Dec 20 2012 by Andrew McGilvray, Hamilton Advertiser
Some pre-Christmas crackers from Ali Crawford, Mikey Devlin and Grant Gillespie eased Hamilton past First Division strugglers Dumbarton to set up a fifth round clash at Dunfermline in February.
Accies were streets ahead of sorry Sons and could easily have been 4-0 ahead by half-time at the Bet Butler Stadium on Monday night. On that showing, in front of new manager Ian Murray for the first time, Dumbarton look doomed.
Hamilton created the first chance in 11 minutes when a great move involving Darian MacKinnon, Ziggy Gordon and Louis Longridge resulted in Crawford releasing Gary Fisher and his first-time shot beat Stephen Grindlay but crashed off the crossbar.
It didn’t take long though and in 25 minutes Fisher made his way down the right before squaring for Crawford to unleash a chip that flew over Grindlay and went in via the underside of the crossbar.
Dumbarton should have equalised in 30 minutes when Garry Fleming was released on the right in a good position, but Kevin Cuthbert saved well.
Hamilton grabbed their second goal in 41 minutes when a Martin Canning shot broke to Devlin wide on the left and he looked up before curling a superb shot over Grindlay and in at the top corner from fully 20 yards for his first Accies goal.
It became something of an exhibition after that and in 43 minutes Jon Routledge left Grindlay for dead with a superb chip, but watched his shot cannon off the crossbar and away to safety.
A minute later MacKinnon was desperately unlucky not to score when Routledge reached the bye-line on the right and whipped in a cross for the striker to divert a glancing header towards the far post corner, but Grindlay got enough on it to claw it past.
There was a real sense of anticipation amongst the travelling support that they could see a good few goals – but it didn’t quite turn out like that.
Accies threatened early on and when a Crawford free-kick was played out of the six-yard box Routledge met it with a smart volley, but Grindlay saved well in 47 minutes.
Hamilton should have wrapped up the win in 54 minutes when MacKinnon was sent through on the left, but the striker tried to nutmeg Grindlay and the keeper blocked with his legs.
Dumbarton had barely threatened throughout but pulled themselves right back into the game in 58 minutes when Jim Lister bulleted a header into the right corner from a Mark Lamont cross.
That provided some moments of nervousness amongst the Accies support as Dumbarton went in search of an equaliser, but in truth the defence held firm and coped well with everything that was thrown at them.
Having soaked up what pressure there was, Hamilton sealed the points in some style in 75 minutes when Crawford sent sub Grant Gillespie through on goal and he held off a defender before chipping over Grindlay and into the left corner from eight yards for his first ever Accies goal.
Tempers flared on a few occasions thereafter as referee Bobby Madden struggled to cope at times.
Chris Turner had been slightly fortunate to only be cautioned in the first half for a blatant elbow on Crawford and when he kicked out at Alex Neil and the Accies captain reacted in 78 minutes both were cautioned – meaning an early bath for the Dumbarton man.
Dumbarton had a great chance to pull a goal back in 88 minutes when Lister was sent through, but Cuthbert blocked well with his chest to deny him what surely would have been a consolation.
Sub Andy Ryan sent a shot whistling past from 22 yards as he searched for his first goal of the season, but it was never going to trouble Grindlay.
Tempers flared again inside stoppage time, with Dumbarton’s Lister cautioned, alongside Hamilton duo Devlin and Gillespie.