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Accies 0-2 Livingston, 23rd December

Accies media reporter Martin McConnell with Wednesday’s report

SPFL Premiership

at Foy Stadium, New Douglas Park, Hamilton

Wednesday, 23rd December 2020, kick off 6pm.

Hamilton Academical 0 Livingston 2

We failed to build on our win at Dingwall at the weekend by losing at home to a Livingston side that have now put a five match winning streak together. Accies remain second bottom on 17 points but as luck would have it, St. Johnstone, St. Mirren, Kilmarnock and Ross County all lost too and one point separates eighth to eleventh.

With Accies now missing both of Saturday’s goal scorers, and some reported isolating through covid contacts, they were a side that always looked second best from the opening minutes until the final whistle. With a single missed shot on goal all night, it was never going to happen for them.

Livingston went close on a couple of occasions early on in the game before Jon Guthrie headed home the Almondvale side’s opener. Accies looked as if they’d get off lightly at 0-1 until Josh Mullin struck an injury time second from a free kick.

Head Coach Brian Rice thought, “Tonight was always going to be difficult against Livingston. Even if we’d had five or six of the injured boys it would have still been difficult. We were handed a hammer blow yesterday when another four lads would be out on top of our other injuries.

You know, it was really, really difficult for us but Livingston definitely deserved to win the match. Make no doubt about that. They were hungrier than us and first to every ball. I think it showed that we can’t cope with nine players out.

It’s difficult enough for us at the best of times but nine players? I’d say that seven of those nine are starters for me. It was very, very difficult but fair play to Livingston but I still expected better from us tonight.”

Hamilton made three changes to the side that won in Dingwall on Saturday. In came Reegan Mimnaugh for Nathan Thomas, Kyle Munro for Ross Callachan and Ronan Hughes for Scott Martin.

Visiting Livingston made a single change to the starting line-up that also beat Ross County, this time in the Betfred Cup. With midfielder Jason Holt replacing Marvin Bartley.

Livingston took the initiative early on when Forrest cut in from the left and put a good ball in to the Accies six yard box, where ex Accies youth Pittman struck wide from the near post. Within five minutes another decent cross came from Mullin this time from the right, Robinson’s glancing header struck the crossbar before being cleared.

Livi continued to work the flanks and produced further chances throughout the half. A Mullin cross was glanced narrowly wide of goal by Odoffin, Sibbald fired wide from a Mullin corner and a Fitzwater header claimed by Fulton being amongst their better efforts.

The deadlock was finally broken early on in the second half when Pittman’scross from the right went beyond everyone but Forrest managed to keep it alive. Cutting back toward the box, he touched on for Holt to run onto at the corner of the penalty area. The delivery to the back post being so good that Guthrie only needed to nod in at the back post.

Gourlay took over in goal from the injured Ryan Fulton after the hour and was able to make an early impression when saving a shot from Pittman. However, Livingston won themselves a free kick when Pittman was challenged 22 yards from goal. Mullin then curled the ball around the Accies wall and in at right, way beyond the ‘keepers reach.

Accies: Fulton (Gourlay 62),Odoffin, McMann, Stirling, Easton (c) (Hamilton 85), Hughes (Johnson 61), A Martin, Mimnaugh, Moyo (Winter 66), Munro, Hodson. Subs Unused: Scully, Trafford, Stanger, Owolabi.

Cautions: Stirling, Odoffin.

Livingston: Stryjek, Serrano, Fitzwater, Pignatiello Guthrie, Devlin, Holt, Sibbald, Forrest (Emmanuel Thomas 78 ), Pittman, Mullin, Robinson. Subs Unused: McCrorie, McMillan, Brown,Ambrose, Taylor-Sinclair,  Lawson, Poplatnik.

Goals: Guthrie 51, Mullin 90.

Referee: Gavin Duncan. Assistants:Douglas Ross & Drew Kirkland. 4th Official: John Beaton

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