It was the Betfred Cup opener, delayed from July, that finally took place in this rescheduled season at Galabank on Tuesday night.

Betfred Scottish League Cup, Group Stage

Annan Athletic 3 Hamilton Academical 1

at Galabank, Annan

Tuesday, 6th October, 2020, kick off 7.45pm

This was not the League Cup start we had anticipated as our recent losing cup run continued in games down at Annan. This was the third time in five seasons they had beaten us at Galabank.

Following on from last Friday’s game at Hibs, we were without Shaun Want (ill), Will Collar (injured), Charlie Trafford (suspended), plus Jamie Hamilton and Andy Winter (on international duty with Scotland u19s). Into the squad were Ronan Hughes, George Stanger and Justin Johnson, as we went with only seven substitutes. Ben Stirling made his debut for us while David Templeton made his 50th Accies appearance.

Inside the first two minutes David Templeton had gone on a good dribbling run, but was brought down outside the box but the referee waved away appeals for a free kick. Shortly after Callum Smith was bundled over inside the box, and penalty appeals were also waved away.

In the 9th minute Annan had a free kick but Flanagan’s 25 yard effort was high over the right side.

Accies continued to pressurise with both Templeton and Smith causing issues for the Annan defence. A series of corners and blocked shots came, Ogkmpoe had a header cleared off the line, then another Templeton corner saw Odoffin also see his effort likewise cleared off the goalline.

Purdue from Annan then tried his luck on 21 minutes but Scott McMann was on hand to clear.

Templeton was again causing bother with inswinging corners but we couldn’t make them count. The home team took the lead after 30 minutes, a free kick on the left went out for a corner on the right. When the ball came in it was Steven Swinglehurst who finished from close range.

Six minutes later it was 2-0 when a corner came in from the right and Tyler Fulton headed high into the top corner with a looping header from 16 yards. Wright then saw his shot blocked while Gourlay saved from Moxon before Annan went 3-0 up in the 42nd minute. The ball broke to Purdue 12 yards out and he fired past Gourlay.

We pulled one back four minutes into the second half, Owolabi won a corner on the left, Templeton’s corner came in and skipper Scott McMann, a few yards from the near post, flicked the ball in beyond Pettigrew.

Clark for Annan tried his luck with a long range free kick in the 56th minute before Callum Smith came mighty close for us with a header a minute later.

Callachan and Johnson worked well to try to create chances for us, before Munro and Owolabi also combined well. Callachan then had a corner from theĀ  left to Smith, whose shot went out for another corner on the right. A McMann corner was then punched away by the ‘keeper.

We couldn’t find a way back and Annan held on to win the opening cup tie in the group stage.

In the other game in our group Ayr won 5-2 at Albion Rovers.

Annan: Pettigrew, Fulton, Clark, Hunter, Douglas, Swinglehurst, Purdue (Splaine 79), Moxon, Anderson (A Smith 63), Wright, Flanagan (Currie 86). Subs unused: Mitchell, Docherty, Fleming, Emerson

Goals- Swinglehurst 30, Fulton 36, Purdue 42
Cautions – Moxon

Accies: Gourlay, Odoffin, McMann (c), Stirling, Ogkmpoe, Templeton (Johnson 58 ), Munro, Hodson, C Smith, Callachan, Owolabi (Moyo 79). subs unused: Scully, Martin, Hughes, Stanger, Mimnaugh

Goal- McMann 49

Referee: Craig Napier; Assistants: David Dunne & David Roome