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Hamilton boss Brian Rice ’embarrassed’ following Annan defeat

Brian Rice File Photo
(Image credit: Kenny Smith)

Hamilton head coach Brian Rice was “embarrassed and raging” following their Betfred Cup defeat to Annan.

League Two outfit Annan secured their third cup shock over Premiership Hamilton at Galabank with a 3-1 success in their opening group game.

Annan blew Hamilton away with three goals in 11 first-half minutes. Captain Steven Swinglehurst opening the scoring inside 31 minutes followed by goals from debutants Tyler Fulton and Jack Purdue.

Scott McMann pulled one back but Hamilton were unable to mount a comeback and Rice did not hide his disappointment.

Rice said: “For the first 30 minutes we were well on top but just couldn’t get that goal.

“But three individual mistakes cost us and the goals we lost were absolutely diabolical.

“Individual mistakes, we need to be accountable for that. I’m accountable for that and hold my hands up all the time but there’s been three mistakes in there and it’s cost us the game.

“How we came in three down at half-time is beyond me but we did and we didn’t do enough second half to get it back. Fair play to Annan.

“I’m so disappointed and I’m embarrassed. I’ve got a team on the park which should have been able to win that game. I never put out a weakened team and I’m really disappointed.

“There’s no hiding places and there’s no excuses. We made individual mistakes and couldn’t score when we were on top.

“Everyone likes to blame everyone else but there’s only one person I’ll blame and that’s me. I’m raging, I’m angry and embarrassed.”

Rice added: “It’s happened a few times when we lose a goal, we lose another one quickly. It happened the other night at Easter Road as well, it happened at Parkhead and against Rangers. Whether the confidence goes or we panic.”

Annan manager Peter Murphy was delighted with his side on their return to competitive action.

Murphy said: “We got that result by withstanding a lot of pressure. We cleared one off the line and then took advantage of our corners. Goals change games and we dug in at the end because we knew we’d be under pressure.

“The big thing was we were back playing competitive football after such a long time out. Whatever way the result went, and it went for us, the main thing was to be back playing which I think is brilliant.”