Accies website reporter Martin McConnell with Saturday’s details…
The first game in eight we’ve been involved in where both teams have scored
Saturday 6th April 2019 at 3pm.
Hamilton Academical 1 St. Mirren 1
We go into the break before the final five post split fixtures retaining a four point gap over nearest rival St. Mirren, following a thrilling 1-1 draw at Hope Stadium. Whilst Dundee remain rooted to the bottom and seven points behind us after their 2-0 defeat against Aberdeen at Dens Park.
St. Mirren put Accies onto the back foot for almost the entirety of the first half but it was Hamilton that went closest to stealing a lead when Steve Davies had a shot blocked wide. The second half was end to end stuff and more NBA than SPFL. Both had chances but Accies took the lead when Davies struck from an Andreu cross. The lead didn’t last when the Buddies equalised from the spot minutes later. Accies had further chances but couldn’t capitalise.
Accies made four changes from midweek with Kilgallon replacing Tshiembe, Miller in for Andreu, Gogic for McMillan and Davies coming in for Martin. St. Mirren went even further with a total of seven changes when Paul McGinn, Erhahon, Flynn, Lyons, Dreyer, Jackson and Mullen replacing Stephen McGinn, MacPherson, Corbu, Kellerman, Cooke and Nazon.
Hamilton Head Coach Brian Rice said afterwards, “I thought that St. Mirren started the match better in the first ten or fifteen minutes. They were sharp and put us on the back foot, then when we changed the formation a little bit and I think we got back into the game. Then we had the best chance of the first half through Steve Davies. But l must say that it was a great save and when I spoke to Steve he said great save too.
I think it was a credit to all the players on the pitch today. I’ve been in these situations before when it’s tense and tight and you don’t want to make a mistake. It was like a basketball game towards the end with the ball going back and forwards with two teams going for it. St. Mirren going all out in attack at us with us going in the 92nd minute to win it as well. I enjoyed the game.”
Both made a sprightly start to the match but Hamilton fans soon had their hearts in their mouths when possession was lost on the corner of the box, but with Lyons about to unleash from 12 yards, McMann blocked for corner kick. The Buddies were very much on the front foot now and forced a series of corners but couldn’t make anything stick whilst Accies were pinned back in their own half.
Hamilton almost stole the lead just before the half hour when a clearance fell to MacKinnon 35 yards from goal. The Accies Captain made his way to the edge of the 18 yard line before picking out Davies close to the penalty spot but his shot was blocked wide for a corner by Hladky who had been quick off his mark.
With not long until the break, a huge clearance from a free kick was sent into the Hamilton half, the bounce fell kindly for Jackson who held up play until he was able to pick out Lyons, setting him up him up for an angled run in on goal. With only one defender to beat and Mullen at the back post, the midfielder poked the ball past the near post as the half ended goalless.
With a couple of second half minutes played, McGowan cleared up field and Davies got a touch on the edge of the 18 yard line. Miller was first to it and forced into making a circuitous run to the byeline, where his cut back struck the keepers chest, the post and out for a corner. Aaron McGowan then struck wide from 20 yards from the resulting clearance.
Hamilton had a great chance to break the deadlock when Mimnaugh’s pass found Miller out wide, taking a quick touch he rolled the ball inside for Davies but wasn’t able to gather before it was cleared back out towards Miller. His strike from wide was well saved by Hladky but the ball sailed into the air, Oakley headed onto goal but the back tracking Erhahon cleared from the line!
The atmosphere in the ground was now almost at fever pitch as the game went from end to end at speed, with every attack seemingly having the potential for a goal. On the 64th minute it did, when from a loose ball, Tony Andreu sent a dipping cross to six yard line where Steve Davies struck across goal and got an in off at the back post.
The lead lasted a couple of minutes when the visitors were awarded a dubious penalty kick after Anders Dreyer theatrically threw himself to the ground after a non challenge from Ziggy Gordon. The Danish winger brushed himself down to then equalise from the spot.
Neither side were seemingly about to settle for a point with each looking for a winner, just not at the same intensity as before. However, as with the rest of the 90 minutes, it was Hamilton that had the only real chance after two of the three added minutes had been used.
McGowan delivered the ball into box, Oakley volleyed on goal but Hladky made another great save. Like the chance earlier on, the parried ball hung in the air allowing Tony Andreu to head beyond the keepers reach and headed off the line by a defender. A valuable point for both but Accies may feel a little unfortunate in not taking all three.
Accies: Woods, McGowan, McMann, Gordon, Kilgallon, Davies (Ogkmpoe 71), Oakley, Miller (Andreu 59), Gogic, MacKinnon (c), Mimnaugh (Martin 67). Subs Unused: Fulton, Keatings, McMillan, Sowah.
Goal: Davies 64.
St. Mirren: Hladky, P McGinn, Muzek, Flynn, Dreyer, Jackson (Cooke 84), Lyons (S McGinn 69), Baird, Popescu, Mullen (McAllister 59), Erhahon. Subs Unused: Holmes, Hodson , MacPherson, Ferdinand.
Goal: Dreyer 66 pen.
Referee: John Beaton. Assistants: Graham Chambers & Andy Milne. 4th Official: G Aitken.