Today was the first of two massive games this week for Hamilton, who admittivity have been on a terrible run over the last month or so. The players also know this and were determined to put that right in Paisley on Saturday with Hamilton boss, Martin stating in his press conference on Thursday that ” We have been too easy to play against”. This afternoon our opposition were St Mirren at The Simple Digital Arena, where the Buddies were bound to be buzzing with confidence after last week’s victory at home against Hearts, which was Oran Kearney’s first win since taking over in mid-September. Accies suffered a 3-0 defeat last Saturday when they were outclassed by Celtic, but those games are not the ones that matter for the South Lanarkshire side. It’s these two games coming up against bottom half sides are the important ones.
The Paisley side named the exact same line-up as last week’s victory over Hearts
Hamilton boss, Martin Canning changed things up today, going more attacking. Hamilton’s new goalkeeper, Jan Mucha made his debut after Gary Woods unsurprisingly dropped to the bench after making far too many mistakes as of late. Club captain Darian MacKinnon replaced Tom Taiwo in midfield while Fredrik Brustad started up-front in place of Rakish Bingham. Lastly, Delphin Tshiembe dropped out to be replaced by James Keatings with Accies lining up what looked like a 4-2-3-1.
The game got under way in Glasgow with the home side starting the better of the two.
The Buddies’ first chance of the afternoon came after seven minutes when Simeon Jackson played the ball to Kyle Magennis. The midfielder broke into the box before firing well over. The next chance was for Jackson, who went sent through but struggled to shake off Ziggy Gordon before pulling his effort wide.
The Paisley side continued to press for the opening goal and came mighty close to getting just that when Adam Hammill’s cross was flicked just wide by Paul McGinn. Hamilton’s first chance of the game led to the deadlock being broken at The Simple Digital Arena, when former Buddie Dougie Imrie flicked on James Keating’s corner, which crept in at the back-post.
Accies thrived on the opening goal and started playing much better and creating more chances. After 25 minutes, Hamilton had a huge chance to make it 2-0, when a Jan Mucha goal-kick by passed everyone and sent Mickel Miller one-on-one, but Alfie Jones threw himself in-front of his effort to deny what could have been the second goal.
The Paisley side came inches away from levelling the scoring on the 38th minute when Ethan Erhahon beat his man before whipping in a wicked cross which found the head of Paul McGinn, who guided his effort marginally wide.
Imrie nearly doubled his tally for the afternoon five minutes before the interval when he found himself one-on-one, however his effort was saved well by Danny Rogers from a tight angle.
The South Lanarkshire side did infact double their lead after 42 minutes when once again James Keating’s delivered another fantastic ball into the box and this time it found the head of Ziggy Gordon who managed to head it over the line to put Hamilton in the driving seat in this one.
Accies are known for doing things the hard way and the similar fate occurred this afternoon as Saints pulled one back just before the interval.
A corner was well punched to safety by Mucha, but Hamilton didn’t deal with the second ball as Ethahon headed it back into the crowded penalty area where Stephen McGinn slammed the ball home from close range. Game on in Paisley
Half Time- ST Mirren 1-2 Hamilton
All Hamilton fans were expecting a tough and intense second half with the home side coming out all guns blazing after reducing the deficit so late in the half, and they were right, Saints started the second half brightly.
A couple of efforts from Jackson and Magennis were easily dealt with by Mucha and the Accies defence.
It was Dejavou for the home side as Hamilton made it 3-1 with their first attack of the half. A quick break away from Aaron McGowan who played it to Keating’s, who curled an absolute beauty into the bar top corner with his wand of a left foot, sending the travelling support behind into chaos, What a goal.
The Paisley side responded well once again going close through Lee Hodson who curled his effort from outside the box just wide.
The task was made easier for Hamilton after 68 minutes when St Mirren striker, Jackson got frustrated and tackled Ziggy Gordon late, leading to his second bookable offence and getting his marching orders.
Instead of it being easier for the away side, I thought it made it harder as we just tried to sit back and see the game out, but we made it hard as always, despite having the extra man. The home side had another glorious chance after 77 minutes, when Hodson’s long ball was knocked down by McGinn, who got the ball across goal to Cody Cooke, but the striker knocked his effort wide.
They came close again with nine minutes remaining when an outstanding volley by Danny Mullen came crashing off the bar before the follow-up was also volleyed wide.
That was the final action in what was a fantastic afternoon for Accies in Renfrewshire.
Next Up for Martin Canning’s Accies side is a trip to Dens Park to face Dundee on Wednesday 5 December, kick-off 7.45pm in another huge match, meanwhile for Oran Kearney’s Saints they travel to Easter Road for a clash against Hibernian also on Wednesday at 7.45pm.
Full-Time- St Mirren 1-3 Hamilton
ST Mirren XI
Rodgers, Hodson, Baird, Jones, Erhahon, P-McGinn(66), S-McGinn, McShane(34), Magennis, Jackson, Hammill(54)
Subs- Lyness, Ferdinand, MacPherson, Mullen, Edwards(34), Smith, Cooke(54)
Mucha, McGowan, Kilgallon, Gordon(79), McMann, Imrie, Miller, MacKinnon, Martin, Keatings(65), Brustad(72)
Subs- Woods, Tshiembe(79), Sowah, Taiwo, Boyd(65), Bloomfield, Bingham(72)
Referee- Kevin Clancy
Assistants- Sean Carr & Stuart Stevenson
Fourth Official- David Munro
Attendance- 4,334 (242 Away)
Goals- Imrie(21), Gordon(42), McGinn(45), Keatings(55)
Yellow Cards- S-McGinn(6), Martin(30), Jackson(46,68), Gordon(52), McGowan(61)
Red Cards- Jackson(68)