St Johnstone 4-0 Accies, 10th November

Accies web reporter Mark Gillespie reports from Perth

Ladbrokes Premiership,

McDiarmid Park, Perth,

Saturday 10th November 2018 at 3pm 

St Johnstone 4 Hamilton Academical 0

Saints cruised to a fifth straight league win, and a fifth straight win over us to move up to fourth spot. Murray Davidson’s opener and Ziggy Gordon’s unfortunate own goal gave us a mountain to climb in the first half. We never looked like mounting a fightback, as Matty Kennedy and David Wotherspoon added to our woes after the break.

It leaves us in tenth position, with a five point cushion over the bottom two in the Premiership. For Martin Canning it was an afternoon to forget , with much to work on now during the international break.

“I’m bitterly disappointed. We were second best all over the park, right from the first whistle. We didn’t give ourselves an opportunity to even get into the game. St Johnstone are going well, but we didn’t make it difficult for them at all.”

“The biggest thing in this league is to go and compete, and today we didn’t do that. We gave away three cheap goals, but that doesn’t excuse the performance. St Johnstone could have had one or two more.”

“The fans are well within their rights to have a go. It’s my job to pick the players, and if they don’t compete then I’m the target. I’ll always put the players first, and do as much as I can to deflect the criticism. What I need from the players in return is a response, which we have shown before. We need to ensure the work rate’s there on the pitch for the Celtic game.”

With four changes we looked to have a stronger hand to play and build on last weekend’s victory. We welcomed back captain Darian MacKinnon, Dougie Imrie and Steven Boyd to the starting line up from suspension, with Mason Bloomfield rewarded for last week’s heroics with a first league start. Freddy Brustad and Tom Taiwo dropped to the bench, but Accies were without the suspended Mickel Miller and James Keatings who had been off ill all week.

Saints made two changes with Wotherspoon and Davidson returning to the starting line up in place of Nydam and Callahan, as they sought to continue their winning streak.

Accies had a first sight of goal on two minutes, Steven Boyd misfiring wide from the edge of the box. But after that it was all one way traffic for a confident looking home side. Drey Wright had a first effort,  skewing wide of Woods’s post on four minutes.

Murray Davidson then almost broke the deadlock five minutes later, with an improvised overhead from a Wotherspoon set piece.

Saints kept up the pressure. Matt Kilgallon headed a goal bound Matt Kennedy effort clear with Woods beaten on 16 minutes, but we were only delaying the inevitable as the hosts took a deserved lead four minutes later.

Wright beat Ziggy Gordon to the byline, and his cut back was palmed out by Gary Woods to give Murray Davidson the simplest of finishes.

Accies hoped to hang in there until half time, but awkward passing in midfield left a defence pushed deep. The hosts always looked like adding to their lead, but there was a touch of good fortune with the way it came in 36 minutes. Wright launched a tame chip from the edge of the box, glancing off Ziggy Gordon and completely wrong footing Gary Woods at his near post.

Any remaining doubts were settled in a dominant second half for Saints. The third came on 54 minutes, as Watt slid Kennedy clean through to beat Woods from inside the box.

We settled for damage limitation.  Saints kept their foot on the gas, Woods punching clear a Wotherspoon free kick on 60 minutes. Kennedy almost had his second two minutes later, striking the bar from the edge of the box.

Saints added a fourth on 74 minutes, sub Chris Kane benefiting from Tshiembe’s short back pass to  square for Wotherspoon to drive home low from six yards.

Zander Clark went on to celebrate a fifth straight clean sheet, and will probably never have a quieter afternoon between the sticks. Two half chances fell our way late on, but didn’t trouble the former Accies ‘keeper, Brustad firing over, and a Bingham header glancing off the top of the five minutes from time.

 

Saints: ; Clark, Tanser, Shaughnessy, Wright, Davidson, Wotherspoon, Kerr, Foster, Craig (Nydam, 80), Watt (Kane, 62), Kennedy (McMillan, 77)Subs Unused: Hurst, Scougall, Gordon, Callachan

Accies: Woods, McGowan, Gordon, Tshiembe, Kilgallon, Imrie, Bingham. Bloomfield (Brustad, 71), MacKinnon (c), Martin (McMann, 60), Boyd (Kelly, 45); Subs Unused: Marsden, Taiwo, Penny, L Smith

Saints Goals: Davidson, 20, Gordon (o.g), 36, Kennedy, 55, Wotherspoon, 74

Saints Bookings: Kennedy, 62

Accies Cautions: Imrie,  McGowan, Martin, MacKinnon

 Referee: Steven McLean, Assistants: David Roome and Brian Templeton 4th Official: Euan Anderson

 

Attendance: 2125