We picked up our first away league win of the season – indeed our first away league win since 1-0 at Dundee on 7th May last year – with this absolutely vital 2-0 win at Dens Park, thanks to a first half Alex D’Acol penalty, and a late one from captain Michael Devlin.
Our only other away wins this season have come in the cups at Edinburgh City and Kilmarnock. That makes it four games in a row unb eaten at this crucial stage of the season.
Web reporter Martin McConnell reports from Dens…
Dens Park, Dundee
Saturday 15th April 2017 at 3pm.
Dundee 0 Hamilton Academical 2
Well, we finally broke our away duck in the league this season to grab a crucial three points and edge ourselves out of the relegation danger zone. It was a fully deserved win in the end, with Michael Devlin’s late header adding to Alex D’Acol’s first half penalty to seal the victory.
What will please the backroom team most is that it was a real team performance, with every player playing well and contributing towards a positive result. It’s the perfect time of the season to string some results together, and Accies are now unbeaten in four games.
A delighted Martin Canning said afterwards, “The players were excellent and that’s great credit too them, they could relax and play. I felt for the first 15 minutes of the second half, that we didn’t compose ourselves as well as we should have, and then got to grips with things thereafter. Maybe the only criticism that I can have today, is that we should have gone onto score another couple. But I won’t be greedy as the points are the most important thing.
“That’s of huge importance at this time of the season and one thing that I always say, and I’ll keep on saying it, is that after a defeat we can’t get too low, and after a win we can’t get too high. Just now, the moment that we feel that we have done enough, is the moment we can get in trouble. So we need to keep our intensity and hunger, and work harder than other teams.“
Hamilton made one change to his side from last week due to suspensions, with Darian MacKinnon returning having served a one match ban, and Ali Crawford sitting the game out having picked up six yellow cards in the league. Ioannis Skondras was able to play after winning his appeal against last week’s red card. Long term absentee Louis Longridge returned to get a spot on the bench alongside new signing David Templeton.
Paul Hartley meanwhile has not had his troubles to seek and was facing a seventh straight defeat for his side. He made two changes from the defeat at Hearts, with Craig Wighton in for Mark O’Hara and Faissal El Bakhtaoui replacing Henrik Ojamaa. Edit: [Ex Accie Paul would subsequently be relieved of his duties on Monday morning]
Accies could sense their opportunity and began the fresher, confident looking side. Stringing passes together early, they had Dundee pressed back in the early stages, with MacKinnon and Imrie pulling the strings in midfield.
Bingham had the first opportunity on six minutes, after Skondras neatly laid off a MacKinnon through ball in the box for the Accies striker. It took an acrobatic touch wide from Scott Bain to clear the danger for the Dens Park side.
A minute later though and Dundee burst through into the Accies box out of the blue, with Matthews denying Marcus Haber, as he dived to his left to tip away the low drive.
But for the occasional home foray, Accies continued to look sharper and the likelier side, and after a good ten-minute spell, finally took the lead from the penalty spot.
Truth be told, Accies should probably have been ahead before this, after Bain beat away a powerful Greg Docherty shot on 20 minutes. The rebound sat up perfectly for Imrie inside the box but he could only shoot wide with the goal at his mercy.
Imrie soon made amends three minutes later as he won his side a penalty, running on to a Docherty through ball down the right side of the box. He looked to be running out of pitch space, but drew the foul from Tom Hateley and referee John Beaton pointed to the spot. #BigSandy D’Acol stepped up to send Bain the wrong way and give Accies a priceless lead.
The home side weren’t enjoying much in the way of possession, with only a couple of half chances to show for their efforts in the first half. An El Bakhtaoui shot from the edge of the box fizzed just wide on 30 minutes, with Wighton having an even better chance, coming just inches from connecting with a McGowan cross into the box.
Remi Matthews was having a quiet day though, well protected by a well organised back four. Accies were good value for their half time lead, almost doubling the advantage with the last kick as D’Acol closed down a Bain clearance. The ball bounced to safety to spare the Dundee keeper’s blushes.
The home side emerged after the break to their best spell, with El Bakhtaoui again the spark up front. His low long range effort was saved by Matthews at the second attempt on 54 minutes, but Dundee couldn’t really conjure anything else to find a way back into the game.
Instead Accies had chances at the other end to put the game away. A dangerous Docherty run and cross was deflected over the bar on 52 minutes, before Docherty then released Imrie in the box on 55 minutes, but Bingham could only head his cross wide of the post.
Dundee committed numbers forward, and Accies could have again made them pay on 73 minutes, as Imrie played D’Acol clean through on goal, who shot just wide of Bain’s post.
The front players were looking dangerous but it was captain Devlin who came up from the back to settle things, as he rose unmarked in the box the head home a corner from sub Danny Redmond with six minutes to go.
Another good win to boost confidence going into the post-split fixtures, with the hard work beginning all over again as Kilmarnock visit the Superseal in two weeks time.
Dundee: Bain, Holt, Vincent (O’Hara, 67), O’Dea (c), Hateley, McGowan, El Bakhtauoi, Haber, Kerr (Ojamaa 70) Wighton, Higgins. Subs Unused: Mitchell, Ross, Gadhlov, Gomis, Smith.
Accies: Matthews, Skondras, Devlin (c), Imrie, Docherty (Gogic 81), D’Acol (Brophy 83), Bingham (Redmond 77), MacKinnon, Donati, McMann, Sarris. Subs Unused: Woods, Longridge, Templeton, Adams.
Goals: D’Acol 23 pen, Devlin 84.
Referee: John Beaton.Assistants: Douglas Ross & David Doig, 4th Official: Kevin Graham.