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Dales’ Hamilton debut wins Rice praise

Brian Rice praised the impact of debutant Andy Dales after Hamilton secured their place in the fifth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

The Ladbrokes Premiership side smashed five goals past League Two outfit Edinburgh City in a 5-0 victory, Dales opening the scoring with a clever header on his first start since joining on loan from Scunthorpe.

“I tracked Andy at Dundee,” said Rice. “He caught my eye every time I saw him playing, but he dropped out of it when he moved to Scunthorpe.

“He has something that I was looking for as he is a ball carrier who gets you up the pitch.

“He’s a typical winger, he will have good days, frustrating days and quiet days, but when he’s good, he will offer us something. He’s scored and hit the crossbar on debut, so I’m delighted for him.

“He will excite the fans. I was screaming at him today to get forward. I want him to try to score goals and create chances, I don’t want to see us make 20 passes in our own half and go nowhere. We’ve now got wide players who can get us up the pitch in Andy, Mickel (Miller) and Lewis (Smith),” said Rice.

Scott McMann and a defected Scott Martin effort handed the hosts a comfortable lead at the break.

Late goals from academy graduate Andy Winter and Miller then secured Hamilton’s biggest Scottish Cup win since beating Gala Fairydean 9-0 in 1922.

Edinburgh City can now focus on their League Two title battle with Cove Rangers, and assistant manager Colin Jack said: “We lost a couple of cheap goals and the third before half-time killed it as a contest.

“We were missing some key players, but Hamilton are a good team, they’ve beaten Hearts and Motherwell recently, with loads of good players and well coached.

“We knew it was going to be a difficult task as they’re a good team and with three leagues between us it’s maybe a reality check for us.”

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