Scottish Cup 5th round replay - Tue 14/02/17 - KO 7.45pm - The Superseal Stadium
Odds (Labrokes): Hamilton 11/10; Draw 12/5; Dunfermline 12/5
This evening's Scottish Cup fifth round replay gives the winner the right to play Rangers at Ibrox in the quarter finals. Both Dunfermline and Hamilton had chances to win Saturday's game outright but the game ended with a goal apiece.
Accies will now be considered favourites to win the tie, being the club from the higher division and now having home advantage. Boss Martin Canning thought a draw was a fair outcome on Saturday, telling the media after the game that, "If we had better decision making, we could probably have scored again to win the game, but we've got to do it all again on Tuesday." Canning praised his side's goalscorer, midfielder Danny Redmond: "We know he has got the quality to find the bottom corner and thankfully for us he did."
Hamilton were missing several first team players in the game at East End Park. The injured players - Jesus Garcia Tena, Georgios Sarris, Ali Crawford, Greg Docherty, Louis Longridge, Darren Lyon, Alex D'Acol and Shaun Want - are all still likely to be missing for the replay.
At 1-0 up on Saturday, Dunfermline had 3 chances to double the lead in a 6 minute period, but Paul McMullan, Michael Moffat and Kallum Higginbotham all failed to capitalise, leading The Scotsman's match report headline to read: "Accies rescue replay against wasteful Pars." While Hamilton then came into the game and forced Pars keeper Sean Murdoch to make 2 excellent saves.
The artificial surface at Accies' stadium will help Dunfermline's more creative players, after Saturday's game was played on an East End Park surface that was cutting up badly and had goalmouths covered in sand and mud.
Allan Johnston will be without injured captain Andy Geggan, and may decide to start with the same team that played the bulk of Saturday's game after Geggan's injury. Jason Talbot replaced the injured Geggan, with Lewis Martin moving to left back. Kallum Higginbotham was named the sponsor's man of the match on Saturday but played below the standards he has set, a continuation of the patchy form he has showed over the past few weeks. Joe Cardle (pictured above) could be in line for a start, with Michael Paton also in contention.
I would retain the team that played on Saturday, minus the injured Geggan, but would make use of the substitutes if Higginbotham's form does not pick up.
Preferred starting 11, with squad numbers:
Photos by Pars Review.
Tomorrow: Game Day image, then later in the evening match report/opinion with photos and Pars player ratings.