After last week’s brilliant display away to Celtic, it was back to home soil for our first of four huge matches coming up in the next month. Today’s visitors were St Johnstone. The Saints have started their season very well. The Perthshire side started their season with a 2-0 defeat at Rugby Park, but are unbeaten since with a win over Dundee,and a draw against Hibernian and after today’s victory, they sit in fourth place in the Scottish Premiership Table with Hamilton sat in 10th position.
Both sides have had a very busy last 24 hours, with Friday being transfer deadline day. St Johnstone made 2 signings last night with Ross Callachan joining on a 2 year deal after departing from Hearts and Danny Swanson rejoined the club again,also on a 2 year deal after leaving in the 16/17 season to join Hibernian.
Hamilton also had a very busy transfer deadline day. They signed Scott Martin from Hibernian, James Keatings from Dundee United on an undisclosed fee, Striker Fredrik Brustad on a season long loan from Norway giants, Molde FK and finally impressively signed experienced centre back, Matthew Kilgallon from Bradford City. It has been a fantastic transfer window for Accies and it has a lot of the fans full of excitement and positivity for the season.
Hamilton made 1 change from last weeks defeat at Parkhead. Dougie Imrie dropped to the bench and Rakish Bingham started up-front for the hosts. None of the 4 deadline day signings made the squad.
St Johnstone side made 1 change from last weekends 1-0 win at home to Dundee. Murray Davidson came off injured in last weeks game so was replaced by Blair Alston. Deadline day signing, Ross Callachan and midweek signing Tristan Nydam earned a place on the bench.
The away side got the game underway at the Hope CBD stadium and it was a really flat start to the game, with both sides taking time to wake up. The first chance of the encounter came on the 7th minute, when a long ball forward by Joe Shaughnessy saw Tony Watt beat the offside trap before his curling effort which was comfortably saved by Gary Woods. A minute later, Accies were awarded a free kick after Tom Taiwo was fouled by Blair Alston. The free kick was taken by Steven Boyd, whose delivery into the box met the head of Shaun Want, but the header was easily collected by Zander Clark. On the 13 minute, Darian Mackinnon clipped the ball through nicely to Rakish Bingham. The striker beat the defender and his shot was saved at the second attempt by Clark. The away side were appealing for a penalty on the quarter of a hour mark when David MacMillan felt he was taken down in the box, but referee Bobby Madden wasn’t at all interested. Accies also had a loud penalty claim after 20 minutes. This time it was Bingham who fell to the ground as he went for Mickel Miller’s cross. Once again Madden had no intention of blowing his whistle. The scoring was opened on the 36th minute. A Saints free-kick was delivered in by Tanser, however his effort hit the wall. Steven Boyd and Tom Taiwo failed to clear the danger and Drey Wright won the ball back and it was delivered into the box. Matthew Kennedy’s effort deflected into the path of MacMillan whose effort was saved brilliantly by Woods but Alston was there to tap home and give the away side the lead. After continuing to push forward and the Saints doubled their lead seconds before the interval. A cross from the right by Richard Foster found MacMillan standing all by himself. The Irishman couldn’t miss as he headed it across Woods to make it 2-0. A real sore one for the hosts.
St Johnstone started the second half very well. On the 52nd minute, Drey Wright saw his cross blocked at the edge of the box but Tony Watt picked up the loose ball and his effort flashed across the face of goal. Minutes later, Tony Watt was in again after a good ball forward allowed Watt to go on a run before cutting into the box and firing straight at Woods. After 64 minutes, the Perthshire side should of had the game killed. A cross from Tony Watt found MacMillan free at the back but this time the striker stabbed his effort wide. Against the run of play, Accies pulled a goal back. Steven Boyd slipped the ball to Bingham who slammed home into the left hand corner past the helpless Zander Clark to reduce the deficit . Chris Kane came off the bench 5 minute from full time and nearly made an instant impact after replacing Tony Watt. Gary Woods came sliding out his box at the feet of Alston, but his clearance went straight to Kane who failed to hit the empty net from 20 yards out. Accies continued to try grab an equaliser but the away side held firm to claim all 3 points.
FULL TIME- HAMILTON 1-2 ST JOHNSTONE
Woods, McGowan(62), McMann, Gordon, Tshiembe(62), Bingham, Miller, Taiwo(46), Mackinnon, Want, Boyd
Fulton, Sowah(46), Penny, Imrie(62), Kelly(62), Cunningham, Bloomfield
St Johnstone XI
Clark, Tanser, Alston, Shaughnessy, Wright, Kerr, MacMillan(75), Foster, Craig, Watt(82), Kennedy(79)
Mitchell, Anderson, Scougall, Wotherspoon(75), Nydam(79), Kane(82), Callachan
REFEREE- BOBBY MADDEN
ASSISTANTS- DOUGLAS ROSS & GORDON CRAWFORD
FOURTH OFFICIAL – KEVIN GRAHAM
ATTENDANCE – 1791 (437 AWAY)
GOALS – ALSTON(36), MACMILLAN(45), BINGHAM(69)
YELLOW CARDS- BINGHAM(29), MCMANN(36), CLARK(90)