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Hamilton 4 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: Hamilton 3 - 0 Aberdeen

SPFL Development League
Hamilton scorers: Brophy, Brophy, Watson, Brophy
Aberdeen scorers: Shankland 77.

25/11/2014 | KO: 14:00

Young Dons Crash Against Experienced Accies

Hamilton ran out comfortable winners this afternoon in the top of the table clash at New Douglas Park. A very young Aberdeen side struggled early on to deal with a home side fielding five players with first team experience. The Lanarkshire side were two up within the first 15 minutes thanks to two excellent finishes from the impressive Eamonn Brophy. Lawrence Shankland then missed a good chance to pull one back for the young Dons before Hamilton grabbed a third scored by Watson after a fine move.
At the start of the second half Accies continued to play some excellent football and hit the bar twice before Brophy completed his hat-trick with a great strike on 51 minutes. Credit to Paul Sheerin's young side as they dug deep in the second half, matching Hamilton's physicality and they started to cope better with the plastic surface. On 77 minutes Aberdeen scored a consolation when Shankland hit a fantastic strike from 30 yards. Number 16 for the season.
However Hamilton fully deserved the win and now join the Dons at the top of the SPFL Development League. Next Tuesday Aberdeen are the team to have a free week.
The young Dons lined up today with Billington in goal, Craig Murray returned to the side after injury at right back, Rose and McKenna were in central defence with Harvie at left back. Gibbons and Henry were the sitting midfielders with Felek on the right, Wright on the left and Campanile supporting Shankland.
Hamilton meanwhile had a strong young line up with five players who had played for the first team this season on show. After 4 minutes a good cross Craig Watson was won in the air by Steven Boyd but his header just went past the post. Boyd is not the tallest of players but had done very well to time his jump. A minute later Shankland had a shot in which was blocked and then on 7 minutes Hamilton won the first corner of the game which Billington in the end did very well to come and claim fighting his way through a ruck of players. Gibbons was forced to give away another corner on 9 minutes. The Dons defence failed to win the initial header and the ball fell to Eamonn Brophy. The striker still had a lot to do as he had his back to goal but he produced a superb finish to hook the ball into the net.
After 14 minutes the home side very nearly added a second. They got in down the left and after some neat interplay Andy Ryan was one on one with Billington but the keeper diving to his left produced a very good stop. However a minute later they did grab a second. The ball came back from the by-line and Brophy's first time low drive found its way into the net after a poor defensive header went straight to him. Despite hardly being in the game Aberdeen should have pulled a goal back immediately after that, Gibbons put Shankland through but the striker just pushed his shot past the post from a slight angle. In 20 minutes Craig Watson hit a drive from 30 odd yards which just went over. By now though the Dons were at least beginning to get to grips with the game and starting to deal with the Accies pace and movement.
After 25 minutes McKenna was booked was a foul on Brophy and then on 31 minutes Henry followed him into the ref's book. Both fouls were for challenges that would normally be overlooked in a development game. In between that left winger Andy Ryan had to go off injured, he was replaced by highly rated youngster Danny Armstrong. In 35 minutes it was three. A really well worked goal was finished off by Craig Watson. The pace of and movement was too much for the Dons to deal with and Watson coolly slotted home, his shot hitting in off the post after he had started the move midway inside the Aberdeen half. Just before half time Steven Boyd was booked, again for a nothing tackle.

At half time Michael Jones replaced Cem Felek, Shankland went into a deeper role with Jones playing up top. Hamilton hit the bar from a corner at the start of the second half after a stramash in the box after Aberdeen failed to deal with a corner. On 51 minutes again Aberdeen failed to defend a corner properly and Longridge hit the bar this time. However there was no let off for the Dons as the ball eventually fell to Brophy and although he was at an angle and a good distance out he hammered the ball home with a superb shot to complete his hat-trick. Really poor defending from the Dons.
To their credit Aberdeen dug deep for the next 15 minutes or so which at least forced the home side onto the back foot a bit. The Aberdeen midfield for the first time were making their presence felt with Kieran Gibbons doing well. On 66 minutes Scott Wright was the latest player to be booked as the tackles flew in from both sides. After 68 minutes Frank Ross came on for Jamie Henry. At this point there was not much football being played, Shankland was not far away from a Murray cross and Billington dealt comfortably with a Brophy drive, but apart from that there was very little goalmouth action, just a lot of battles all over the pitch. After 73 minutes Darren Smith came on Steven Boyd. On 76 minutes the substitute very nearly scored. Billington did well to cut out a low cross but the ball fell kindly to Smith who had a half empty net in front of him but Billington did really well to get on his feet and make an excellent double save.
On 77 minutes Aberdeen scored a consolation, and what a hit is was from Shankland. A ball over the top was knocked back to him and Lawrence hit a first time effort from about 30 yards which flew like a bullet into the corner giving Hill no chance. A lovely goal. Aberdeen deserved something for the way they had battled after losing the fourth goal. On 84 minutes Ryan Tierney replaced the hat-trick man Eamonn Brophy. In the final few minutes the game petered out a bit although Shankland almost grabbed a second but the ball would just not bounce for him.

Hamilton Teamsheet
Hill, Lyon, McMann, Watson, Devlin, Docherty, Longridge, Routledge, Brophy (Tierney 84), Boyd (Smith 72), Ryan (Armstrong 29) Subs: Pettigrew, Reilly, Granger, Harrison
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Billington, Murray, Harvie, Gibbons, McKenna, Rose, Felek (Jones 46), Henry (Ross 68), Shankland, Campanile, Wright.

Unused Subs: Mutch, Robertson, Petrie, Orsi, Norris.

Bookings:  McKenna (25),  Wright (66).
Venue: New Douglas Park, Hamilton