Alastair McCann’s late winner steered St Johnstone further clear of the relegation zone, with victory over Hamilton.
In a game that lacked any sort of quality or chances, McCann’s goal was the only shot on target that his side had on the afternoon. The goal arrived ten minutes from the end when the 20-year-old slammed home a cut-back from Callum Hendry, sending the travelling Saints fans home delighted.
A draw would have probably been a fair result, but credit must go to Tommy Wright who made a game changing move by bringing on Callum Hendry and that brought some much-needed energy to the game.
Brian Rice said that his side “had their pockets picked” but it’s hard to agree with that statement after his side failed to test Zander Clark all afternoon.
Hamilton made two changes from the side that beat Hearts on Saturday with Brian Easton and David Moyo replacing Jamie Hamilton and Steve Davies.
Tommy Wright made four changes from their stalemate with St Mirren. Alistair McCann, David Wotherspoon, Chris Kane and Stevie May came in for Drey Wright, Jason Holt, Callum Hendry and Matthew Kennedy.
The first half was very scrappy, with the first chance not coming until the 27th minute when the ball deflected into the path of George Oakley, but he pulled his effort well wide of the goal.
Minutes later, Mickel Miller found himself in a huge amount of space outside the box and his effort from 25-yards out sailed over the bar.
As you can probably tell, it wasn’t a very entertaining half of football. Not one single shot on target and both keepers were spectators for most of the half.
The second half couldn’t be worse, could it?
St Johnstone created the first opening of the second half when Callum Booth and David Wotherspoon linked up well as they set up former Accies man Stevie May, but his effort went wide.
The first bit of quality of the afternoon arrived on the 60th minute when Mickel Miller raced forward after beating a couple of Saints defenders, before he was cynically brought down by Murray Davidson just outside the box.
Will Collar stepped up to take the free-kick and blasted it straight into the wall.
The game changed when Tommy Wright introduced Callum Hendry with 15 minutes remaining. The 22-year-old was involved in the action instantly as he brought down a cross from the right before his goal bound volley looked to have struck the hand of Sam Stubbs.
The deadlock was broken ten minutes from time when Hendry picked up the ball out wide and cut it back for on the-running Alistair McCann, who slammed home his first his first St Johnstone goal from close-range.
Saints nearly doubled their advantage minutes later when a free kick by Wotherspoon was met by Liam Gordon. His header went across the face of goal and was eventually cleared by the Hamilton defence.
Next up for Hamilton is a trip to Motherwell for the Lanarkshire Derby, while St Johnstone welcome Ross County to McDiarmid Park.
Full Time- Hamilton 0-1 St Johnstone
Yesterday was another atrocious performance. St Johnstone were well off their game also and we simply had to win that. It feels like the huge win against Hearts last weekend has simply papered over cracks.
Its hard to see us getting anything from the derby on Sunday, as Motherwell are on a crazy run at the moment and are currently challenging for European football.
Southwood, McGowan, Stubbs, Easton, McMann, Gogic, Martin, Collar (Hunt,79), Miller, Moyo (Davies, 66), Oakley (Alston, (70).
Subs (not used): Fon Williams (GK), Cunningham, Winter, Hamilton.
St Johnstone XI
Clark, Ralston, Gordon, Kerr, Booth, O’Halloran (Wright, 67), Davidson, McCann, Wotherspoon, May (Hendry, 69), Kane (Tanser, 85).
Subs (not used): Parish (GK), Duffy, Holt, Kennedy
Referee- Gavin Duncan
Assistants- Calum Spence & Jordan Stokoe
Fourth Official- Kevin Clancy
Attendance- 1,536 (442 Away)
Yellow Cards- Davidson(60), Hendry(81), Easton(83)
Red Cards- N/A