Paul Clout :g: :g:
Jackson Houlihan :g:
Henry Stephen :g:
The Hamilton Wanderer's Reserve team finds themselves one game from cup glory, after a dominating 4-2 win in the Hamilton Derby against Melville United. Goals from Paul Clout (2), Jackson Houlihan and Henry Stephen were merely the icing on the cake as a great performance from everyone on the pitch helped secure the deserved win.
Melville United's reserve team, already champions of the league, were caught off guard by how quick Wanderers were from the off. In the opening minutes, Clout and Liam Hayes had already combined well with quick movement before a shot from Hayes went over.
It did not take long for Wanderers to find the opening goal however, Clout enjoying a lot of freedom down the right side, was able to pick up the ball and drive through the centre of the pitch before unleashing a shot into the bottom corner giving first blood on Derby Day to the Blues.
Henry Stephen had two dangerous crosses cut out by the Melville defence before they responded, a curling shot in the Wanderer's box found its way past Matt Oliver tying the game at 1-1.
Wanderers had multiple chances throughout the first half to go ahead, Jackson Houlihan, often a playmaker from the back line had found himself free from his man at a set piece routine, but headed over before Lebon Bulamba had a shot well saved before the half time whistle.
The second half started much like the first, Wanderers came out dominating early and a mad scramble in the Melville box allowed Houlihan to get his goal, tapping home a loose ball.
Stephen, who was having one of his best games of the season, then decided to run the whole pitch with the ball seemingly not wanting to leave his side as it bounced with him the whole way to the Melville box before being pushed out for a corner.
The important third goal came for Wanderers when a foul in the box gave Stephen the chance to put another nail in the coffin from 12 yards. It was a text book finish much like the near text book performance Wanderers had been putting on at the home of their rivals.
The composure out of the back from the likes of Alex Naish, Raheem Hunter and Jonathan Tobias was allowing Wanderers to consistently press the advantage, with the help of James Davies sitting in front of them and distributing the ball.
The fourth goal did come for Wanderers with some unselfish play from Lebon Bulamba who had stated earlier that he "was feeling goals today", obviously referring to Clout as Bulamba sent a pass across the goal allowing Clout to rocket home the shot and his second of the game.
Melville would pull one back before full time but the damage was already done. A big thank you is deserved to the supporters who braved an incredibly chilly night. The officials Stuart Gaylor, Hubert & Yannic Bakx, who along with Pete have worked hard with the boys all season to get them in this position for silverware.
A cup final up next for our boys in blue.