SPFL Cinch Championship
Saturday 29th January 2022
3pm at New Douglas Park, Hamilton
Hamilton Academical 1 Ayr United 1
Accies web reporter Martin McConnell with the details from NDP on Saturday….
We remain in sixth place and eight points behind Partick Thistle after settling for a single point when three looked more than likely at one point towards the end of the first half.
Hamilton dominated during the first 45 minutes and should have made more of their chances after going a goal in front thanks to the on-loan Kai Kennedy. That aside, the chance to double the lead from the penalty spot just before halftime was missed when the ball struck the woodwork.
United made an early second-half change that was to change to course of the match when debutant Sam Ashford replaced Tomi Adeloye. Seven minutes later and the former Crawley Town striker had fired in a leveller for the Ayrshire side.
Four changes were made to the starting XI, with Virtanen, Ryan, Winter and Shiels making way for MacDonald, Mullin, Kennedy and Moyo.
Visiting Ayr United made three changes to their side that lost to St Mirren in the Scottish Cup by a couple of goals. Out for Moffat, Maxwell, and McKenzie and in for Adeloye, O’Connor, and Dempsey.
Hamilton started brightly and took an early lead thanks to Kai Kennedy on his first start for the club. The young Rangers loanee picked up a Moyo ball and shot across the goalkeeper from the left-hand side of the penalty area and struck the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
Ayr then had a great chance to level soon after when Hilton failed to hold the ball from O’Connor’s corner kick. McGinty got to the dropped ball first, but he could only manage to fire the ball wide of the Hamilton goal.
On the 38th minute, Accies were awarded a spot-kick when Mihai Popescu drew a foul from Sean McGinty. Ronan Hughes did the honours in the swirling windy conditions but only managed to strike the crossbar with his effort. Our fourth miss from six penalties in recent games.
David Moyo had a couple of great chances to get himself onto the scoresheet on either side of the penalty miss. Jamie Hamilton and Josh Mullin supplied the two quality crosses for the striker, but he failed to connect with the ball by the tiniest of margins.
Muirhead fired wide of the goal from outside the box and Hilton saved from a long-range Maxwell strike in the prelude to Ashford’s strike home into the bottom right corner of the net from the centre of the penalty area, making the score level at 1-1.
Moyo had one more chance to find a winner, but his header flew just over the crossbar and Ashford had a half-chance when he was almost through on goal but found himself crowded out before he could test Hilton.
Accies: Hilton, Popescu (c ), Hamilton, MacDonald, L Smith (Ryan 66), Hughes (Brown 86), Mullin, Kennedy, Mimnaugh (Martin 73), Moyo, O’Reilly. Subs Unused: Fulton, Virtanen, Easton, Winter, Munro, Lawson.
Goals: Kennedy 7.
Cautions: O’Reilly, Martin.
United: McAdams, Houston, Reading, Muirhead, McGinty, Murdoch, Adeloye (Ashford 59), O’Connor (Maxwell 62), Baird, Gondoh (McKenzie 61), Dempsey (Bryden 86). Subs Unused: Albinson, Fjortoft, Ecrepont, Smith, Moffat.
Goals: Ashford 65.
Cautions: Murdoch, McGinty, Muirhead.
Referee: John Beaton. Assistants: Graeme Stewart & Chris Rae.