Last night at Station Park Forfar, the Accies under 19 team lifted the SFL under 19 league cup beating a Forfar team 5 – 2. What with the attraction of free entry, a visit to one of my favourite grounds and hopefully to see Accies win a trophy, I went along. On paper Hamilton were favourites to win with many of the players part of the under 20’s team that has done so well in the SPL under 20’s league. However Forfar in getting to the first national cup final of any kind in the club’s 128 year history were not there just to make up the numbers. In the semi final, 2 down to Livingston with 5 minutes to go, they managed to score twice taking the game to extra time and then put another 3 past the Livvie goalkeeper winning 5 – 2.
One of the great attractions of Forfar’s ground is its traditional terracing set up that allows you mingle with those round you. Before the game I chatted to one of their directors discussing their artificial pitch which has made a huge difference to the club. Next up in ground development, the club are hoping to replace all the stand side floodlights with two new floodlight columns in the corners. No doubt the two visits of Rangers next season will help pay for that. There were a few Accies fans in the stand, mostly family of the players but I seemed to be the only Accies fan on the terracing and the banter with the Forfar fans was good. Anyway to the game itself there is a perfectly good report on the Club website but Accies were clearly up for it from kick off and by the 29th minute were 3 up through Brophy and Ryan (2). Forfar scored the goal of the half straight from the restart at 30 minutes but Brophy scoring in 37 minutes restored Accies’ 3 goal lead. The Forfar fans around me acknowledged that throughout the half, Accies were far quicker getting to and on the ball perhaps a reflection of their experience and fitness. The second half kicked off with Forfar quickly adding a second in 47 minutes and for a spell this obviously geed them up but Accies took control adding a fifth in 83 minutes and the rest of the game was goal less.
The final whistle saw the presentation table brought out and the SFL Director of Operations David Thomson was on hand to present medals, first to the runners up, referees and then the Accies players before handing over the Cup to captain Lee Kilday. So at the end of an eventful season Alex Neil not only has had a successful spell as Interim manager in the league but his under 19 team lifted silverware.
Good to see Ronnie, Les and Scott amongst the officials present and given Forfar usually manage about 450+ for home games, the 300+ crowd was a healthy turnout. I’ve used the crowd figure from the Forfar website which was more realistic from my viewpoint than the Accies quoted figure. Now when is the first game of the new season?