After a heavy midweek defeat against the Dons, it was back to home soil for Hamilton in a huge match against high flying Livingston. The Accies suffered a 3-0 defeat at Pittodrie on Wednesday thanks to goals from, Graeme Shinnie, James Wilson and former Hamilton defender, Michael Devlin. Livingston were handed their first loss of the season on Wednesday evening when they lost to St Johnstone, with Matthew Kennedy netting the only goal after 5 minutes played. After Saturdays win, the pressure is eased a little on Hamilton boss, Martin Canning and the Lanarkshire side have moved 6 points clear of the relegation zone, with Dundee and St Mirren both losing once again at the weekend.
The home side made 2 changes from the midweek defeat to Aberdeen, with Dougie Imrie dropping out, due to his late red card, So in came Tom Taiwo in the heart of midfield. Darian MacKinnon served his 2nd game of his 2 match suspension while Scott McMann was also bench as The Accies went more attacking, starting Keatings up in behind Bingham and Brustad.
Livingston made 3 changes from their first defeat of the season on Wednesday evening with Scott Robinson, Keaghan Jacobs and Steven Lawless all dropping out and being replaced by Craig Sibbald, Steve Lawson and lastly Jack McMillan.
The game got underway in a very windy, South Lanarkshire, with many passes getting caught in the swirling wind early in the contest. The first chance didn’t come until 13 minutes played, when Dolly Menga skipped by Ziggy Gordon before firing across goal which was headed round for a corner by Matthew Kilgallon. The resulting corner nearly produced the opening goal as it found the head of Lamie, but his goalward header was blocked by Scott Martin. The home side had a huge chance to break the deadlock after 23 minutes, when Rakish Bingham played Fredrik Brustad 1v1 against Liam Kelly. The Norwegians effort was saved well the Livingston keeper however the rebound fell for Keatings, who tried to take it around Kelly before falling to the ground. Referee Alan Muir wasn’t interested. After Hamilton’s terrific opportunity, Livingston began to have a spell of possession and create a couple of chances. Firstly on the 36th minute, Lithgow’s throw-in was flicked on by Rickii Lamie before Dolly Menga picked up the loose ball laid up Craig Sibbald, but his effort was deflected for a corner. Their second chance was their best chance of the game so far. Gallacher slid in Lamie who drilled a low ball across the Hamilton back 4. It fell at the feet of McMillan who scuffed his effort before it was eventually cleared off the line by Ziggy Gordon. The last chance of the first half came for the Lions, when some nice one-two football between Byrne and Sibbald led to a curling effort going just wide of the target.
Half Time- Hamilton 0-0 St Johnstone
The second half got underway as the conditions worsened with heavy downpours of rain. The away side had an identical chance to Brustad’s in the first half, when Scott Pittman was played through by Sibbald 1v1, slicing open 3 Hamilton defenders. Gary Woods came out to spread himself well to deny the midfielder. The game started to get stretched and become end to end. After 60 minutes, Mikel Miller went close before the away side countered fast which seen Dolly Menga race clear 1v1, but the strikers effort dribbled wide of the post. The next chance came for Hamilton, when Aaron McGowan picked up a loose ball and fired an effort at goal but just deflected right into the hands of Liam Kelly. On the 70th minute, Menga went close again when a Craig Sibbald cross found the head of the Angolian international, however his header went looping over the bar. Hamilton picked up their 3rd red card in 3 games, when forward, Mickel Miller went in late on Lamie after 85 minutes but that didn’t stop Hamilton grabbing the winner. 2 minutes after Miller was sent off, Steven Boyd broke free before playing susbstitute Mason Bloomfield 1v1. The on-loan Norwich striker raced through and poked his effort under Liam Kelly to send the Hamilton fans into madness. The drama wasn’t done there. Livingston did have one final chance, when Alan Lithgow burst down the wing , sending a low drilled ball across the face of goal which was met by Livingston substitute, Egli Kaja whose effort came crashing off the bar.
Woods, McGowan, Gordon, Tshiembe, Kilgallon, Martin, Taiwo, Miller, Keatings, Bingham, Brustad
Kelly, Lamie, Gallagher, Lithgow, Halkett, McMillan, Lawson, Byrne, Pittman, Sibbald, Menga
Referee- Alan Muir
Assistants – Calum Spence & Gary Hilland
Fourth Official- David Dickinson
Attendance – 1459( 319 Away)
Yellow Cards- Taiwo(22), Gordon(28), Miller(61,86), Tshiembe(70), Lithgow(73), Menga(88)
Red Cards- Miller(86)