on goal, but Curtis Lyle was able to made a good with his feet. In their next attack Lewis Smith got in on goal but he was denied by some superb last-ditch defending from Stephen Bronsky.

Down the other end McLaughlin's low drive was heading towards the bottom corner until Fulton got a hand to it to turn his effort around the post, as the visitors enjoyed a spell of pressure which also saw a goalbound header from Motherwell loanee Logan Dunachie cleared away from danger.

A stinging shot from ex-Motherwell striker Bob McHugh, which had to be tipped over the bar, served as another warning for Accies in the 16th minute.

Midway through the firts half Lewis Smith should have done better when Matthew Shiels clipped the ball to the back post and he headed over inside the six-yard box, then Connor Morgan produced a fine block to deny Andy Ryan 15 yards out.

Accies were enjoying a strong spell of pressure and came agonisingly close to the opener in 34 minutes. Ryan's through ball fed Zanatta down the left-hand side and his angled drive had Lyle beaten but it came crashing back off the far post and Kilby cleared the danger.

Four minutes later Accies broke the deadlock. Scott Martin found Ryan just inside the penalty area and he rilfed a rocket of a strike into the top corner past a helpless Lyle.

It was almost 2-0 just before the break when Zanatta's corner found Easton and his header drifted inches wide.

Neither side turned to their bench during the break and three minutes into the second half Zanatta spurned a huge chance for Accies when Smith's cross put the ball on a plate for him eight yards out, and he somehow fired wide.

Ek were pushing to get level and threatened to equaliser in 67 minutes when MacDonald did well to beat Shiels on the right-hand side and tee up McLaughlin for a strike, however his curling effort flashed just wide of the target.

Both sides then made changes as Zanatta was withdrawn to make way for and Ben Hughes replaced skipper Gary Miller for the visitors.

Ryan and Martin had combined for Accies at the first goal and history repeated itself in the 70th minute when they eventually made it 2-0, Ryan this time showing the composure to clip the ball past Lyle in the box.

The third goal came hot on its heels when One buried the ball from close range after 73 minutes.

But Accies saved the best for last with the fourth goal two minutes later. Ryan spotted Kilby keeper Lyle off his line 30 yards out and obbed the keeper with a superbly judged effort to round-off a morale-boosting day for John Rankin's men.

Accies are back in action next Saturday in the Championship when they travel to Hampden to face Queen's Park, while Kilby head to Gala Fairydean Rovers on Lowland League duty.

HAMILTON: Fulton, Brown, Easton, O'Reilly, Shiels, Martin, Mimnaugh, L Smith (McGinn 87), Winter, Ryan (Forsyth 76), Zanatta (One 67).

Scorers: Ryan 37, 70, 75, One 73


Subs not used: J Smith, Owens, Tiehi, Latona, Black, Morgan.

EAST KILBRIDE: Lyle, MacDonald, Dunachie, Bronsky, Morgan, Munro (Taylor 74), G Miller (B Hughes 67), McLaughlin, R Hughes, Elliott (Victoria 81), McHugh (McGuire 81).



Subs not used: M Miller, Page, Coll, Black.

Ref: Grant Irvine

HT: 1-0

Att: 1,171

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