By Austin Benson
Stuart Taylor’s men returned to NDP following their 4-0 triumph in Glasgow over Partick Thistle last week, taking on Queen of The South in a crucial match for both sides, as Accies look to make it four wins against Queens’ this season.
Wullie Gibson’s side kicked off proceedings and would have the first chance of the afternoon on the 3rd minute, with Lee Connelly’s shot blazing over the bar after a quick break.
Hamilton would soon get themselves into the game, earning three corners in the opening 10 minutes, as Accies looked to penetrate Queens’ defence aerially. One of Steve Lawson’s deliveries forced QoTS ‘keeper Rae to punch clear in the 9th minute.
David Moyo’s movement off the ball looked effective in these initial stages, as the Zimbabwean striker aimed to gain possession from Queen of The South’s defence following some nervy passes around the back.
Andy Ryan was fouled badly by Queen of The South midfielder Ben Liddle, who escaped with only a yellow card in the 11th minute following his strong challenge.
However, in the minutes which followed neither side were able to carve any clear cut chances.
Andy Winter’s physicality looked impressive so far, as he would regain possession from QoTS centre-back East to send in a cross which Moyo failed to connect with properly, as his header went wide in the 24th minute.
Wullie Gibson’s role as player-manager would be made more difficult in the 40th minute, as Ben Liddle received a second yellow card and his marching orders after tackling an advancing Andy Winter to the ground.
Innes Cameron added to Queen of The South’s disciplinary woes, being booked in added time for clashing with Dan O’Reilly.
Accies were unlucky to be heading into the interval at a stalemate, following their aerial bombardment of QoTS. Hamilton looked certain to grab a goal at some point however, as this continued pressure surely had to pay off.
Hamilton would kick off the second half eager to edge ahead. MacDonald sending in a menacing delivery, which saw Andy Ryan latch onto a loose ball and fire towards goal, with a last-gasp Euan East clearance preventing the ball from crossing Queens’ line in the 51st minute.
It was a signal of intent from the hosts as Accies looked to continue their onslaught of the Queens’ defence.
David Moyo was central to Accies’ attacks in the second half, with him and Andy Ryan’s partnership coming under the spotlight. David Moyo’s efficient hold-up play allowed for Andy Ryan to run in and latch onto Moyo’s layoff, however his shot was saved in the 60th minute.
Accies evetually found their triumphant break through on 65 minutes. An expert through ball from Dan O’Reilly’s found Andy Winter. The strikers run saw him skip past his marker and slot home past onrushing ‘keeper Rae to make it 1-0 to Accies on 65 minutes.
Stuart Taylor’s men began to line up more defensively after Winter’s goal, reverting to a back four as Accies looked to protect their lead.
‘Skipper Easton received Accies’ first and only yellow card, following his foul on Queens forward Sam Folarin in the 74th minute.
Andy Ryan almost scored Accies’ second late on, however his long-range effort was saved due to QoTS ‘keeper Rae’s quick reactions to parry it out for a Hamilton corner in the 79th minute.
Queen of The South would have arguably their biggest chance of the match in the 81st minute, when Sam Folarin’s shot was deflected out for a corner to Queens.
‘Skipper Brian Easton was substituted for Josh Mullin in the 82nd minute, with Andy Ryan donning the captain’s armband for the remainder of the match.
Accies would bare significant pressure from QoTS, as Wullie Gibson’s side earned three corners in the final 10, with Hamilton defending bravely to maintain their advantage.
Goalscorer Andy Winter left the pitch to a standing ovation, as he made way for Ellis Brown in the 88th minute.
Ryan Fulton courageously claimed the ball from a QoTS corner in the 90th minute, beating incoming Innes Cameron to the ball in the process.
Andy Ryan had Accies’ last chance of note in added time, with his curling effort from outside the box being parried out for a corner.
Accies; Fulton (GK), Popescu, Easton (C) (Mullin 82’), Hamilton, MacDonald (Shiels 68’), Ryan, Spence, Winter (Brown 88’), Moyo, Lawson, O’Reilly
Unused Accies subs; J. Smith, Martin, L. Smith, Hughes, Mimnaugh
QoTS; Rae (GK), O’Connor, Cooper (Paton 81’), Todd (C), Roy (Folarin 66’), Connelly (Nditi 46’), Liddle, East (COCHRANE 46’) McKechnie, Cameron, Gibson
Unused QoTS subs; Cowie (GK), Debayo, Joseph, Gordon, Shea, Henderson
Referees; Graham Grainger, AR1 Daniel McFarlane, AR2 Gordon McCabe