Our Accies media web reporter Martin McConnell with his take on Saturday’s draw v Hibernian
Foys Stadium, Hamilton
Saturday 19th October 2019, kick off 3pm.
Hamilton Academical 1 Hibernian 1
Once again, we came from behind to take a well deserved share of the spoils, this time against Hibernian. The point meant we remained in eighth place on nine points after nine games, just two points behind Livingston in seventh.
Hibs took a first half lead when Stephen Mallan got onto the end of a clearance and spectacularly struck home from the edge of the penalty area. Accies then worked themselves into the game in the second half and drew level when Ross Cunningham struck successfully from the penalty spot once again.
Hamilton made four changes from the side that visited Ibrox a fortnight ago. In came Mickel Miller, Marios Ogkmpoe, Scott Martin and Lewis Smith for McKenna, Fjortoft, Oakley and Beck. Hibs on the other hand made a single change with Joe Newell replacing Scott Allan.
Hamilton Head Coach Brian Rice said afterwards “It was probably a fair result. I thought that possession wise Hibs had a lot of the ball. Stephen Mallan can score those type of goals you know. It was a great strike. I thought that we were a threat on the break. In the second half I thought we came a lot more into the game. I don’t think, in my opinion, only my opinion, I think we deserved something from the game.”
The Head Coach went on to praise his players “They give everything and don’t leave anything out on that pitch. They give everything for that jersey out there. They give everything for me and I couldn’t ask any more of those boys. Effort wise and commitment wise, you know, they give me absolutely everything every single day.
I demand a lot from them. We’ve not got the best players in the league but I’ll tell you what. We’ve got a spirit and a desire. We went to Tynecastle and at 2-0 down we came back and got a point. We went behind against Livingston, came back and won. Went behind today and came back to get a draw today. So the desire and commitment not to get beaten is in that dressing room.”
Accies made a lively start to proceedings without proving much of a nuisance in front of Maxwell’s goal. The tide turned in the visitors favour when Hamilton’s defence began to open up and leave some huge gaps to be exploited. A great chance for the lead was squandered when Newell’s excellent ball to an unmarked Horgan at the back post, was struck across goal and wide from inside the six yard box.
A couple of headed efforts went close for Hibs when midway through the half they did take a lead thanks to a spectacular strike. This time Newell’s cross was cleared as far as the 18 yard line, with the ball falling nicely as Mallan volleyed from the corner of the box and right past the keeper at the far post.
Accies hard work gradually got them a toehold in the game towards the end of the half but to no avail as time ran out on them.
An early second half substitution saw Cunningham replace Smith. It proved fortuitous as Accies were then awarded a penalty minutes later when Mallan brought down Alston. The scene was set and up stepped Cunningham to rattle the ball straight down the middle for his seventh of the season.
Neither side offered much in the way of chances but Accies best effort came when McMann and Oakley combined well down the left. Oakley’s header allowed McMann an angled run into the box where his shot was saved well at the near post by Maxwell.
Hibs fans had to wait until about six minutes from time before seeing their side have a chance of stealing a winner. It came when Tom James curled a strike six inches high from the 18 yard line but Fon Williams looked to have had it well covered.
With the clock ticking down, Accies picked up the pace as the Hibs defence looked more than a little indecisive and nervous but just weren’t able to produce anything that would keep the points in Hamilton.
Accies: Fon Williams, McMann, Alston, Miller (Oakley 68 ), Gogic, Hughes, Easton (c), Martin, Stubbs, L Smith (Cunningham 53), Ogkmpoe (Davies 76). Subs Unused: Southwood, MacKinnon, Moyo, Hamilton.
Goal: Cunningham (pen) 57.
Hibernian: Maxwell, Hanlon, Vela (Kamberi 89), Horgan (Allan 72), Doidge, Newell (Murray 80),Mallan, Stevenson, James, Hallberg, Porteous. Subs Unused: Marciano, Jackson, Middleton, Naismith.
Goal: Mallan 22.
Referee: John Beaton. Assistants: Kylie Cockburn and Gary Hilland. 4th Official: Scott Lambie.