By Ben McNicol
St Mirren progressed to the fourth round of the Scottish Cup after winning an all-Premiership affair against Hamilton 3-0.
The two sides recently met in the last game prior to the post-split fixtures where a late Kyle Munro header saw the Buddies devastatingly miss out on an historic top-six finish. Jim Goodwin’s team made a very bright start to make amends and took the lead after just four minutes on the clock when Jamie McGrath lobbed Ryan Fulton at an angle.
It should have been 2-0 after 20 minutes when a wonderful defence-splitting pass from Ethan Erhahon found Jon Obika inside the box but Fulton made a fine block to deny the forward. Up the other end, Hamilton put together their first attacking move of the afternoon, which resulted in Jak Alnwick tipping over a Lee Hodson drive from range.
Hamilton started the better of the two sides as the second-half got underway and they should’ve been level shortly after the break. Bruce Anderson released Ross Callachan down the right-hand side and his inch-perfect cross towards the back-post was headed over by David Moyo from six yards out.
Following a quiet period in the match, St Mirren doubled their advantage through substitute Kristian Dennis. who tremendously curled into the top corner from 25-yards out. Initially thought to be out for the season after a torn achilles, the substitute was inspiring for Goodwin’s side and his introduction spurred them on to victory.
It was 3-0 shortly after as the Buddies were awarded a penalty when Fulton brought down Obika inside the box. McGrath stepped up, kept his cool, and slotted home from 12-yards. Here are three things we learned as the Buddies banked a Scottish Cup last 16 spot.
St Mirren progress
The Buddies deservedly book their place in the fourth round draw after a good performance against Hamilton. The Paisley side will be looking to a similar cup run to the one they recently had in the League Cup, which saw them make the semi-finals at the national stadium.
League focus for Hamilton
Hamilton’s focus will now turn to securing another season of Scottish Premiership football as the final five season-defining games begin next weekend when they face Dundee United at home.
There was a debut for St Mirren academy graduate Jay Henderson as he came on to replace Ilkay Durmus with five minutes remaining. The Buddies have been recognised for giving some younger players a chance recently, with the likes of 16-year-old Dylan Reid catching the eye of some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
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