We defeated the Dons at home for the second time this season on Tuesday night (28th February), web reporter Martin McConnell reports…
at The SuperSeal Stadium, Hamilton
Tuesday 28th February 2017 at 745pm.
Hamilton Academical 1 Aberdeen 0
Twenty-one corner kicks. Fifteen shots on goal. Countless crosses into the penalty area. The Dons threw everything but the kitchen sink at Hamilton, and still managed to head back North the loser from the SuperSeal for the second time this season. But that’s not Accies worry, as the valuable three points moved us up into ninth.
The victorious Accies boss, Martin Canning said, “When you look at the game, Aberdeen have had a lot of opportunities to put the ball into the box and crossed a lot. I thought we were magnificent in defence and Mikey Devlin was particularly outstanding, but also Georgios, Scott, Dougie and Ioannis on the other side too.
“They defended their box so well, throwing their bodies all over the place trying to block shots and stopping crosses. And as much as they’ve have had, putting us under a lot of pressure, there isn’t a lot of clear cut chances. And in the position we’re in now, playing against a top side that have lost just one of their last ten and that at Celtic Park, shows the form they’re in. So, for us to dig deep like tonight and take three points, it’s a big three points for us.”
To say that the first half was a little bit one sided would be a bit of an understatement. Accies took the lead from their solitary attack when a Danny Redmond free kick was dropped nicely in place for Mikey Devlin to volley home after 9 minutes. But from that moment on, Aberdeen fired corners and crosses into every inch of that Hamilton penalty area. All without success.
More of the same was to follow in the second half. Every time it seemed that the Accies defence was about to cave in, another body blocked a shot and another clearance made. The last ten minutes were excruciating for the Hamilton fans as Aberdeen pushed for an equaliser against a now ten man Accies, that in the end held out for a needed if unlikely victory.
Hamilton made two changes to the side that were beaten at Celtic Park on Saturday, with Gramoz Kurtaj coming in for Steven Boyd and Georgios Sarris back from injury to replace Massimo Donati. The Dons made a single change to the starting XI that beat Ross County by a single goal, with Johnny Hayes making way for Ryan Christie.
The Dons made all the early running, moving the ball quickly from back to front, but without really troubling Accies in the final third. But Accies soon took the lead after Georgios Sarris was brought down by Christie, 35 yards wide on the right hand side. Redmond sent the ball sailing into the penalty area for Mikey Devlin to volley in for his first goal of the season.
In answer, Adam Rooney fired low, hard and wide of goal from the Hamilton 18-yard line, whilst all the time under the supervision of Sarris and Ioannis Skondras. He had a second bite at the cherry when he lost his marker and volleyed wide from a McGinn corner, and yet another when he headed one off the back post from a McGinn cross.
Accies led a charmed existence as McGinn and Rooney continued to make raids on the Hamilton goal, sending crosses and corners swinging dangerously in, and shot after shot wide of goal. At the other end of the park, Hamilton weren’t having much of a turn either, as Gramoz Kurtaj and Rakish Bingham struggled with the slim pickings offered from the rare ball forward.
With almost four minutes of the second half played, Kenny McLean received the ball with his back to the Accies goal, turned and shot from eight yards, for Gary Woods to block just in front of his goal line. McGinn followed with a run down the left, cutting in past Skondras to shoot from almost the byeline and forcing another save low at the near post.
The second half wasn’t any easier on the Accies faithful, Ash Taylor was next with a bullet header on goal that produced another goal line save from Woods. The travelling Dons support could smell blood as it seemed the desperate defending couldn’t last much longer. But it did, even as Logan’s goal bound header was somehow headed clear by Mikey Devlin.
Accies were gradually sitting deeper and deeper as the clock cruelly ticked slowly down. All the hard graft looked to have come undone when Pawlett’s 12-yard shot was diverted in at the back post by Storey. But salvation was at hand when the ref quickly blew for offside. But the drama continued when Darian MacKinnon received as second yellow for being ajudged to have brought down McGinn.
The fourth official’s board showed that a minimum of four minutes additional time would be added on at the end, the decision was met with boos and shouts of disdain by the home support but it was probably fair. But those cries turned to joy as the referee finally blew his whistle for full time and brought an end to what could only be called a siege.
Accies: Woods, Skondras, Devlin (c), Gillespie, Imrie, Redmond (Docherty 62), Kurtaj (Crawford 62), Bingham (Donati1 84), MacKinnon, McMann, Sarris. Subs Unused: Matthews, Brophy, S Boyd, Adams.
Goals: Devlin 9.
Cautions: Skondras, MacKinnon
Red: MacKinnon (2nd yellow).
Aberdeen: Lewis, Logan, Shinnie, Considine, Taylor, Reynolds (Pawlett 45), McLean, Christie (Storey 71), Rooney, McGinn, Jack (O’Connor 89). Subs Unused: Alexander, Wright, Ross, McLennan.
Referee: Steven McLean. Assistants: Graeme Stewart & Jordan Stokoe. 4th Official: Greig Aitken.
Attendance: 2006 (784 Aberdeen).