A friendly this might have been, but both the Warriors and Hamilton deserve great credit for producing a hugely enjoyable 90 minutes at Ochilview on Tuesday night.
Despite dreadful conditions both sides pinged the ball about sharply from the start, but Hamilton boss Billy Reid fielded a strong young side and the First Division outfit took the lead in the 15th minute.
Following an excellent series of passes Stephen Hendrie found Kieran Millar inside the box and the midfielder gave Ally Brown no chance with a powerful shot.
The pave was enjoyably unrelenting though, and the Warriors were unlucky not to level tw minutes later. Another sharp move saw Eric Paton freed ten yards out, but the midfielder’s angled shot was deflected wide.
John Gemmell volleyed Brian Hodge’s resultant corner from 12 yards, but he too was out of luck when the netbound drive was headed off the line and over by Darren Lyon.
Indeed, the home side went on to play some smashing stuff, moving the ball with pave – as did their opponents – and both Gemmell and Andy Rodgers forced Conner McGlinchey into a couple of saves before Gemmell just failed to get on the end of a Stewart Kean low ball across the face of goal in the 35th minute.
Sadly for the home side though, the visitors were more clinical and six minutes from the interval they doubled their advantage.
Paton, who was having an excellent game, was short with a pass just outside the box and Millar nipped in to slide past the exposed Brown for his double.
His goals apart, Millar looked another superb talent unearthed by Reid and it was something of a relief when he did not appear for the second half.
A minute into the second period Rodgers hooked Gemmell clean through, but the big striker was inches offside - as was Rodgers when Gemmell returned the favour shortly after.
‘Muir were more or less on top in the second period and when Stuart Love clipped home in the 84th minute to pull one back it was the least they deserved, but right from the centre Hamilton forayed downfield and a series of slips allowed Michael Selfridge to restore the visitors’ two goal advantage, hardly a true reflection of an excellent match which was later eclipsed as news broke of Davie Irons departure from Stenhousemuir.
The Warriors play Stirling Albion, again at Ochilview, on Saturday.