120 days since Hamilton last took to a football pitch against Kilmarnock and Brian Rice’s men were on the end of a 2-1 defeat to Rangers in a bounce game at Murray Park yesterday afternoon.
Most of the Accies squad, including new signing Ross Callachan were given some valuable minutes except from a few who missed out for various reasons.
It was Hamilton who took an early lead after eight minutes. David Moyo’s neat footwork on the edge of the area saw him slip the ball through to Ronan Hughes, and he finished nicely beyond Jon McLaughlin.
Rangers did respond well, but some dogged defending from the visitors ensured efforts from Ianis Hagi, James Tavernier and Joe Aribo were all blocked.
Calvin Bassey, who was Gerrard’s first signing of the summer, was the next player to have an attempt at goal as he rose highest from Borna Barisic’s corner, but it was easily gathered by Ryan Fulton.
Hagi then beautifully curled an effort from 25 yards which looked goal bound, before Moyo of all people managed to direct it just over the bar.
It looked only a matter of time until Gers pulled themselves level, and they done so just before the half-time whistle.
Following a corner, the ball broke to Ryan Kent on the left-hand side and his pin-point delivery was glanced home by Bassey at the front-post.
Half Time- Rangers 1-1 Hamilton
Rangers, who were wearing their new Castore home kit, came close to taking the lead twice in quick succession at the start of the second half.
Jamie Murphy linked up with Alfredo Morelos in midfield, before the Columbian sent the winger clean through on goal, but substitute goalkeeper Kyle Gourlay made a fantastic save.
The rebound did fall to Morelos, but he skied his effort well over the bar from around 18-yards out.
Hamilton responded with a free kick from range from Ross Cunningham, which sailed over the bar.
Rangers continued to threaten Accies, and when James Tavernier’s cut-back found Morelos, it looked destined to be 2-1.
However, Jamie Hamilton done outstandingly well to throw himself in front of the ball and divert the ball to safety.
Brian Rice’s men had a huge opportunity on the break when a spectacular back-heel flick on from Sean Slaven sent our trialist through on goal.
He done well to use his electric pace to pull away from the home defence. But after rounding McLaughlin, a timely challenge from Ross McCrorie prevented Accies taking the lead.
Lewis Mayo done well to get an effort on target despite being grounded, but again a resilient Accies defence blocked the effort, while Gourlay made another fine save to deny Morelos from close-range.
Gourlay however, nearly literally threw away a goal away soon after when his throw out to Kyle Munro was intercepted by Greg Stewart.
And after successfully beating a couple of Accies defenders, he fired his effort over the bar.
The game was heading for a draw until Rangers were awarded an extremely soft penalty by referee Andrew Dallas with three minutes remaining, as Markus Fjortoft was judged to have pulled down Morelos in the box.
The striker, who scored 29 goals in all competitions last season, sent Gourlay the wrong way to wrap up the win for the Light Blues.