An injury time goal gave ICT a draw here, after Alex D’Acol had given us a 17th minute lead.
Keeper Remi Matthews went off injured near the with a shoulder injury, and we await an update from the medics. He is likely to be out for a while though.
Web reporter Martin McConnell’s take on the game
SuperSeal Stadium, Hamilton
Saturday 1st October 2016 at 3pm.
Hamilton Academical 1 Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1
Inverness started well and were quick on the attack, with Accies having to reply on the counter, but that all changed when Alex D’Acol grabbed his third goal of the season in the 17th minute. From then on ICT were second best and Accies bossed the remainder of the first half, and should have doubled their lead when Georgios Sarris had a chance from seven yards but headed over the cross bar.
The second half wasn’t a great advert, and both sides struggled to create a chance of any description. Accies seemed to be handling Inverness comfortably enough when Remi Matthews was replaced after suffering an injury. Then from out of nowhere and completely against the run of play, Liam Polworth scored from distance in added on time to break Accies hearts.
A gutted Hamilton boss Martin Canning remained positive following the late equaliser when he said “It’s a kick in the teeth again. Yet again we go 1-0 up through Alex D’Acol, we put ourselves in a good place, and we were playing well and controlled pretty much all of the first half. The second half was a bit more to-and-fro, but I didn’t see their equaliser coming, to be honest.
“I feel like I’m sitting here saying the same thing to you. It’s frustrating, but from a positive point of view I thought we controlled a lot of the game, we were in their faces, we pressed the game really well, went 1-0 up again and we didn’t do a lot wrong there. It’s not as if it’s the tactics, or somebody has switched off, and that has cost us a goal – the ball broke to the edge of the box, Liam Polworth strikes it and it ends up in the bottom corner. Sometimes when luck isn’t on your side that’s what happens.”
The Hamilton manager made two changes to his starting line-up. Scott McMann made his first league start in 16 months when he started in place of Massimo Donati who is still recovering from his facial injuries, and Louis Longridge replacing Eamonn Brophy who was ill. Whilst ICT made only the one change to the side that beat Dundee 3-1, with Iain Vigurs starting instead of Jake Mulraney.
After only 2 minutes, Doumbouya sent a cross into the Accies six yard box that swung dangerously in on goal, forcing Matthews to touch over his cross bar. From the corner, Brad McKay shot low on the Accies goal but fortunately Louis Longridge was on hand to clear from the goal line. On the quarter hour Dougie Imrie squared for Longridge to strike high off the ICT goal from 16 yards.
Within 60 seconds Accies struck the back of the visitors net when Grant Gillespie delivered a cross that fell like a brick just in front of goal. Ali Crawford’s glancing header was saved by Williams, but Alex D’Acol reacted quickest to the rebound and stuck the ball into the net. The goal seemed to rattle Inverness who had probably been the better side up until that point, and Accies took control.
Moments later D’Acol had a second chance on goal when Williams saved his header from a Longridge cross, then Longridge struck a touch high off the cross bar from 18 yards. Just before the half hour, a Crawford free kick from the right hand side was headed over from six yards by Georgios Sarris. Then a curled shot from Crawford was brilliantly pushed over the cross bar by Williams.
Greg Docherty opened the second 45 for Accies with a 22 yard strike that flew wide of the Inverness post, then the match didn’t see another offering until Brad McKay shot wide for Thistle on 74 minutes. With 18 minutes of the match remaining, Remi Matthews landed awkwardly on his shoulder when he rose to take the ball, but managed to stay on the park after receiving treatment.
McMann made a run down the left before cutting the ball into the penalty area for Bingham, his positioning was all wrong and could only scuff the ball across the goal. Matthews went off shortly afterwards after landing badly for a second time, with Thomson coming on as his replacement. Within seconds he had to make a spectacular save to deny Ross Draper from levelling for Inverness.
Six minutes added on time was signalled at the end of the 90 minutes, and this seemed to spur the visitors onto greater things. It had the desired effect when Liam Polworth struck a spectacular 25 yard shot that stayed low and avoided Thomson to creep in at the inside of the far post. Ali Crawford answered with a couple of shots, the first blocked, the second saved before the full time whistle blew.
Accies: Matthews (Thomson 81), Seaborne, Gillespie, Imrie (c), Docherty, D’Acol (Bingham 65), Crawford, Longridge (Want 84), MacKinnon, McMann, Sarris. Subs Unused: Redmond, Roy, Tierney, Hughes.
Goals: D’Acol 17.
Cautions: MacKinnon, Imrie.
Thistle: Fon-Williams, Tremarco, Warren, Meekings, Polworth, Draper, Vigurs (Cole 74), Tansey (Boden 49), King (Mulraney 58), McKay, Doumbouya. Subs Unused: Mackay, Doran, Horner, Fisher.
Goals: Polworth 90+2.
Referee: Barry Cook. Assistants: Graeme Stewart & Mark McLean. 4th Official: Nick Walsh.