|CB||5||Andy Ward (c)|
|17||Ryan Milne (u20)|
|18||Blair Bateman (u20)|
Having exceeded expectations in their debut Lowland League season, finishing fourth, the Colts reward for their hard work over those 28 games was an Irn-Bru Challenge Cup tie at home against Hamilton Academical under 20's. The Accies, who finished second in the development league behind Celtic last season, would be a tough test for the Broadwood side, but with Saturday's disappointing start to their competitive campaign fresh in the memory the Colts may have been expected to go into the game looking to make a point. Not so, as the issues of Saturday continued and they bowed out of the competition with somewhat of a whimper.
There were changes in the Colts lineup, Saturday's Man of the Match Black left out to nurse a calf injury ahead of this weekend's trip to Dalbeattie. There were also welcome returns for Top Scorer and double Player of the Year O'Neill and the consistent Kirwan, albeit filling in at centre back instead of in his natural fullback role. Young Conor McKenzie came into the starting lineup to replace Ronald, with Pirrie in from the start in place of Barclay.
The visitors were in front inside 10 minutes, Cunningham allowed space on the edge of the Colts area to control a ball dropping from the sky and find the corner beyond the reach of Fahey. A case of lesson not learned for the home defence as the same player had cut inside and fired narrowly wide only moments previously.
O'Neill nearly pulled the home side level with a low left foot effort well stopped by Marshall in the Accies goal, but that was the only effort on target to trouble the youngsters in the opening 45 as the visitors looked the more likely to extend their lead, some decent goalkeeping by Fahey, some poor decision making and/or finishing keeping the score 0-1 at the break.
Into the second half and Ronald replaced McKenzie on the right, but the wide man hadn't touched the ball, no-one in a Colts jersey had in fact, before they found themselves 2-0 down with more calamitous defending. A ball forward was missed by the Colts central defence before finding its way to the Accies forward. On the right of the Colts defence he skipped beyond both Ramsay and Ward far too easily before pulling back to his teammate to drill low into the net from 12 yards, no-one from the Colts midfield matching that run.
0-2 inside a minute.
On the hour the Brown replaced Hunter and the young striker, still working his way back after a year out of the game through illness, at least caused the Accies defence some discomfort with his direct, physical and at times awkward style.
Having spent so long out though the sharpness that saw him score goals for fun still isn't quite there as his rebound from a Kirwan header hit the bar before he narrowly missed connecting with an O'Neill corner from the right. An unfortunate slip then stopped him turning in from the rebound as O'Neill forced a save from the keeper.
The Colts should have had at least one, but on a positive note at least they had actually created some chances.
In truth though they probably should have been more than two behind, Hamilton passing up three excellent opportunities, including an open goal and one cleared of the line by Batchelor, before more slackness from the home side finished the game.
A slack square pass from Ronald was pounced upon by the Accies forward taking out the entire Colts midfield. As the youngsters attacked the defence in numbers they moved the ball around before a low effort beat Fahey to his right for three nil, the game finishing there.
Another hugely disappointing day for the Colts, who now head to Dalbeattie on Saturday trying to kick-start their season in what will be a very tough game against a side expected to challenge at the top end of the league.