Aberdeen moved back up to fourth in the Scottish Premiership table on Wednesday evening as they beat Hamilton 1-0. Both Derek McInnes and Brian Rice’s men were in desperate need of a win after poor displays at the weekend, and it was The Dons who took the points as former Accies man Lewis Ferguson fired home the only goal of what was an entertaining game after 14 minutes.
There were three changes for Aberdeen from the side that got thrashed by Celtic on Sunday as Lewis Ferguson, Ryan Hedges and Craig Bryson came in while Michael Devlin, Joe Gallagher and Connor McLennan dropped out.
Hamilton also made three changes from their last-gasp defeat against St Johnstone. Skipper Brian Eason failed a late fitness test so 17-year-old Jamie Hamilton was handed just his third start. Ross Cunningham and Lewis Smith also both started while Adrain Beck and Aaron McGowan missed out.
The game didn’t take long to going as both sides had opportunities to take the lead within the first 10 minutes. Hamilton’s first chance came from a free-kick deep inside the Aberdeen half, where the ball was launched into the box and was met by Scott McMann and his redirected header across the face of goal found Mickel Miller, but his diving header went inches wide of Joe Lewis’s goal.
Aberdeen should have been ahead on the 10th minute when Aberdeen’s top goalscorer Sam Cosgrove squandered a fantastic opportunity. It came from a slick breakaway move from the visitors which saw Ryan Hedges pass send Niall McGinn away down the wing and his first-time cross found Cosgrove one-on-one with Owain Fon-Williams, but his first touch was so poor and it allowed the Accies keeper to gather the ball.
Up the other end the home side came close to taking the lead themselves when a powerful low strike at goal by Miller was only parried by Joe Lewis and Lewis Smith was inches away from connecting with the rebound.
The deadlock was broken on the 14th minute when a well worked free-kick from the visitors saw Hedges play in Lewis Ferguson, who shrugged off his man with ease and fired it high into the net past Fon-Williams to put The Dandies ahead.
Despite going behind, Accies fought back and were only denied an equaliser by a superb Joe Lewis save as he tipped Smith’s goal bound effort over the bar.
Cosgrove had another opportunity to score his seventh goal of the season as he got on the end of Niall McGinn’s teasing cross, but could only flick his effort straight at Fon-Williams.
On the stroke of half-time, McGinn let fly from distance and his sweetly struck effort cannoned back off the bar.
Half-Time- Hamilton 0-1 Aberdeen
The game remained open as the second-half got underway in the freezing cold New Douglas Park.
Some poor goalkeeping from Fon-Williams presented Aberdeen a chance to double their lead, when a tame effort at goal was spilled by the Welshman and the rebound fell at the feet of McGinn, who’s effort went wide of the post.
On the 52nd minute a Hamilton corner landed on the foot of Scott McMann, but the left-back couldn’t keep his effort down as it sailed over the crossbar.
There were strong claims of a penalty for the visitors when Sam Stubbs looked to have handled Fergusons cross before his second attempt hit the top of the bar and was eventually cleared as Hamilton were just beginning to hang on a little.
Just after the hour mark Fon-Williams flapped at a cross and Ferguson went for the acrobatic overhead kick, which looked destined for the top corner until Jamie Hamilton managed to get back and head it off the line.
Cosgrove had one final opportunity to get his goal, which arrived on the 81st minute, when a cross by Shay Logan was met by the 6″2 striker and his glancing header came back off the post.
Hamilton finished the match with three strikers on the park but couldn’t find a way to get past Aberdeen, who thoroughly deserved all three points.
Full Time– Hamilton 0-1 Aberdeen
Brian Rice- 👇🏼
“I’m delighted with how my young lads played. The energy and enthusiasm- everything we didn’t do on Saturday. We had a few chances. It was swinging back and forward.”
” Its disappointing to lose a goal from a set-piece. It’s still a young and new team with a lot of changes, but we need to get better and quickly”.
Derek McInnes- 👇🏼
“I’m delighted with all three points, that’s we came here for. I’d have taken 1-0 before the game, such was the importance of getting a bit of momentum.”
“The performance was excellent. I thought we should have been out of sight. Some of our play tonight was terrific. It was just disappointing we never scored more.”
Aberdeen thoroughly deserved their three points tonight and I think 1-0 flattered us. It really should have been probably 2/3. Alex Gogic was easily my MOTM as he was outstanding again in the middle of the park.
Our run of form is beginning to worry me . After understandingly getting beat at Ibrox, we’ve failed to turn up against Hibs, St Johnstone and now Aberdeen. We’ve had one win in 10 games and to be honest we were lucky to win that game against Livingston back in September.
Not so long ago we were looking up the table but we are slowly but surely falling back into the pack and are now just one point above the bottom. We’ve had our chances to keep the distance between us.
Saturday is now a seriously must win or we could be in trouble.
Fon-Williams, Martin, Stubbs, Hamilton, McMann, Gogic, Hughes, Miller, Cunningham(76), Smith(62),Oakley
Subs- Southwood, Hunt, MacKinnon, Mimnaugh, Beck, Moyo(62), Davies(76)
Lewis, Logan, Considine, McKenna, Leigh, Ferguson, Vyner, Hedges(74), McGinn, Bryson(46), Cosgrove
Subs- Cerny, Devlin, Gallagher, Campbell(46), McLennan(74), Anderson, Main
Referee- Willie Collum
Assistants- David McGeachie + John McCrossan
Fourth Official- Euan Anderson
Yellow Cards- Campbell(52), Cunningham (62)
Red Cards- 0