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Accies 1 St Johnstone 1

Accies and the Perth saints shared the points in a 1-1 draw at a wet SuperSeal Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Greg Docherty volleyed us ahead in the 36th minute, for his first goal of the season, but a Liam Craig equaliser with nine minutes remaining saw the Saints draw level.

Here is web reporter Martin McConnell’s take on the proceedings….

Ladbrokes Premiership

Superseal Stadium, Hamilton

Sunday 25th September 2016 at 3pm.

Hamilton Academical 1 St. Johnstone 1

We remained in the Saturday morning position of 10th place, before the rest of the weekend games saw us slip to 12th without playing, in the Premiership table after earning a hard won point at the Superseal. Accies took the lead when Greg Docherty volleyed in for his first of the season on 36 minutes. But after surviving a sustained period of pressure, we finally succumbed to an 81st minute Liam Craig equaliser.

The Hamilton boss Martin Canning said, “For us it’s another one that’s got away, we hit them on the break and Greg has to score to make it 2-0. That’s a recurring theme for us just now and we need to kill off games. Instead we end up conceding and it’s another point when three points were there, and that’s happened too often. I’ve been saying for the last few weeks, we have to be more ruthless in front of goal.”

Hamilton made three changes to last weeks starting XI, with Greg Docherty, Alex D’Acol and Dan Seaborne coming in for Longridge, Devlin and Lyon. Skipper Mikey Devlin having a problem with his left knee, and Darren Lyon due for a midweek groin operation. St. Johnstone made five changes to the side that lost out to Aberdeen midweek in the Betfred Cup Quarter Final.

Saints had ex Accies academy keeper Zander Clark and popular ex Accie Brian Easton in their starting XI

Accies started the match with a 3-5-2 formation and settled comfortably into the game straight from kick off. Eamonn Brophy got his eye in on target early on when he got himself onto the end of a Grant Gillespie chip over the top, and had his angled drive deflected wide for a corner kick. Alex D’Acol then had a couple of low drives on goal from 20 yards, the first blocked, the second saved by Clark.

Saints gradually got themselves back into the game and went close when Murray Davidson struck wide of the post from a Michael Coulson free kick. From the half hour mark on, Accies seemed to lose concentration when on the ball more often than not, giving Saints plenty of opportunities to carve out chances. Fortunately the closest came from a Coulson strike that went a yard wide of the goal.

As the match began to drift away, Accies took the lead from that well worked Ali Crawford free kick routine where he dinks the ball into space on the left hand side of the penalty area. The ball sat up perfectly for D’Acol to head back across the six yard line, Brophy’s nodded the ball on, and Greg Docherty was placed to volley home at the back post.
But within a few minutes of going in front, St. Johnstone almost pulled level when Murray Davidson caught the Accies defence napping, with a near post header from a corner kick. And but for a goal line intervention from the head of Alex D’Acol, the score line would have read as 1-1 at half time, but Accies saw the half out with their 1-0 lead intact.
St. Johnstone made the better start to the second half but didn’t create a chance until Liam Craig drove a 25 yard strike a few inches high of the cross bar. The referee ruled that Remi Matthews got a touch and awarded a corner.

Saints kept up the pressure but it was Grant Gillespie that carved a chance for himself when he tested Clark with a 25 yard strike as the match closed on the hour.

Saints promptly went up the field and were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Accies D after a clumsy challenge. Danny Swanson dummied, and Liam Craig followed up with a low shot which skirted the wall and inches wide of the left hand post. Accies bounced back into the equation with a flurry of chances that stretched the Saints defence, all within the space of a couple of minutes.

Dougie Imrie fizzed a shot right across goal and wide of the far post, then Brophy had a header saved from a corner kick. Docherty unexpectedly found himself with a chance when an Imrie ball into the box missed everyone and found Docherty alone in space at the back post. His shot was blocked by Clark who wasted no time in coming off his line, and giving Docherty not much to aim at.

The match swung back the visitors’ way as Accies gave away possession again and again, surviving more by fortune and Saints habit of shooting early and from distance. But the equaliser came from when Blair Alston’s 15 yard shot was saved by Remi Matthews. The rebound stayed low and at a nice height for Liam Craig to shoot through the bodies and into the Hamilton net.

Dougie Imrie did his best with seven minutes left when he struck one almighty shot from wide that stung the hands of Clark, rose into the air forcing the keeper to swat away from goal for a corner kick. Both sides searched for a winner but it was to elude both sides. Accies couldn’t break out with any real determination and Saints couldn’t land anything on target.

Accies: Matthews, Seaborne, Gillespie, Imrie, Docherty, D’Acol (Longridge 63), Crawford, MacKinnon, Brophy (Bingham 77), Donati, Sarris. Subs Unused: Thomson, Redmond, Roy, McMann, Want.
Goals: Docherty 36.
Cautions: Donati, Seaborne, MacKinnon, Docherty, Crawford.

Saints: Clark, Alston, Anderson, Davidson, Swanson, Shaughnessy, Coulson (Gormley 67), Foster (Comrie 4), Easton, Craig, Cummins (Kane 72). Subs Unused: Mannus, Wotherspoon, Paton, Gordon.
Goal: Craig 81.
Cautions: Davidson.

Referee: Euan Anderson. Assistants: Frankie Connor & David Roome. 4th Official: Mat Northcroft.
Attendance: 1705.

 

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