East Kilbride boss Kevin Rutkiewicz admits the quality of his former player Andy Ryan was the difference between his side and Hamilton Accies in their Scottish Cup exit.
Kilby came to New Douglas Park dreaming of an upset against the Championship strugglers, but Ryan - who played under Rutkiewicz when he was manager of Stirling Albion - came back to haunt his old boss with a superb hat-trick in the 4-0 win, which also included a first Hamilton goal for 16-year-old Ryan One.
Ryan lobbed Kilby keeper Curtis Lyle from 30-yards to round-up off his treble and Rutkiewicz said: "I think it was a cup game separated by a player with a quality that we are not used to coming up against.
"It's a terrific finish and it's a really harsh lesson for us.
"I thought for the first hour we represented ourselves really well. Not just by the fact we were in the game, but the manner by which we were in the game.
"We played some good football and we might get some plaudits for that but, at the end of the day, we have taken a bit of a doing.
"It's sore and there are disappointed boys in there.
"At the end of the day it is 4-0. I'd love to go back and change it for those mad four or five minutes we had, but we've just got to take our medicine.
"I'm delighted and proud of my players' application today."
Kilby had some big chances early on, with striker Cami Elliott going close inside 60 seconds and Neil McLaughlin seeing a strike narrowly turned round the post.
They had hoped an early goal might rank up the pressure on John Rankin's men, who have won just twice in 16 leagues games this term, but it wasn't to be for the Lowland League outfit.
Rutkiewicz added: "Hamilton are in a difficult place at the moment and had we got that first goal it might have just made things a lot more anxious and nervy within this stadium.
"The fans would have been more on their case. That was our plan, to try and get the home fans putting pressure on their team.
"If we'd gotten our noses in front or even scored a goal at 1-0 and bring it back level, I certainly think it would have made for a closer ending than it was but, unfortunately, Cami didn't quite get round the keeper in that first minute.
"Quality at both ends showed today. When Hamilton needed to defend, get a head in or a toe in, they did just enough and at the other end we got taught a lesson in how to finish."
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