Yesterday, I took the short journey to Ayrshire to watch my side against the high-flying Kilmarnock, where I would have taken a point without a doubt. Kilmarnock came into Saturdays game sitting in 3rd place in the Scottish Premiership Table, with Hamilton sitting in 9th, in front of St Mirren,Motherwell and Dundee. The hosts came from behind in Paisley last weekend to defeat St Mirren with Alan Power and Aaron Tshibola on target for the Ayrshire side. Hamilton were on the end of a heavy defeat at The Hope CBD Stadium last Sunday against, Steven Gerrard’s Rangers side, with the Lanarkshire outfit harshly losing 4-1. Steven Boyd scored an absolute cracker to bring the hosts level 10 minutes from time, but 2 controversial penalty plus a last minute goal from Alfredo Morelos pilled more pressure on Martin Canning’s, Accies.
Steve Clarke made 2 changes from last weeks victory with Centre-Back, Kirk Broadfoot being replaced by Scott Boyd and Rory McKenzie took the place of Chris Burke on the wing.
Hamilton also made 2 changes from last weekends defeat to Rangers with Alex Penny dropping out, after giving away 2 penalties. Scott McMann dropped out and in came Matthew Kilgallon, with Accies changing to 4 at the back instead of 3.
The game got underway in a bright, but very cold Kilmarnock. It was a reasonably quiet first 10 minutes, but the home side came close to opening the scoring after 11 minutes when a cross from Bright Enobakhare found former Hamilton striker, Eamon Brophy in the box, but the Killie striker’s acrobatic effort went wide. After 15 minutes, only a fantastic save from Jamie MacDonald prevented the visitors taking the lead, when a free-kick was whipped in by James Keatings before Aaron Tshibola got himself in a right mess after coming under pressure and the back post from Aaron McGowan. The midfielder tried to clear it but kicked it off himself and nearly put it in the back of his own net. After 23 minutes, Alan Power’s goal bound effort was blocked by Matthew Kilgallon, however the rebound caused all sorts of chaos but was just about cleared by the Accies defence. The away side broke the deadlock after 33 minutes, after Mickel Miller was brought down when running past Greg Taylor. The resulting free-kick was another excellent one from Keatings, which was fired right across goal and skimmed the head of Dougie Imrie and into the far corner of the net. The home side had a couple of chances towards the end of the first half with the first chance coming on the 40th minute, when Stephen O’Donnell cut the ball back to the free, Aaron Tshibola on the edge of the box, but the Congolese international skied his effort over the bar. There was no errors in the second attempt as Killie levelled just before the break. Some nice play led to Greg Stewart chipping the ball to the edge of the box, which fell sweetly for Rory McKenzie, who made no mistake as he rifled it by Woods in the Hamilton goal.
Half Time- Kilmarnock 1-1
Hamilton started the second half well, and should have been ahead without a doubt after 51 minutes. Kilmarnock got caught sleeping at the back, when Imrie slid the ball across the box, right to James Keatings, who had the easiest finish he should get all season but missed with the goal at his mercy. It was really flat after the great opportunity for the Lanarkshire side, with both sides making a couple of changes to try spice the game up a little. Hamilton made 2 subs with Brustad and Keatings coming off and on came Boyd and Bingham. Kilmarnock took off goal scorer, McKenzie and Brophy( who received some stick from the away fans) and brought on Jack Byrne and Kris Boyd. After 75 minutes the hosts started to take control and turn up the tempo. Some nice play by Tshibola set Stephen O’Donnell in the box, but the right-back fired well over. The home fans were claiming for a penalty after 83 minutes when again, O’Donnell was involved and went down in the box, but referee Euan Anderson was not interested. After 87 minutes, a teasing ball from Greg Stewart was vitally headered away by Darian Mackinnon before Kris Boyd could get a head on it. Hamilton nearly won it at the death when Bingham spun nicely in the box before firing straight at MacDonald. Steven Boyd was sent off for the away side after committing 2 stupid similar fouls on Stewart and Scott Boyd, reducing Accies to 10 men, however Hamilton held on to gain a hard fought point at Rugby Park, as it finished, Kilmarnock 1-1 Hamilton.
MacDonald, O’Donnell, Taylor, Boyd, Findlay, Power(76), Tshibola, Enobakhare, McKenzie(64), Brophy(63), Stewart
Subs- McKay, Byrne, Dicker, Ndjoli, Wilson, Boyd, Burke
Woods, McGowan, Tshiembe, Kilgallon, Gordon, Mackinnon, Martin, Miller, Imrie, Keatings(73), Brustad(64)
Subs- Fulton, McMann, Penny, Want, Smith, Boyd(73), Bingham(64)
Referee- Euan Anderson
Assistants – Sean Carr & Daniel McFarlane
Fourth Official- Craig Thomson
Attendance – 5023(188 Away Fans)
Goals- Imrie(33), McKenzie(44)
Yellow Cards- Imrie(36), Mackinnon(43), Tshibola(59), Martin(63), Byrne(81), Boyd(87,90+2)
Red Cards- Boyd(90+2)