Hamilton Academical 0-2 Kilmarnock
SPFL Cinch Championship
Saturday 21st August 2021, kick off 3pm
at New Douglas Park, Hamilton
Robinson double gives Stuart Taylor unwelcome gift on his first visit back to NDP
It wasn’t a result that would have impressed new Accies boss, Stuart Taylor, who was watching from the stands as we fell short to Kilmarnock in a 2-0 loss at NDP. Website reporter David Robson tells the story from Saturday…
It was the first match since Brian Rice’s departure from the club, and coaches, Guillaume Beuzelin, George Cairns and Brian Potter took charge of the team with Taylor having only arrived at the club the day before the match.
The coaches named two changes in the starting 11 from the 1-0 loss at home to Morton two weeks prior with captain Brian Easton taking Shaun Want’s place and Josh Mullin making his first start for the club, replacing David Templeton.
It was a tough test for Hamilton coming up against Kilmarnock who had won both opening fixtures in the league and already establishing themselves as one of the favourites for the title.
It was clear early doors how difficult the match was going to be as Kilmarnock began the match on the front foot. The intent was clear in the opening minutes as Chris Burke managed to find space on the left side three minutes in and attempted a cutback to Scott Robinson, but Brian Easton used his experience to get ahead of the striker and cleared the ball to safety.
Rory McKenzie and former Accie, Blair Alston also had efforts on goal moments later but were not dangerous enough to challenge Ryan Fulton in the Accies goal.
Whilst Kilmarnock had majority of possession Accies started to gain confidence with each passing minute in the contest and started to grow into the game. Lewis Spence was particularly impressive in the middle of the park in the opening 15 minutes as he made a few interceptions and made it difficult for Killie to break through the midfield. The high tempo of the match started to fizzle out after 20 minutes though, and this started to play in Hamilton’s hands as they started seeing more of the ball.
Hamilton had a chance 25 minutes in when Lewis Smith found Josh Mullin with a pass on the right flank and he lined up for a shot, but Zach Hemming managed to parry it to safety. Accies then had a couple of half chances from corners but again, there was nothing for Hemming to worry about in goals.
Scott McMann had Accies’ best chance of the half on the 41st minute when he found some space on the edge of the box and pinged a shot towards goal but it just missed the target and flew over the bar. With the power it had on it, if it was on target then Hemming would have had no chance of saving it.
HALF-TIME ACCIES 0-0 KILMARNOCK
The second half started with all momentum on Hamilton’s side. The home side looked to take the match to the visitors and began throwing all men forward to try and take the lead but were agonisingly close to doing so on a few occasions.
In the 53rd minute came Accies’ best chance of the match. Andy Ryan managed to flick the ball wonderfully for Smith to run onto, and he then laid off Spence who rocketed a strike at Hemming from inside the box and the goalkeeper somehow denied the midfielder his first Accies goal. There wouldn’t have been a single person in the stadium expecting Hemming to save it, as it was a huge chance missed for Hamilton.
Moments later Stephen McGinn nearly offered Hamilton a sucker blow after he managed to find space in the box for a header, but his effort was calmly collected by Fulton.
Hamilton continued to gain back control of the ball and it seemed like they were in the driving seat for the match. This confidence and tempo from the home side was soon squashed though as Kilmarnock took the lead against the run of play through Scott Robinson in the 60th minute. Brandon Haunstrup made a striding run down the left flank and floated a cross in for Robinson to head home with ease.
This took the sting out of Hamilton’s play and it was Kilmarnock who took centre stage and started controlling possession. Accies struggled to get a foothold of the game again for the next few minutes and it was Robinson who piled even more misery on the home side by bagging himself a double. In the 70th minute, Liam Polworth stayed composed when he picked the ball up in the box and laid Robinson off who had a shot into an almost empty net with Fulton beaten by the pass, and the striker fired it home to make it two.
Hamilton offered little going forward after this and it was clear that the three points were going back down the road with Kilmarnock. Accies tried switching things up by bringing on Reegan Mimnaugh for Miko Virtanen and David Moyo for Andy Ryan in the 73rd and 83rd minute respectively, but they couldn’t make a serious impact in that time.
It was a disappointing result for the Accies and it is the third game in a row that Kilmarnock have beaten Accies 2-0 with both goals coming from a single player. However, despite this, they can take confidence in the nice passages of play they had during the match against one of the toughest teams in the league. Hamilton currently sit 8th in the league and face 6th place Queen of the South next week at Palmerston Park.
Full-Time Accies 0 – 2 Kilmarnock
Ref: John Beaton Assistants: David Rome and Elliot Husband Powton
Accies – Fulton, Virtanen (Mimnaugh 73’), McMann, Easton ©, Hamilton, MacDonald, Ryan (Moyo 83’), Smith, Spence, Mullin, Stanger . subs unused Hilton, Stirling, Templeton, Want, Redfern
Kilmarnock – Hemming, Haunstrup, McGinn, Murray, Mckenzie, Alston, Polworth (Lyons 77’), Robinson (Cameron 87’), Naismith, McGowan, Burke (Murray 81’)