Match report by Campbell Finlayson and photo by Craig Doyle.
Hamilton are likely through to the Quarter Final of the SWPL Cup after a hard fought 2-0 win over Dundee United. Half time substitute Lauren Evans scored twice to ensure Accies are in pole position to go through as one of the best runners-up.
After an opening 20 minutes where neither side really stood out, United came close to opening the scoring. Danni McGinley’s free-kick was spilled by Lauren Grant but Jade McLaren was unable to convert the rebound.
The hosts replied with a chance of their own though and really should have taken the lead. Good work from MT Gardiner down the left resulted in the winger cutting the ball back to Megan Quigley who somehow managed to put the ball past the post from 10 yards out.
Just before the break the visitors forced the first major save of the game when McGinley took aim from the edge of the area, with Grant having to push the ball behind. Accies failed to clear from the set piece with the ball eventually breaking the way of Erin Ross outside the box, with the midfielder seeing her shot come back off the post as the half came to a close.
McGinley was United’s most likely way to goal and she had another effort at the beginning of the second half running onto a lovely ball from Keira Johnstone before lobbing the ball over the bar. Jade McLaren was next to go close for the Terrors, forcing Grant to tip over her free-kick from distance.
All the pressure was coming from the away side and they really should have taken the lead when Johnstone played in substitute Steffi Simson over the top, but she could only fire straight at the keeper.
Accies weren’t to be beaten though and after going close through Amy Anderson, they eventually broke the deadlock with just under 20 minutes to go when Gardiner’s cross fell to substitute Evans who was able to control before firing the ball home.
United pressed for the equaliser but it was Hamilton who would score the second with eight minutes remaining as Gardiner showed great skill to get past Philippa McCallum before teeing up Evans to nod home her second of the afternoon.
Both sides return to action next week with Accies facing their first away game in the league against Queen’s Park, while United play their final cup group game with a rearranged clash against Rangers.
Hamilton: Grant; Fitzsimmons, Connolly (Ross, 80), Coakley, Quinn; Quigley, Anderson (McTear, 81), Sturrock (McCann, 62); Kane (Molley, 87), Brown (Evans, 46), Gardiner
Dundee United: Welsh; Reid (Simson, 30), Ross (McMillan, 75), McLaren, McCallum; Johnstone, Ross; Napier, Guthrie, Graham; McGinley