Our media reporter Martin McConnell with his take on Tuesday’s game at Pittodrie
Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Tuesday, 20th October, 2020, kick off 7pm.
Aberdeen 4 Hamilton Academical 2
We remain bottom of the table on seven points while the Dons climbed one place into third. A devastating 20 minute spell in the first half left Accies reeling with an almost insurmountable 4-1 deficit going into the break.
A poor defensive performance saw the Dons put four past the Hamilton defence. It didn’t help that this was very much an attack minded Aberdeen side with goals from Hoban, Ferguson and a brace by Edmondson before Moyo got one back.
The Moyo strike may have been more important than it seemed at the time, stirring something from within the Hamilton players. From then on in, Aberdeen were at times second best for most of what remained. Accies never looked liked they’d win but did give the Dons food for thought, before pulling another back when Callachan scored from the penalty spot.
Head Coach Brian Rice gave his thoughts, “It was a twenty minute spell in which we lost the game. It was only a twenty minute spell. We started the game well then in the next twenty minutes I don’t know what happened. I’ll have to look at it and analyse it. We gave ourselves an absolute mountain to climb, especially here at Aberdeen.
With no disrespect to Aberdeen as they were all really good goals but a couple of them were really, really avoidable on our part. Very sloppy from us but once again we started to climb that mountain. In the second half I thought that was the best we’ve played this season. I must say by a long way.”
Accies made two changes to the starting XI that faced St. Johnstone on Saturday, with Ronan Hughes and Will Collar replacing the injured David Templeton (groin) and Kyle Munro (wrist). Hosts Aberdeen likewise made a couple of changes with Ross McCrorie and Connor McLennan making way for Ryan Edmondson and Dylan McGeouch.
Accies seemed to have started brightly during a high tempo opening five minutes, Moyo going wide from outside the box and Callachan’s free kick saved by the ‘keeper. Aberdeen started to find their stride as Johnny Hayes began to shine for the home side.
When the Dons won themselves a corner kick, Hoban broke from his marker to make his run, Hedges delivered to the near post where Tommy Hoban nodded in from the edge of the six yard line. Former Accie Lewis Ferguson went close from a free kick before scoring with a world class 25 yard strike, wide on the right and with an incredible first touch.
Aberdeen looked as if they could now score at will, making runs through an ever retreating defence. An Edmondson attempt was deflected inches wide of the far post for another corner kick. The quick and short corner was eventually put wide of the back post by Hedges, with Hoban not far off making contact with the ball himself.
A third started in midfield with Hayes collecting a loose ball just inside the Hamilton half before playing it into space at the corner of the box for Watkins. Meanwhile, Hayes continued his run down the left, cut into the box where he collected from Watkins to cross for Edmondson to score his first in the Aberdeen red.
Edmondson made it four with his second of the night when a failed clearance left a hole at the back for the big striker to exploit. With head down and running directly in on goal he struck from eight yards out. With nothing much to play for other than pride, Accies got one back when Callachan put a cross in at the back post. Moyo threw himself towards it and prodded home.
Watkins then almost scored from a cheeky back heeled flick, fortunately Ryan Fulton was up to task and saved well. Hamilton responded immediately by breaking forward, Moyo poked the ball through the back line for Callachan. His first shot was very well blocked by Hoban and his second cleared off the line by Considine just before half-time.
Marios Ogkmpoe welcomed Joe Lewis to the second half with a twenty yard belter that the keeper had to stretch for and get both hands solidly behind. A much improved Hamilton were awarded a spot kick after Considine handled from a pacey Hodson cross. Callachan then breathed some life into the contest by stepping up to expertly convert.
With chances few and far between for Hamilton, the second half performance by the defence gives some hope for the coming match against St. Mirren on Saturday. Although tested on a few occasions, they gave Aberdeen nothing to increase their lead.
Aberdeen: Lewis, Hoban, Considine, Hedges, Taylor, Hayes (McLennan 33), Edmondson (McCrorie 56), Ferguson, Wright (McGinn 87), McGeouch (Ojo 57), Watkins. Subs Unused: Woods, Logan, Cosgrove, Leigh, Kennedy.
Goals: Hoban 12, Ferguson 20, Edmondson 23, 32.
Accies: Fulton, Odoffin, McMann (c), Collar (Mimnaugh 62), Martin (Trafford 57), Ogkmpoe, Want, Hughes (C Smith 79), Moyo, Hodson, Callachan (Stirling 79), Subs Unused: Gourlay, Easton, Stanger, Owolabi, Johnson.
Goals: Moyo 33, Callachan 67 pen.
Referee: Nick Walsh. Assistants: Ross Macleod & Andy Milne. 4th Official: Graham Grainger.