Ross Cunningham came off the bench to score a late penalty to help Hamilton come from behind to beat Livingston. Yesterdays win eventually saw Accies deservedly pick up all three points after the a month of good performances.
It was Accies first win in six matches while Gary Holt’s side extended their winless run to four games.
Alan Lithgow put The Lions ahead after 15 minutes when he rose highest to power a header home before Blair Alston tapped home just before the half-time whistle.
The game looked to be heading for a draw until Ross Stewart was adjudged to have fouled Marios Ogkmpoe in the box as the striker went for a header. Cunningham stepped up and fired his effort home straight down the middle to score his sixth goal of the season.
It was a positive start from Accies, who started on the front-foot. Blair Alston had the first sight of goal after two minutes when the midfielder picked the ball up in the middle of the park before driving at goal and firing wide.
However, It was the visitors who used their well known set-piece ability to their advantage as they took the lead against the run of play. Aymen Souda’s free-kick was whipped in towards the back-post and it found the unmarked Alan Lithgow, who bulleted a header into the roof of the net past the helpless Owain Fon-Williams.
The hosts responded well and nearly equalised midway through the first half when a free-kick found Aaron McGowan and his header across goal was cleared off the line by Scott Robinson.
It was a game that was lacking any sort of quality, but Hamilton pulled themselves level on the stroke of half time with a very scrappy goal. A long-throw by Alex Gogic wasn’t dealt with by the Livingston defence and Steve Davies flick-on was eventually slammed home by Alston.
Both teams took an age to get going after the break, with the majority of the chances falling in the last 20 minutes of the game.
The visitors were beginning to look a bit tired in the last quarter of the game, with their midweek game against Rangers in the cup potentially catching up with them, so Brian Rice threw on the pacey Mickel Miller to try hit Livi on the counter-attack.
On the 74th minute the substitute had a glorious opportunity to put his side ahead when Accies broke in numbers and found themselves three against two. It was Alston who led the charge before looking up and sliding in Miller, but he skied his effort well over the bar.
With 10 minutes remaining the hosts spurned another fantastic chance when Sam Stubbs headed wide from six-yards out following a corner.
Hamilton were awarded a penalty with five minutes remaining when Ross Stewart timed a jump poorly and ended up fouling Marios Ogkmpoe in the process. It was Cunningham who was handed the ball and he made no mistake as he blasted his effort straight down the middle to put Accies ahead.
Full Time- Hamilton 2-1 Livingston
Brian Rice: “I have to be positive. I think we’ve only been beat once since the Motherwell game and we’ve been to Tynecastle, played Celtic and a tough game at Paisley last week and a very tough game today.
“So I’m delighted with what the lads have given me. Yes, we can play better. We know that but at the end of the day it’s a massive three points for u
Gary Holt: “I’m not going to make excuses. I’m not going to stand here and say we were unlucky. If you don’t defend your box you aren’t going to win games.
“First and foremost, no matter how well you play. Hamilton have put two balls in to our box today and they got a penalty and a goal. People need to take responsibility. They need to put demands on each other. You’re not friends when you cross the white line. I’m very disappointed with the two goals because we were well on top of the game.”
Yesterday was a dire game, lets be honest. Both sides were so poor and hardly played any football, but the only thing that matters is that we got the three points. There is no better satisfaction than winning when you are far from your best. Brian Rice is doing an amazing job at Hamilton and I think its only the Accies fans that can see it.
I think both our goals were debatable though. Alex Gogic’s foot appeared to be over the line as well as us getting what I thought was a soft penalty, but it about time we got a couple of decisions our way. They even themselves out over the season with an example being George Oakley being wrongly sent off last weekend.
We travel to Ibrox next week ( which is the worst away day in my opinion) and we will need to be at our best if we want to try take anything and keep the score down. Rangers looked like they meant business at the weekend as they absolutely thrashed Aberdeen.
Fon-Williams, McGowan, Stubbs, Easton, McMann, Gogic, Hughes, Smith, Alston, Davies, Ogkmpoe
Subs- Southwood, Fjortoft, MacKinnon, Martin, Miller, Cunningham, Moyo
Stewart, Lithgow, Guthrie, Lamie, Devlin, Stobbs, Crawford, Bartley, Souda, Lawless, Robinson
Referee- Steven McLean
Assistants- Daniel McFarlane & Paul O’Neill
Fourth Official- Kevin Graham
Goals- Lithgow(15), Alston(45), Cunningham(84)
Yellow Cards- Robinson(47), Stubbs(90)
Red Cards- 0