Groundhopper:East Kilbride 1 Hamilton Accademicals 3. (15/7/17). Malcolm Stephenso

It’s only been 42 days or 6 weeks from the last competitive game from last season until the first one of this new campaign. The last match I went to last season was on the 3rd June at Broughty Athletic and this trip to East Kilbride sets a new record for me of the shortest time between seasons.

Today was the start of the Scottish league season with the league cup being played. However East Kilbride are not even in the Scottish league but were invited into the competition nevertheless. It’s a round robin competition with four teams in a group. Its 3 points for a win and nothing for a defeat. No extra time but straight to penalties in the event of a draw. In that case the losing side got a point. So you could get a point even if you lost the match but only if you drew. Confusing or what.
East Kilbride were only formed in 2010 as this large Town had no senior football club. A team had existed from here many years ago after forming in 1871. A club called Jackton Boys club and Stewartfield amalgamated to form the present club which later also incorporated EK Diamonds and EK Wanderers. Last season East Kilbride were Champions in the Lowland league but lost out on promotion to the Scottish football league after losing to Cowdenbeath over two legs. Football league status is the ambition of the club as well as a move away from their current temporary ground called K park which they seem to consider as more of a training facility.
The ground has only two sides. A terrace area behind the goal with a covered roof and today it housed a good contingent of Hamilton supporters. On the near side is a seated stand which covers about half of the pitch. Apart from dug outs on the far side and the floodlights that’s about it to the ground. There is nothing on the far side or behind the other goal.
It was good old typical British summers day. That is wet and a bit miserable. I was happy though as it was a football match and a new ground again after my recent withdrawal for 42 days.
The game started and East Kilbride had a great chance to score after 45 seconds but missed it when a shot went wide of the far post. Them on 21 minutes the home side had another great opportunity with just the goalkeeper to beat but that chance was also missed. Six minutes before half time the East Kilbride gave a corner way and the visitors volleyed home the resultant ball when it was swung in to the penalty area.
The home side were not giving up. Despite a few chances for Hamilton in the second half it was East Kilbride who scored when they gained a penalty on 69 minutes. I thought it might be going to a penalty shoot out but the visitors had other ideas. They in fact scored on 81 minutes and in stoppage time to give a bit of a flattering score line.
It’s good to be on my travels again and I have got three other trips lined up before Blyths season even starts!

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