We took our run to only one defeat in the last six games with this draw at Rugby Park on Saturday, which also means we are now unbeaten in four games at Killie.
Not the best of games, but a draw the fair result.
Rugby Park, Kilmarnock
Saturday 5th November 2016 at 3pm.
Kilmarnock 0 Hamilton Academical 0
The points would have gone a long way to making things that little bit easier for both the sides at Rugby Park. But in the end the match ended in a goal less stalemate after some poor finishing, and of course great performances by the keepers.
And although the first 45 passed goal less, we had plenty of chances and good possession inside the Killie penalty area to have made something happen. However, there was a good penalty shout when Dougie Imrie looked to have been brought down inside the Killie box.
The game really opened up in the second half, with Woods making a cracking save within seconds of the restart. The match swung one way then the other as it seemed that one of the sides must take a lead, but a goal never materialized and in the end Accies had to hang on for their valuable point.
Martin Canning said of the match, “I think overall we’ll take the point and move on, but I thought once again that we did enough to win the game and created enough opportunities. We had enough chances to put some of them into the back of the net, and make life a bit more comfortable for ourselves. All credit to Kilmarnock, they stayed in the game”.
“I though in the first half we were the better side and in the first twenty or so minutes of the second we played well and looked comfortable. Then in last fifteen they put us under quite a bit of pressure by putting corners and balls into the box. We defended well and over the piece and we’ll take the point and move on, but thought we could have won the game.”
There were three changes to the Rugby Park starting line-up, with Massimo Donati coming in at the back for the injured Lennard Sowah and Gramoz Kurtaj and Rakish Bingham both starting up front in place of Alex D’Acol and Eamonn Brophy.
Although Killie had the better of the opening exchanges, it was Hamilton that were first to force a save from a keeper when Gramoz Kurtaj cut the ball inside for Ali Crawford to set his sight on the target from 20 yards. He managed to keep his shot low but it lacked the power to trouble Jamie MacDonald.
Ali had another chance to give Accies the lead on 20 minutes when Grant Gillespie found him space inside the penalty area, but this time he pulled his shot across and wide of goal. Minutes later Rakish Bingham broke down the left, cut inside and made MacDonald make another good save.
Kris Boyd then went close for Killie when he directed his header a shade high of the Accies cross bar from a Jordan Jones corner kick. Hamilton countered almost immediately when the ball broke for Kurtaj just outside the box. He picked out Crawford with a pass inside but his shot went wide.
Minutes within the passing of the half hour both sides had great chances to take the lead, first Killie when Boyd headed wide from a Jones bye line cut back. Then Accies, when Bingham got onto the end of a Crawford cross and headed agonizingly wide of the back post.
Within seconds of the start of the second half, Coulibaly had perhaps Killie’s best chance of the match when he smashed a volley wide, but Gary Woods made a great goal line save. Accies went straight up field, Gillespie and Kurtaj combined well before Gillespie fired over from 15 yards.
Both sides gave their all in a blistering start to the second half, and it seemed a goal one way or another was on the cards. Coulibaly had another chance when he got a touch on a long ball forward, tried to place it past the charging Accies keeper but Woods blocked and the ball was cleared.
Accies began to look the more dangerous of the two sides, Crawford had another shot on target but again a bit too soft and a bit too straight. Soon followed by a Greg Docherty header that MacDonald had to be at his best to stop from going in at the bottom corner of his goal.
Crawford then did brilliantly to win a challenge right on the touch line with Luke Hendrie, beating the defender for pace then cutting inside toward goal. He shot well wide from 20 yards, when maybe the better decision would have been to get that wee bit closer to the target.
With quarter of an hour left, Kris Boyd redirected a low Jones ball from the left hand side into the net past Woods, but the Killie striker knew he was offside and had a peek as the near side assistant raised his flag. He soon had another chance, this time lobbing Woods but wide of the Accies goal.
Killie were on the front foot as the match entered the last 10 minutes, giving rise to the voices of the crowd as they sensed a late winner. But it was Accies that almost stole the show when a Mikey Devlin header was cleared off the line, then a 30 yard Donati strike was brilliantly saved in the dying seconds.
Accies boss Martin Canning’s thoughts on the penalty decision, “I thought Dougie’s was a penalty and I spoke to him about it at half time, and the handball, he reckoned hit the boys instep and came up and struck his hand. I didn’t see it as my view was blocked.
“But he thought it hit his instep then struck his hand and that’s why the ref didn’t give it. So if that’s the case, then that’s the case. But Dougie didn’t have a reason to go down, he’s on the wrong side and driving into the box and I don’t think he’s going to go down unless there is contact.”
Killie: MacDonald, S Smith (Frizzell 62), Addison (Burn 24), McKenzie, Dicker, Jones, K Boyd, S Boyd, Coulibaly, Taylor, Hendrie. Subs Unused: Mackay, Boyle, M Smith, Tyson, Bojaj.
Cautions: Burn, Jones.
Accies: Woods, Devlin, Gillespie, Imrie (McMann 84), Docherty, Crawford, Kurtaj (Longridge 77), Bingham (Brophy 70), MacKinnon, Donati, Sarris. Subs Unused: Thomson, Redmond, Lyon, Want.
Cautions: Gillespie, Sarris.
Referee: Euan Anderson. Assistant: Graham Chambers & Mark McLean. 4th Official: Grant Irvine.