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Captain fantastic leads Annan to cup upset

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By Euan Maxwell
Annan and Eskdale
Captain fantastic leads Annan to cup upset

STEVEN Swinglehurst was on cloud nine after leading Annan Athletic to a shock 3-1 victory over Premiership side Hamilton Accies.

After withstanding heavy pressure from Brian Rice’s side, the League Two underdogs scored three goals in quick succession at Galabank and got their Betfred Cup group campaign off to a flier.

It was captain Swinglehurst who opened the scoring but admits it wasn’t a clean finish. He said: “I actually mis-hit the ball, I can’t claim it was a good finish but I’ve found myself in the right area and just swung a leg and hoped for the best like I normally do.

“It was a crucial time to score a goal as Hamilton had us on the backfoot. We’ve got players who love the battle and coming from a defensive point of view we all played well.”

A Tyler Fulton header and a Jack Purdue piledriver gave the Black and Golds some breathing space going into the interval.

Annan defended well in the second half and, despite conceding one, they held out to another famous victory against Hamilton – their third cup success over them on the bounce.

Swinglehurst – who featured in their previous victory over Accies – added: “The manager said to us at half time to be ready and keep them at bay.

“They scored an early goal but after that we managed to slow the game down and contain them.

“We just seem to turn up against Hamilton, I don’t know why. The manager has recruited well during the close season. Some would say some our of new additions are too good for Annan and League Two.

“Jack Purdue put in a terrific performance and I thought we comfortably deserved the win.”

Meanwhile, boss Peter Murphy hailed his side’s performance and admitted it was just good to get back up and running after lengthy absence.

“It was a great result, our players deserve credit for their performance and getting a result against a top tier club.

“The main thing for everybody tonight, and the other League Cup games, is that we are back to competitive football after such a long time out. It’s brilliant to be back.”

Now Annan’s attention turns to their second Betfred Cup group fixture where they face Stevie Farrell’s Stranraer side at Galabank on Saturday.

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