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Accies 1-1 Rangers, 7th February

Accies media team reporter Mark Gillespie with the details of Sunday’s draw with the league leaders….

SPFL Premiership,

FOY Stadium, New Douglas Park, Hamilton

on Sunday, 7th,February, 2021, kick off 12 noon

 Hamilton Academical 1 Rangers 1

 

Heads might have dropped falling behind to such a late own goal. But Accies never gave up on a game they had more than deserved to be leading. Ross Callachan’s strike in the final seconds of injury time salvaged a point and gave the score line some justice.

It’s Accies first home league point against Rangers since 1954. Brian Rice’s side now sit two points adrift of Ross County at the bottom but with two games fewer played. The Accies boss wants his side to take the same spirit into the next run of fixtures.

“It’s a point today, but we’re still bottom of the league, with four away games in a row coming up. We’ll get a pat on the back tonight, tomorrow it’s back to work and prepare for Wednesday”, he said post-match.

“I’m proud of the boys today. I thought it was a really top class performance. We showed we have the spirit to go to the 94th minute against Rangers. A point’s the least we deserved.”

“We set our stall out today. I was going to change the formation yesterday, but we didn’t like it. We stuck to what we know, and I think today we’ve seen a team that sticks together and is desperate to stay in this league.”

Accies started as they meant to finish, with a positive line up, playing two up top. There was only one change to side from midweek, Charlie Trafford replacing the unwell Ben Stirling in midfield. New signing Bruce Anderson was to make another big impact defending from the front alongside Marios Ogkmpoe. The Rangers defenders were to get no peace on the ball.

Rangers made three changes from their win over St Johnstone, two in the middle as Zungu and Kamara replaced Jack and Davis. Itten came in for Roofe up front as they went with their familiar 4-3-3 formation.

Accies were brave and went man for man with that on a freezing day at New Douglas Park. As in midweek, Anderson was the early bright spark, linking up with Ogkmpoe on 12 minutes with a shot deflected wide. McMann and Hodson were getting down the flanks to provide some decent width and balls into the box.

Neither ‘keeper still had much to do for the opening half hour, Jo Aribo coming closest for the visitors with a curling effort wide on 34 minutes. The waves of Rangers pressure didn’t come though against a compact Accies defence. Instead, it was Accies who carved out the chance of the half, Anderson picking Helander’s pocket inside his own box. MacGregor and Goldson were just able to clear the danger.

The half time message was more of the same with the onus on Rangers to step it up. A ball over the top right from the restart almost caught Accies out, Kent only finding the side netting. Jamie Hamilton was quick to block the Rangers attacker five minutes later, the Accies defender looking more impressive as the game went on.

We were soon up the other end creating chances of our own, MacGregor parrying away a Scott McMann effort on 54 minutes. The ball broke to Callachan inside the box, Helander throwing himself to charge down the effort.

Rangers made some changes, Ryan Jack and Steven Davis introduced to get a grip in the middle. It seemed to give them more edge, Jack threading Kent through on 73 minutes but sliding just wide of Fulton’s far post.

But Accies refused to sit back, Hamilton fouled after a surging run to the edge of the Rangers box on 76 minutes. Helander may have been lucky to escape with a yellow, MacGregor again to the rescue, beating away Callachan’s resulting free kick.

It can be a harsh game. Rangers hadn’t looked at it but found a way through on 80 minutes. Barisic took it wide to the bye line, his cross turned in by Easton on his own goal line.

Accies kept their heads up and were to have the last word, Odoffin forced another stop from MacGregor on 87 minutes. It spoke volumes that the Rangers ‘keeper was named man of the match.

He was finally beaten by virtually the last kick of the ball, after saving an Anderson header. The ball broke for Callachan to smash the rebound home at his near post.

Accies: Fulton, Odoffin, McMann, Trafford (Hughes, 71), Easton (c), Hamilton, A Martin, Anderson, Hodson, Ogkmpoe, Callachan.  Subs Unused: Gourlay, Stanger, Mimnaugh, Winter, Moyo, Munro,  Slaven, C Smith

Goal: Callachan (90+4)

Booking: Callachan, 24 seconds

Rangers: MacGregor, Tavernier, Helander, Goldson, Hagi (Wright, 78 ), Itten (Roofe, 66), Kent, Zungu (Jack, 60), Aribo, Kamara(Davis, 78 ), Barisic; Subs Unused: McLaughlin, Bassey, Simpson, Patterson, Balogun

Goal: Easton, 80 o.g.

Booking: Helander, 76

Referee: Bobby Madden; Assistants: Daniel McFarlane & Gary Hilland; 4th Official: Mike Roncone

 

 

 

 

 

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