CHRIS DONNELLY’S dismissal was a major contributor to the Brandanes’ downfall on Saturday as the Rothesay men simply crumbled in the second half, writes Nino Robertson.
Donnelly had been one of the Rothesay men’s most dangerous threats going forward, and his sending off for dissent led to the island team – who had responded well to going a goal behind, and were the better team at the break – falling to pieces in the second half, conceding a further five goals to go down to their heaviest defeat
The first real chance was passed up by the Danes as Sean Lawrence ran down the wing and produced a great cut back, however there was not one yellow shirt in the penalty box to put the ball in the net.
James Sprowl, who was deployed in the centre of midfield, picked up an early booking, leaving him treading on thin ice throughout the remainder of the match.
The Danes fell behind on 18 minutes after a long ball was played up the park – which looked more like a beach – and Hamilton number nine Garry Semple had a good first touch, and though keeper Ben Hatton made a good first save, Semple stuck to his task to convert the rebound.
Apart from that the first half was mostly devoid of chances, and the referee blew his whistle for half-time with the visitors still trailing by only one goal.
Wes Pattison was definitely off song and under performing on Saturday, but he wasn’t helped by a lack of service from midfield – and his one good chance, early in the second half, was well saved by the keeper.
Minutes later the Danes were two goals down when Hamilton number ten Jordan McAleelanwas put through and watched the ball bobble over the sandy goal mouth and into the net.
Then came Donnelly’s red card for talking back to the referee – after which the Danes fell to pieces like a jigsaw in a box.
McAleelan again raced away from the defence to slot home number three, and just a few minutes later the small number ten completed his hat-trick with Hamilton’s fourth as the Danes defence just split, allowing him all the time in the world to find the net.
Number five came with a quarter of an hour to go, when McAleelan got his head on to a long ball and saw the ball loop over Hatton and into the net.
And in the dying stages the Danes’ frustration reached a peak when McAleelan turned provider; Hatton rushed out to try and prevent another goal, but Kevin Duddy was on hand to pass the ball into an empty net, rounding off a truly horrible day and one the Danes players will want to forget very quickly.
* This Saturday, March 5, the Brandanes have a chance to put their Hamilton nightmare behind them when they travel to Lochwinnoch to face Viewfield Rovers.
Kick-off is at 2.30pm and players should meet in time for the 12 noon ferry.