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Hamilton 2 - 4 Aberdeen

HT Score: Hamilton 1 - 2 Aberdeen

Youth Cup Fourth Round
Hamilton scorers: Cunningham 26, Cunningham (pen) 62
Aberdeen scorers: Anderson 32 (Pen), Ross 41, Harrington 75, Wells 88.

30/11/2017 | KO: 14:00

A place in the last eight of the Youth Cup was up for grabs as Aberdeen and Hamilton met for the second time in the space of only forty-eight hours. The Dons line up was much changed from Tuesday's Development League game, which the home side won 1-0, with only Sam Roscoe of that starting eleven was involved from the first whistle this time around.

The match got underway in biting cold conditions, kick off having been delayed 15 minutes due the adverse weather encountered by the Dons on their journey south. The opening exchanges were pretty even with neither keeper called into serious action. The first effort on goal came from Accies on 7 minutes, Wilson heading Cunningham's free kick high and wide of the target. A minute later Harlain Mbayo was harshly booked for an innocuous looking challenge on Tierney. On 16 minutes a dangerous Toby Wells free kick was headed out for a corner but the flag kick came to nothing.
Accies skipper Hughes was booked in the 19th minute after a poor tackle on Frank Ross. As expected both sides were fully committed to the game. A long ball out of defence from Danny Harvie almost picked out Bruce Anderson but the ball skipped off the artificial surface and ran out of the reach of the busy striker.
Anderson had the ball in the net on 23 minutes after picking up a long Craddock clearance but an offside flag was raised and the goal was ruled out. The Dons were starting to dominate proceedings and looked dangerous when they went forward. However the Dons were reduced to ten men in the 25th minute when Mbayo received a straight red card after he bundled Ferguson over as he raced in on goal. Cunningham, who scored the winner in Tuesday's League game, curled a fine 25 yard free kick in off Craddock's right hand post to make it a double-whammy for Aberdeen.
Miko Virtanen dropped back from centre midfield into the right back slot with Ryan Harrington moving into central defence. On 31 minutes the Dons were awarded a penalty when Anderson was fouled just inside the 18 yard box by O'Halloran. The striker took the spot kick himself and made no mistake to tie the game up at one apiece.
Paul Sheerin decided to make a switch immediately after the goal, withdrawing Virtanen and throwing defender Joe MacPherson on in his place. Craddock was alert to the danger when Tierney tried his luck from 18 yards, diving to his right to turn the ball past the post. Clever play from Frank Ross provided Seb Ross with a shooting chance and he was unlucky to see his ten-yard effort deflected over the bar. From the corner the ball broke to Frank Ross and he rifled a fantastic angled shot into the net to give the ten man Dons the lead with four minutes of the first half remaining. A great goal from Frank which again shows the battling qualities of this group of players.
Hughes tried his luck from distance for Hamilton as the home side tried to get themselves back level but the shot didn't trouble Craddock. The half time whistle blew with the score 2-1 to the battling ten men from Pittodrie, a merited scoreline after a battling first half.

Half time Hamilton Academical 1 Aberdeen 2

Dean Campbell was the third man cautioned in the 46th minute, the Dons skipper penalised for a tug on the shirt of Tierney. The free kick was played into the box and Craddock saved well from Tierney. Cunningham was next to try his luck for Accies but his shot was high and well wide. Craddock saved well again from Kelly as Accies looked to make their numerical advantage count but the Dons always looked dangerous on the break with the lively Anderson a real thorn in the side of the home defence. Sam Roscoe was booked on 56 minutes after he failed to retreat ten yards at a free kick. From the set piece Craddock produced a magnificent block to deny Ferguson.
Hamilton were given a penalty on the hour when Harvie fouled Hughes, Anderson being booked for his protests. Cunningham drove home from 12 yards to make it 2-2. The Dons almost regained the lead on two separate occasions on 67 minutes. First Anderson's shot was cleared off the line by Douglas then Seb Ross was denied by a good save from Marshall.
A swift turn and shot from Breen saw yet another fine Craddock save, then Tierney headed wide from point-blank range. The pressure was really being piled on by Accies. Accies were then reduced to ten men when Hughes received a second booking on 73 minutes after a foul on Frank Ross. The Dons took the lead two minutes later when Ryan Harrington fired a sensational left footed effort past Marshall from twenty-five yards after good build up play from the tireless Anderson. A fantastic goal from the big Liverpudlian, his first competitive goal for Aberdeen.
Smith replaced Breen in the home ranks on 83 minutes, just before Anderson saw a shot rebound off Marshall's left-hand post with the keeper beaten. A superb run from Frank Ross saw him wriggle to the bye-line before cutting the ball back for Anderson whose shot hit the post before breaking to Toby Wells who smashed home the rebound from six yards to make it 4-2.
Anderson came off to a deserved ovation as Dangana got a run out for the final few moments of the game. The final change saw Ethan Ross replace his brother Seb seconds before the final whistle blew on a fantastic win for Paul Sheerin's battlers.
Despite playing for nearly fifty minutes a man short, their never-say-die spirit saw the team through to the last eight of the Youth Cup.
Hamilton Teamsheet
Marshall, Douglas, McCann, O'Halloran, Wilson, Hughes (C), Cunningham, Ferguson, Tierney, Breen (Smith 83), Kelly. Unused substitutes: Connelly (GK), Hamilton, Boyd, Reilly, Scullion, Slaven

Bookings:  Hughes 19  Hughes 73
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Craddock, Harrington, Harvie, Campbell, Mbayo, Roscoe, Virtanen (MacPherson 33), Ross (Ross 90), Anderson (Dangana 89), Ross, Wells.

Unused Subs: MacKenzie, Hutchison, Antoniazzi, Mair.

Bookings:  Mbayo (8),  Campbell (46),  Harrington (56),  Anderson (61),  Mbayo (25).
Venue: New Douglas Park, Hamilton
Referee: Alistair Grieve