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Accies 3 Inverness CT 0

 

Web reporter Martin McConnell  with Tuesday’s details

Ladbrokes Premiership
SuperSeal Stadium, Hamilton
Tuesday 31st January 2017 at 7.45pm
Hamilton Academical 3 Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0

Saturday in Perth was all doom and gloom. But 72 hours later in Hamilton, the tables were turned 360 degrees when Accies managed to secure a 3-0 win with a performance not too dissimilar to that against St. Johnstone. Only difference being, everything Accies touched in front of goal turned to gold. Three shots on target, and three goals.

A delighted Martin Canning said of the win, “It was a huge win, given the importance of the game. I said to the players that should’ve happened on four or five occasions this season, given the way we’ve performed in certain games. When we haven’t got that second goal, I think you can see the difference when we don’t capitalise from the big moments in the game.

“There was a big moment in the first half when Woods saves the penalty, then the second half when Grant gets the second. It puts you in a position where you become more comfortable and you can see the boys relaxing, allowing you to go and get a third goal. If we hadn’t got the second, it potentially ends up 1-1 with a last minute goal like so many times this season.”

Both sides were in desperate need of the points, and if there was ever a six pointer, this was it. Accies remain second from bottom but have now opened up a three point gap with ICT. In normal circumstances it wouldn’t amount to very much, but with the bottom half of the table so tight, it leaves Hamilton just two points behind Dundee and four behind ‘Well in sixth.

Alex D’Acol headed Accies in front early on in the game, but Thistle had a chance to equalise soon afterwards from the penalty spot but Gary Woods saved. Grant Gillespie made it two in the second half when he struck home from a Rakish Bingham cross, then the big striker scored a fantastic solo effort that ended with the ball being rifled into the top corner of the net.

Accies boss Martin Canning made a couple of changes at the back, omitting Craig Watson and Dan Seaborne from the side beaten 3-0 at McDiarmid Park and welcoming the return of Mikey Devlin and Massimo Donati from their one match suspensions. Thistle made two changes, with Vigurs and Billy McKay replacing Doumbouya and Cole.

On three minutes, Rakish Bingham broke through on goal but seemed to be pulled back by an ICT defender, nothing was given and the move broke down when Bingham was forced wide of goal. Afterwards ICT had a decent chance when the ball was played long into space on the left, Billy McKay cut inside and shot into the side netting.  

Then with nine minutes gone, Accies took the lead from an Ali Crawford corner kick, when Alex D’Acol snuck away from his marker heading into a gaping hole at the near post. The ball was swung in and Alex sent a glancing header past Fon-Williams and in at the back post. ICT countered immediately with a Greg Tansey shot from 20 yards flying over the cross bar.

That familiar sinking feeling arose when ICT were awarded a penalty kick. Mikey Devlin  pushed Carl Tremarco as a dangerous Tansey cross flew dangerously across the Accies goal mouth. Tansey stepped up and sent a decent strike to the left, Woods guessed correctly and threw his body across goal to make the save look comfortable.

With just over a minute of the second half played, Accies fans were in heaven as their side went 2-0 up. Grant Gillespie scooped a clearance up field toward Bingham, who managed to turn past Warren and tear up the left hand side. He crossed low across the penalty area, D’Acol slipped but Gillespie raced in and fired home at the back post from 15 yards.

And it got even better when the ball was cleared forward just after the hour, Bingham got a touch on the ball from just inside the ICT half and took Brad McKay out the game. He raced to the edge of the penalty area, moving wide of Gary Warren and allowing himself some space to send the ball sailing past Fon-Williams and in at the top corner of the goal.

The third goal seemed to affect Hamilton and not in a good way, as they struggled to clear their lines against a  poor Inverness side. With substitute Larnell Cole forcing a save from Woods low to his right on 72 minutes, then Gary Warren having a header blocked in front of the Accies goal line. But they soon recovered without any damage done.

Close to the final whistle Accies broke forward at pace, Gillespie pinpoint pass switching play from right to left for Dougie Imrie. The Accies midfielder swung the ball in toward the back post for debutant Blair Adams to head into the side netting. A minute or so later he had another header fly just wide of the Thistle goal.

Accies: Woods, Devlin, Gillespie, Imrie, D’Acol (Brophy 77), Redmond, Crawford (Adams 32), Bingham  (S Boyd 73), MacKinnon, Donati, McMann. Subs Unused: Matthews, Seaborne, Watson, Cunningham.
Goals: D’Acol 9, Gillespie 46, Bingham 61.
Cautions: Devlin, Redmond, MacKinnon.

Thistle: Fon-Williams, Raven, Tremarco, Warren, Polworth, Draper (Cole 58), Vigurs, Tansey, Brad McKay, Anier (Ebbe 75), Billy McKay. Subs Unused: Esson, Fisher, McCart, Mulraney, Boden.
Cautions: Vigurs, Tansey.

Referee: Euan Anderson. Assistants: Alan Mulvanny & David Roome. 4th Official: Barry Cook
Attendance: 1745.

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