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Linwood and Hamilton both showed their intent to make use of the big pitch early on. Both teams lobbed high passes towards their forwards and less than 10 minutes in both Hamilton and Linwood have had chance denied by the goalkeeper.
Dylan Henry showed great strength and skill to not only win a 50/50 in the centre of midfield but to beat two Linwood players, he then broke down the left to be denied by Max Bridgewaters top notch sliding tackle.
Linwood won a free kick 19 yards out thanks to the fast feet of Ryan Muir who took it. He tried to chip the keeper but his effort was too high and sailed over.
The long balls continued with Hamilton’s Reece Coyle looking dangerous, but the Linwood defence managed to play it safe despite his pressure.
Linwood’s goalkeeper bravely came out into a scramble and collected it safely.
Ryan Muir broke down the right and a beautiful pass laid off Cameron Breadner but he couldn’t do anything with it as Conner Reid charged in to play it out for a corner.
The cross comes right across with Ryan Muir doing well to shield the ball from an oncoming defender, he left it for Tony Gallacher but he couldn’t keep the volley down and it went over.
Long ball played towards Robbie Torrance is lovely and he attempted to cut it in towards the H striker; but Irwin Gray was too quick and cleared it well.
Linwood break down the right thanks to the pace of Cameron Breadner but his ball across was too soft and Kieran Reid sent it away safely.
A Linwood break lead to a solid driven pass to Tony Gallacher who flicked it on to Ryan Muir. The ball bounced awkwardly and Ryan Muir managed to rise above the keeper but his header only hit the woodwork.
Both teams began showing their ability on and off the ball lovely passes were fired off by both sides, Hamilton looked great but Linwood looked that one step above due to their cautious and clever defence.
Linwood won a free kick for a pass back, indirect. Hamilton players charged the ball down well off the lay off and a heroic block by Sam Murdoch keeps it level.
Linwood broke down the right and Cameron Breadner could have cut it back at any time but instead he drills a left foot shot that Josh MGill managed to push out. A goalmouth scramble ensued with McGill saving another Linwood shot before the 3rd effort sailed over the open goal.
Dylan Henry managed to beat Irwin Gray to the ball and cut it back but Max Bridgewater dispossessed the intended target and cleared it away, raising the bar of his already impressive performance.
Hamilton advanced with lovely play the end result being Joseph McDaid’s shot with the outside of his foot. Irwin Gray went down well and had strong hands to push it wide.
Half Time: Hamilton Accies BC 0-0 Linwood Rangers
Hamilton came out to the second half with a vengeance they looked to assert their dominance on the game by utilizing their physical advantage as much as possible, combining this with the clever passing they displayed in the first 35 minutes they looked impressive out the gates.
Dylan Henry collected the ball inside his own half and managed to push ahead with a solo run that passed 4 Linwood defenders, some twice – but in the end his attempt at a low cross was prevented by Max Bridgewater.
Dylan Henry pushed again, down the left this time but his low cross was pounced on by Irwin Gray.
Linwood struggled to maintain any offense, every time they collected the ball a Hamilton player would be hot on their heels to prevent any play building up. Hamilton’s plan of bringing the game to a new physical level seemed to be giving them the dominance they sought.
Linwood won a corner off a lovely counter attack by Kris Alexander and Cameron Coughtrie, but the corner was headed wide by the Linwood striker.
Linwood took the lead through Cameron Breadner on the 41 minute mark as he broke through the middle before taking a lovely shot form 25 yards with his left foot, it curled magnificently out of the Josh MGill’s reach and put Linwood ahead 1-0.
Hamilton won a free kick on the edge of the box, a lovely turn by Kieran McConville allowed the always dangerous Dylan Henry to break free – foul was conceded by Max Bridgewater.
Reece Coyle took the free kick and it curled well but Irwin Gray collected it cleanly and kept it in towards his chest.
The game continued to be spectacular with both teams playing great attacking football, Linwood’s goal had given them the confidence to play beautiful and deadly football but Hamilton’s renewed urgency meant both teams had upped their game.
Linwood began to play technical football that matched any age group – the move incorporating a huge switch to Kris Alexander and ending in lovely cross form Cameron Coughtrie that was headed away by Kieran Reid.
Hamilton equalised 51 minutes in, a long free kick falling to Reece Coyle 5 yards out. He calmly aimed for the corner and Irwin Gray’s hand was unlucky to only get a touch on it. 1-1.
A low cross from Linwood was dangerous and it bounced off of Josh MGill outwards. It fell to Ryan Muir but he was once again denied a goal due to Joseph McDaid’s heroic block off the line.
Linwood corner fell awkwardly and set up a Hamilton counter Dylan Henry brought the ball the full length of the park and just when he looked to be crowded out by Max Bridgewater he managed to try a high curler that Lgk put behind for a corner.
Full Time: Hamilton Accies BC 1-1 Linwood Rangers
Heading into extra time both teams sat level at 1 a piece and the football was so evenly balanced and high quality that such a result was fair. Both team lined up for extra time and nerves must have been a factor for all the players at this point.
Both teams exchanged tit-for-tat with chances. Ryan Muir and Cameron Breadner produced a lovely move that left Ryan Muir completely alone in the flank, his cross was sublime but Kieran Reids head put it out for a shy.
Ryan Muir again narrowly missed as a fumbled header fell to Reece Gallacher. Reece Gallacher then passed it through into the path of Ryan Muir but his placement was just off and the tap went just wide.
Kieran McConville collected the ball well and brought it down, his beautiful feint gave him enough space from his marker to slip through a reverse pass to Reece Coyle but Reece Coyle’s cross was caught by Irwin Gray.
Hamilton won a series of corners, all four being seen out by a strong Bill McIntosh head at front post until the fifth was mishit for a goal kick.
Going into the second half of extra time neither side had the edge, both teams had trouble their opposite numbers and both Goalkeepers had been busy. It looked like the game could be settled by a moment of brilliance or one mistake.
Cameron Breadner done well to chase down a long clearance and got his head to it, the Hamilton defence blocked the potential chance with a header away.
Another long ball fell, this time to Ryan Muir whose attempt to lob Josh MGill was caught by the wind and went well wide.
Hamilton played lovely on touch football down the right, almost managing to cut inside for a shot but in the end Kris Alexander nmanages to block the move by giving away a corner.
Kieran McConville does well to win back possession and turn the oncoming Linwood player with a tremendous bit of skill, but his ball forward was read and cleared by Jordon Mackay.
Dylan Henry ran for a long ball and it resulted in a physical war between Max Bridgewater and himself, but in the end Max Bridgewater sent it out safely for a shy, snuffing out the dangerous attack.
Linwood scored on the 89th minute, a quick free kick sent Cameron Breadner running in an attempt to double his score he took a 2 yard shot. The Accies keeper did well to save it but it fell right to the feet of Reece Gallacher who sloted it away to put his team en-route to the Scottish Cup.
Hamilton almost put a sting in the tail, with an attempted early cross falling just beyond Reece Coyle. But play was stopped when two players clashed heads. Another effort for Hamilton followed with Charlie Freedman pushing into the box to be denied by Max Bridgewater’s block.
Hamilton’s corner resulted in another as the injury time felt like hours for fans. The ref blew the whitle once the Irwin Gray had clutched the ball to his chest to make Linwood Rangers SYFA Challenge Cup champions in a hard fought game.
Final Result: Hamilton Accies BC 1-2 Linwood Rangers (AET)