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Accies 1-2 Ross County, 3rd February

Accies media reporter Mark Gillespie was at NDP on Wednesday evening….

SPFL Premiership,

FOY Stadium, New Douglas Park, Hamilton

Wednesday, 3rd February, 2021, kick off 6pm

 Hamilton Academical 1 Ross County 2

 

Accies had led for over an hour, but an agonizing late turnaround now leaves us four adrift at the foot of the table. Stephen Kelly’s first half own goal had brought a fragile lead, and we looked to be seeing the game out. But subs Jordan White and Billy McKay struck at the death to suddenly leave Brian Rice’s side with nothing to show for their efforts.

“To lose is disappointing. Even if we’d drawn, we’d have been disappointed”, the Accies boss said post-match.

“I thought tonight we started fantastically well, got ahead, and had a couple of chances to increase it. We were in control of the game.”

“I don’t think it was their late subs that changed the game. We went to a back three but didn’t defend our box in the last 10 minutes. County’s first goal’s a shot going nowhere and Jordan’s stuck his leg out as good strikers do. The second goal’s poor from us defensively.”

The one bright spark was a promising debut from deadline day signing Bruce Anderson. He was the solitary change from the side last midweek. The visitors made two changes of their own from the weekend, Kelly returning to make an impact at the wrong end, while Tony Andreu was back to face his old team mates at New Douglas Park.

Anderson looked lively from the off, creating a first opening inside three minutes for Marios Ogkmpoe who flashed just wide of Laidlaw’s far post.

County threatened at the other end, Andreu having a shot deflected wide. But the Accies midfield press was forcing early mistakes, and a quick ball over the top had the ball in the net on 15 minutes.

Quick thinking from Lee Hodson, found Anderson in space down the right flank, getting to the bye line. At the second attempt his cross went in and off Stephen Kelly on the goal line.

It might have got even better just a minute later, Accies pressing County in their own half to force the mistake. Ogkmpoe found himself clean through but didn’t get the break of the ball, as Laidlaw got off his line to recover.

Accies kept up their foot on the gas, winning the midfield scrap. We were also finding width, Scott McMann dribbling clear into the box but Laidlaw clinging on to his shot at the near post.

Fulton had been the quieter ‘keeper but held on well to a cross come shot by Naismith on 34 minutes. But he kept us in front just after the interval, denying Harry Paton at point blank range, the Accies defence caught flat footed.

Accies didn’t have quite the same forward thrust in the second half, while keeping a good shape. We were lucky to survive though on 57 minutes, Andreu heading off the inside of the post after Hjelde’s cross from deep.

County might just have feared for one of those nights, but Accies couldn’t find the killer second goal. Hodson flashed a 25-yarder past on 65 minutes after Callachan’s corner was headed clear.

The visitors went for broke on 77 minutes, with a quadruple substitution turning the tide. Four minutes after the switch Jordan White redirected Naismith’s off target effort past Fulton for the leveller.

Suddenly Accies were hanging on, trying to adapt to playing against four strikers sensing a winner. It came on 81 minutes, a long ball over the top finding White in acres of space on the right to pick out McKay in the middle to volley home from close range.

Accies: Fulton, Odoffin, McMann, Stirling (Mimnaugh, 56), Easton (c) (Thomas, 86), Hamilton, A Martin, Anderson, (Moyo, 77), Hodson, Ogkmpoe (Winter, 77), Callachan. Subs Unused: Hughes, Stanger, Munro, Gourlay, C Smith

Goal: Kelly (o.g, 15)

Booking: Easton, 38

Ross County: Laidlaw, Naismith, Hjelde, Morris, Iacovitti (Tremarco, 77), Kelly, Vigurs (White, 62), Paton, (McKay, 77)Andreu, Shaw (Gardyne, 77), Hylton (Lakin, 77); Subs Unused:Draper, Watson, Hilton, Tillson

Goals: White 81, McKay, 85

Bookings: Hylton, 32, Paton, 52

Referee:Willie Collum; Assistants: Ross MacLeod & Ralph Gordon 4th Official: Euan Anderson

 

 

 

 

 

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