Hamilton Academical hammered Edinburgh City 5-0 at the Fountain of Youth Stadium on Saturday afternoon, to progress to the Fifth Round of the Scottish Cup.
First-half goals from Andy Dales, Scott McMann and Scott Martin put the hosts in total control at the break, before second-half efforts from Andy Winter and Mikel Miller completed the scoring.
Hamilton had the better of a relatively scrappy opening period, with Miller and new loan signing, Dales, causing problems in wide areas.
It was the former who had the first sighting at goal. Released by a raking Alex Gogic pass with ten minutes on the clock, he cut inside and fired a low drive from 18 yards which was beaten away by Alan Martin.
Miller was involved again just a few minutes later when his floated cross from the right, found an unmarked Dales around the penalty spot. The winger rose and appeared to do everything right, but with the ‘keeper beaten, his header crashed off the bar and away to safety.
As it turned out, that would be a dress rehearsal of the opening goal. With 22 minutes on the clock, after a smart one-two on the right, Aaron McGowan delivered an excellent first-time cross and Dales broke the deadlock with a header back across goal that bounced beyond Martin.
With the Citizens struggling to escape their own half, the hosts piled on the pressure and soon it was two.
Following a corner, Scott McMann picked up the ball on the edge of the box and unleashed a fierce low drive which flew into the bottom right corner past a motionless Martin.
There was a blow for Accies just after the half an hour mark, when the architect of the opener, McGowan, was forced off with an apparent muscle injury.
To their credit, the visitors settled into the game more thereafter, getting the ball down and attempting to go toe-to-toe with the Premiership side.
However, misfortune was to strike on the brink of the interval, when Scott Martin’s speculative effort from 25 yards, took a huge deflection, wrongfooting the City keeper and extending the advantage further.
At 3-0 and with the game all but over as a contest, there was a slow start to the second period, with neither side creating anything meaningful.
Brian Rice then made the call to bring off City’s tormentor in chief, Dales, who received a standing ovation from the Accies faithful before being replaced by Andy Winter.
Miller and Gogic showed glimpses, but play had stagnated by this stage, with both sides apparently relatively happy with their lot.
With ten minutes remaining, though, there was a special moment for a home-grown talent.
Teenage substitute, Winter, who was making his debut, twisted and turned on the right side of the area, before opening his body and stroking a left-footed finish into the far corner to make it 4-0.
That goal appeared to hurt the weary visitors and shortly after, Miller added a fifth. Another substitute, Johnny Hunt crossed from the right following a corner and the winger arrived at the back post to power home a header.
A spirited effort from League Two Edinburgh City, then, but Accies possessed too much quality, and a strong first half showing was enough to make sure there would be no upset in Hamilton.