We failed to score in a match for the first time this season in Saturday’s home defeat by Dundee.
Web reporter Martin McConnell’s supplies Martin Canning’s post match reaction, and his own take on the game.
SuperSeal Stadium, Hamilton
Saturday 29th October 2016 at 3pm.
Hamilton Academical 0 Dundee 1
We dropped a couple of places into 10th whilst opponents Dundee notched up their first win in eleven attempts. It was a match in which neither side ought to have taken much from other than a point, if the performance from both sides was anything to go by. It was also the first game this season in which we failed to score.
It was the sort of first half that even a mother couldn’t love, with chances few and far between. Other than the odd attempt wide of target, neither looked capable of scoring but it seemed likely that if and when one side did, it would prove crucial to the outcome of the match.
The second half wasn’t much better as a spectacle, and it threatened to do so on a few occasions without ever delivering. But the visitors managed to take the lead just after the hour when a McGowan shot beat Woods, and as it turned out, did decide the three points heading north.
Martin Canning on his sides 1-0 defeat, “Disappointed, the level of performance wasn’t quite what it was during the week. I think when you look at the line ups between the sides, 3-5-2 versus 3-5-2, it’s always going to be a match up but it’s who wins the battle. Did we do enough to win the game? Definitely not. And to lose the game? Perhaps not but we have and it’s disappointing.”
He added, “You set your own levels of consistency and get to the level you want to get too, and that’s ultimately what will move us on. If you’re good enough to win here first and foremost, and if we can get that level of consistency into our game, players can move on from here and play at a higher level. But today has brought us back to earth and let us know that there is a lot of hard work required.”
“I said to players, you’ve got to go and win games like today, that’s a game we’ve got to go and win and we didn’t do it. It’s something we’ve got to look at because it’s big for us, there’s no point getting ourselves up for Aberdeen, Celtic or Rangers then coming here and letting Dundee come and take the three points. We’ve got to make sure.”
Hamilton boss Martin Canning was able to name his first unchanged XI of the season after Tuesday night’s 1-0 win against second placed Aberdeen. Paul Hartley’s Dundee side made four changes, Bain replaced Mitchell in goal, and Gadzhalov, Etxabeguren and Vincent replaced Gomis, Williams and Loy.
Within the first thirty seconds, Ali Crawford sent a 15 yard shot sailing over the Dundee cross bar, and the Dens Park men answered with an Etxabeguren header that flew wide of the goal. Wighton should have done better and at least tested Woods but put his ten yard strike wide of target.
Accies countered with a Greg Docherty volley wide of target, then a dipping D’Acol shot just high of the Dundee goal. Wighton created another attempt when he got onto Vincent’s ball down the left into space, gathered and cut inside before sending his shot wide of the back post.
Then eight minutes into the second half, both sides produced their first shots on target within a minute of each other. Greg Docherty was first with a shot from distance that forced a save from Mitchell. Then moments later, Woods tipped over from another Etxabeguren back post header.
A dipping Ali Crawford free kick from the left-hand side was helped on toward goal by an unknown toe, and Mitchell came off his line to smother. Then within seconds the ball was launched down the pitch into the Hamilton half and into the back of the Hamilton net.
Paul McGowan gathered the ball outside the penalty area and shot low from 20 yards. Marcus Haber may have got a touch or dummied just in front of goal, either way it probably did enough to distract Woods as the ball crossed the line.
The goal seemed to open up the game, when Lennard Sowah shot wide of goal from outside the penalty area. The match began to flow from end to end, Blues taking confidence from the goal and Accies search for an equaliser, but it didn’t last as the match fell back into a scrappy encounter.
Hamilton had the ball in the back of the Dundee net when Bingham struck past Mitchell from a Redmond pass, but the big forward was clearly offside. Great chance for the Blues when Haber shot from wide, woods saved and the ball ran to the back post, Wighton shot and Sowah slid in to block.
Six minutes from time, Danny Redmond had a chance to pull his side level when the ball fell his way from a Crawford cross. The midfielder cut inside trying to find a foot of space that would allow for a shot on goal, but the way to goal remained elusive as his shot was blocked and cleared.
The match opened right up as the match entered the four minutes extra time, Ali Crawford tried his luck from 20 yards but the attempt was blocked by the stretched leg of a Dundee defender. But time ran out for Accies and the visitors were jubilant with their much needed three points.
Accies: Woods, Devlin, Gillespie, Imrie, Docherty (Redmond 67), D’Acol (Bingham 50), Crawford, MacKinnon, Brophy (Kurtaj 64), Sowah, Sarris. Subs Unused: Thomson, Longridge, McMann, Want.
Cautions: Imrie, Kurtaj.
Dundee: Mitchell, Holt, Vincent, O’Dea, Hateley, Etxabeguren, McGowan (Ross 77), Haber (Teijsse 91), Gadzhalov, Kerr, Wighton. Subs Unused: Gourlay, Loy, Duffy, Williams, Smyth.
Goal: McGowan 61.
Referee: Stephen Finnie. Assistants: Graeme Stewart & Anthony Cooper. 4th Official: Alan Muir.