By Austin Benson
Accies returned to New Douglas Park to face fellow promotion hopefuls Arbroath after their dramatic 1-1 draw at Ayr United. Stuart Taylor returned to the Accies dugout after a positive Covid-19 test meant that John Rankin had to oversee the team against Ayr United.
Accies looked to make home advantage count Dan O’Reilly’s threatening cross looked to find an inbounding Moyo. However, Ricky Little managed a last-ditch clearance to earn Accies’ first corner in the second minute.
Hamilton had their first clear-cut chance soon after as they earned a free-kick early in Arbroath’s half. Josh Mullin’s delivery towards ‘keeper Gaston’s far post found Mihai Popescu, as his header went narrowly wide of goal in the four minute.
Dick Campbell’s side regrouped after this and launched their own attack. A moment of miscommunication between onrushing ‘keeper Fulton and Popescu, which saw the Romanian centre-back clear onto Michael McKenna’s right foot, with his volley being too high to trouble Fulton in the fifth minute.
The following 20 minutes saw both sides battle to gain a controlling influence on the match. It would be 13 minutes before Accies created another opening. Kieran MacDonald’s ambitious ball from deep found David Moyo inside Arbroath’s box on the left flank, as the Zimbabwean forward shot just wide of onrushing ‘keeper Gaston’s far post in the 24th minute.
‘Skipper Andy Ryan entered the book for Accies, after launching a high knee on Dale Hilson in the 29th minute, which earned Arbroath a free kick early inside Accies’ half.
Chris Hamilton collected Arbroath’s first booking for fouling Andy Winter in the 31st minute.
For the remainder of the first half, attacks from either side dried up, however Hamilton had one late chance. Accies earned a free kick on the edge of Arbroath’s box in the 43rd minute, with MacDonald sending a cross in towards towering David Moyo who headed over Gaston’s goal.
The second 45 started with both sides looking to gain a foothold in the match. With spells of possession for both sides it was the 59th minute where the first real attack of the half was registered.
Jack Hamilton managed to connect with Mihai Popescu’s attempted clearance to fire past an advancing Fulton in the 59th minute to put this visitors ahead.
Lewis Spence was booked for fouling Chris Hamilton in the 60th minute. Nicky Low’s resulting free kick from early inside Hamilton’s half found Henderson inside the box who headed wide in the 62nd minute.
Hamilton began to pile on the pressure as Mihai Popescu headed just over Arbroath’s goal as the search for a leveler continued.
Arbroarth seeked to control the bulk of possession with chances few and far between. However, Nicky Low sent an ambitious long effort from a tight angle on the right flank just over Accies’ goal in the 77th minute.
David Moyo’s headed effort from the left of Arbroath’s six-yard box went wide in the 79th minute as Stuart Taylor’s side remained hopeful of equalising.
Arbroath earned a corner in the 90th minute and looked to see out the game by holding the ball up along Accies’ left flank.
A final Kieran MacDonald free kick was sent into the Arbroath box. However, to no evail as the referee blew the
Arbroath ‘skipper O’Brien also entered the book in added time for fouling Accies’ captain Andy Ryan. Kieran MacDonald’s resulting free kick was sent into Arbroath’s box; however, Arbroath eventually cleared after a brief defensive scramble and launched a last gasp counter, which Accies cleared before referee Scott Lambie blew the full-time whistle.
Accies; Fulton (GK), Popescu, Hamilton, MacDonald, Ryan (C), Spence (Brown 83’), Mullin (Martin 72’), Winter, Moyo, Lawson, O’Reilly
Unused Accies subs; Hilton (GK), L. Smith, Mimnaugh, Shiels, McGowan, Nicolson
Arbroath; Gaston, Stewart, Hamilton, Little, O’Brien (C), Low (Wighton 84’), Hamilton (Craigen), McKenna, Hilson (Donnelly 73’), Hamilton, Henderson (Gold 81’)
Unused Arbroath subs; Swankie, Linn, Ford, Bakare, Antell (GK)
Referees; Scott Lambie, AR1 Ralph Gordon, AR2 Calum Doyle, Observer George Clyde