William Hill Scottish Cup: HAMILTON 1 DUNFERMLINE 1: 14/02/17

Hamilton Accies secured a Scottish Cup quarter-final away to Rangers as Dunfermline Athletic failed to net on penalties. For a long period in the match it looked like the lower league club would cause a cup upset but a late equaliser followed by stalemate in extra time led to penalties which were to be the Pars downfall, losing out 3-0.

Just three days after the sides fought out a 1-1 draw at East End Park the replay was played on Valentines Night at the Superseal Stadium. In the interim the romance of the cup had drawn the winners away to Rangers at Ibrox in the Quarter Finals so there were plenty of incentives to win the replay.

Jason Talbot returned to the side as Lewis Martin moved to right back filling the berth vacated by captain Andy Geggan who was forced to retire through injury six minutes before half time. Hamilton manager Martin Canning made four changes from his starting eleven on Saturday. Out went Iloanas Skondras, Blair Adams, Massimo Donati and Eamonn Brophy and in their places started Dougie Imrie, Gramoz Kurtaj, Craig Watson and Scott McMann.

Due to a rather harsh decision against Talbot Hamilton had the first opportunity from a second minute free kick 25 yards out in a central area but Danny Redmond sent that straight to Sean Murdoch. Paul McMullan was then taken down on the left touchline and although Callum Morris got his head to Kallum Higginbotham`s lofted kick the home side were awarded a free kick of their own on the edge of the box.

Murdoch was out sharpish to deny Rakish Bingham a sixth minute shot. Then four minutes later Accies won the first corner of the night but Redmond`s delivery caused no problem, Morris heading away and then Murdoch taking MacKinnon`s return.

Imrie threatened when Bingham picked him out but his delay in giving Redmond the opportunity to shoot meant that his shot was sent wide right. Nat Wedderburn then sent McMullan through and Remi Matthews touched the net bound shot around the post. Hamilton defended the 14th minute corner but when Talbot returned the ball Danny Seaborne headed the ball on to his hand but no penalty was given.

The Fifers then looked the more likely to find the opener and it duly came from a corner forced by McMullan on the left. Hamilton lost out to their poor defending, Lee Ashcroft had two attempts before MORRIS poked the ball home in 25th minute. 0-1

Hamilton`s misfortunes continued when Seaborne required physio`s treatment but unable to continue, Massimo Donati came on in his place.

The Pars did not let up any and pushed for another before the break. Michael Moffat created a good chance after gathering the ball from an opposition throw in and from half way made ground before passing to McMullan but his shot went wide.

Murdoch was kept alert having to clutch a MacKinnon header and then had to deal with a 42nd minute corner conceded by Morris. When Redmond sent that over Bingham just failed to connect and John Herron got it away.

Hamilton had a good spell as half time approached. Talbot made a telling block, Ashcroft cleared a dangerous ball sent in by Grant Gillespie and then Murdoch had to save from Redmond. In the two added minutes at the end of the half a Higginbotham free kick kept play in front of the Hamilton goal but right at the end Redmond fed Imrie and he almost stole a goal back when they produced an opportunity out of nothing. But at the break it was the lower league side that went in ahead.

The first half stats showed Accies ahead 53:47 on possession but Dunfermline had the all important goal.

Half time: Hamilton Accies 0 Dunfermline 1

The Fifers started the second half well with Talbot winning a 47th minute corner but when Higginbotham sent that over Imrie cleared. Then a Moffat cross forced the Hamilton keeper back on to his post only to get a bang on the head.

The pace became much more like a cup tie. Firstly Clark couldn`t control a pass from Moffat that put him in on goal then a Bingham shot was palmed away by Murdoch. McMullan, Moffat and Herron all had the chance to make it 2-0. For the home side Redmond sent a 61st minute free kick into the Pars box and Morris cleared for a throw in.

The Accies faithful were showing their impatience and that was not helped as Herron won a free kick in the centre circle and Talbot`s free kick was headed away. Ioannis Skondras was Martin Canning`s third sub of the night as the match entered its final quarter. McMullan won a free kick and again Higginbotham caused problems with his delivery aimed at Wedderburn but it was cleared.

Higginbotham then sent over Pars corner in 72 minutes, the defence headed clear but Wedderburn was presented with a chance but he shot that over the bar. The Premiership side then made a sustained attempt, Brophy firing a 28 yard free kick over the bar.

Ashcroft cleared a Bingham ball into the box after he had rounded Talbot and McMullan. Redmond shot a 77th minute free kick over the bar

There was controversy when referee Craig Thomson denied Accies a penalty kick. That was followed soon after with another claim against Martin but the referee had deemed the ball had already gone behind for a corner.

Accies tried hard to find the goal that would have got them back in the tie. Brophy was wide from a Redmond pass before with just three minutes remaining Morris took down McMann and there was no doubt about the penalty decision. BINGHAM stepped up and crashed in the equaliser. 1-1

That was enough to take the tie into extra time and so after three added minutes it all started again.

In extra time Murdoch was first keeper into action making a good stop from a quickly taken MacKinnon. Joe Cardle and Michael Paton came on as the third and fourth Dunfermline subs just six minutes into extra time with Kallum Higginbotham and Paul McMullan being withdrawn.

Both sides had chances, Cardle had a shot blocked , Murdoch did the same on an Imrie effort and then the Pars keeper made a really fine save from Bingham and yet another from Brophy. In the last chance of the first half of extra time Cardle flashed a ball across goal that Reilly just could not reach.

Half time in extra time: Hamilton Accies 1 Dunfermline 1

The Pars kicked off the second half of extra time attacking the goal in front of the 524 travelling fans. The best opportunity of avoiding the need for penalties to decide the outcome was in 117th minute when Rhys McCabe squared a great ball that again Reilly just failed to connect with. So it was off to penalties.

1. Donati scores to Murdoch`s right: 1-0
2. McCabe penalty saved by keeper to Murdoch`s right: 1-0
3. Redmond skies attempt over the bar: 1-0
4. Paton penalty saved by keeper to his left: 1-0
5. Brophy scores to Murdoch`s right: 2-0
6. Reilly penalty saved: 2-0
7. Devlin scores and wins the tie for Accies: 3-0

HAMILTON ACCIES: Remi Matthews: Danny Seaborne (Massimo Donati 29), Michael Devlin (c), Grant Gillespie (Ioannis Skondras 68), Gramoz Kurtaj (Eamonn Brophy 54): Dougie Imrie, Darian MacKinnon, Craig Watson, Scott McMann, Daniel Redmond, Rakish Bingham (Ross Cunningham 115)
SUBS NOT USED: Blair Adams, Ronan Hughes, Gary Woods (GK).
SCORERS: Bingham (87 pen)
YELLOW CARD: Seaborne (18), MacKinnon (33), Redmond (83), McMann (98)

DUNFERMLINE: Sean Murdoch: Lewis Martin, Callum Morris, Lee Ashcroft, Jason Talbot: Paul McMullan (Michael Paton 96), John Herron, Nat Wedderburn, Kallum Higginbotham (Joe Cardle 96): Nicky Clark (Gavin Reilly 69), Michael Moffat (Rhys McCabe 83)
SUBS NOT USED: David Hopkirk, Stuart Morrison, David Hutton (GK)
SCORERS: Morris (25)
YELLOW CARD: McMullan (70)

REFEREE: Craig Thomson
WEATHER: Cloudy 6°C

NEXT MATCH: SPFL Championship: (away) v Hibs, Saturday 25th February 2017 kick off 5.15pm at Easter Road

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