New Douglas Park, Hamilton
17th October 2015.
Hamilton Academical 1 Dundee 1
Thanks to a late Dougie Imrie goal, Accies fought back from a goal down to take a much deserved share of the spoils at NDP. We certainly dominated the first half, but couldn’t make our possession or lion’s share of the chances count. Dundee then went ahead through a deflected Kevin Holt shot, Accies problems were then compounded further when we went down to ten men after Darian MacKinnon was sent off for a challenge on Dundee defender Thomas Konrad.
Going down to ten men seemed to fire up Accies and we played with an energy and determination that troubled the Dundee defence. It seemed only a matter of time before a goal would be scored, Accies had two ruled out before Dougie Imrie drew the sides level in the 87th minute. Accies fans were jubilant with the late equaliser but it was the very least they deserved.
Accies boss Martin Canning was in the fortunate position of being able to name an unchanged first eleven from the side that faced Celtic at NDP a fortnight earlier. He said “Obviously every manager wants a settled XI and if they’re producing results like they are now, there’s absolutely no need for me to change that. I’m not the type that’s going to tinker with things just for the sake of it.” Dundee had to make two changes to the side that beat Motherwell 2-1 at Dens Park, striker Rhys Healey came in for Kane Hemmings and Gary Harkins replaced Kevin Thomson in midfield.
Accies started the match positively and won a free kick close to the stand side corner flag, Ali Crawford sent a dangerous ball into the visitor’s penalty area, Ziggy Gordon got a touch on the ball before it came back out to Carlton Morris, the big striker shot from close range but was denied by a great save by Dundee ‘keeper Scott Bain.
Almost immediately from Dundee clearing into the Hamilton half, the ball was played forward for Gramoz Kurtaj, he then sent a sublime ball forward through the Dundee back line for Dougie Imrie, unfortunately Bain made another decent save that stopped Accies taking a 1-0 lead from Imrie’s 15 yard strike.
Accies were having the best of the possession and creating chances, but on 15 minutes Dundee reminded Hamilton that they weren’t at NDP to make the numbers up. The ball was played wide to Rhys Healey, he managed to skilfully cut inside beating one defender then repeated to go past a second, he was then free to shoot wide of the near post.
Accies then won a couple of corners, the first taken by Dougie Imrie and headed over the cross bar by the incoming Lucas Tagliapietra. The second was again struck into the penalty area by Imrie, this time the ball bounced around the penalty area like a pinball before Ziggy Gordon struck the ball narrowly over the bar.
Bad news loomed when on just short of twenty minutes, Ali Crawford signalled to the bench that he was struggling and went to ground on the touchline. He received treatment pitch side and was helped to his feet, ashe hobbled uncomfortably back inside, his hand went to his groin. Louis Longridge came off the bench to replace the injured midfielder on 23 minutes.
Accies had a real chance as half time approached when Grant Gillespie produced a brilliantly timed ball forward for Gramoz Kurtaj, the Hamilton striker was clear in front of goal but didn’t quite catch it right and sent it clear over the Dundee crossbar from 15 yards.
It was less than two minutes into the second half when the visitors struck against the run of play to take the lead, after Dundee won themselves a free kick thirty five yards from the Accies goal. Greg Stewart delivered the ball into the penalty area, it was cleared only as far as Kevin Holt, who then drove a low 25 yard strike that took a cruel deflection before sailing beyond the reach of Michael McGovern, 0-1.
Dundee were having their best spell of the match, and felt that they had a good penalty shout in the 50th minute but referee Willie Collum waved away their appeals. The match got a little edgy when Kurtaj and Bain got involved in some goal mouth handbags, then moments later, Konrad fouled Imrie on the touchline and Darian MacKinnon came in and made a late challenge. Almost immediately referee Willie Collum arrived on the scene and wasted no time in showing MacKinnon a red card.
The sending off seemed to spur Accies into a new sense of urgency, and we won a free kick 30 yards from goal, Kurtaj delivered the ball into the Dundee penalty area and Morris managed to head inches past the post. Kurtaj and Morris then combined well in a nice move past the Dundee defence but it was deemed offside, the crowd seemed to sense that a result was possible.
The ball was played into the penalty area and Morris struck toward goal but Bain made a fantastic save to deny the on loan Norwich striker, the ball came back out and Morris thought he had levelled when he headed across the line, but the assistant’s flag was raised and the goal disallowed.
Accies then had another goal disallowed, when they were awarded a free kick 35 yards from the Dundee goal. Gramoz Kurtaj stepped up and sent the ball toward the back post, it struck the post and rebounded across the goal line and into the back of the net. The goal was disallowed by Willie Collum for a foul by Lucas Tagliapietra.
Then with the clock running down and the home support getting more and more anxious, Ziggy Gordon made a strong run down the nearside wing before sending the ball into the Dundee penalty area, Dougie Imrie beat Thomas Konrad to the ball and sent the mitre into the back of the net from close range, 1-1. Imrie was then shown a yellow card for his celebration that was deemed a little too inflammatory for the referee’s liking.
Accies goal hero Dougie Imrie said of the match afterwards “It was an enjoyable game with two teams going at it, two teams trying to win it and, having gone down to ten men, we fought back to get a point.” And he said of the goal that got Accies a point “My emotions got the better of me, so I’ll have to apologise and obviously there was no malice intended, emotions were running high and I’ll not do that again. I was delighted to score the equaliser, we were down to ten men and having gone down to ten men, we dominated the game.”
Accies manager Martin Canning said afterwards “I think football can be frustrating at times but I think we probably deserved a point at least from the game, and to be honest at points in the second half I didn’t think it would come. We had a couple of chances that were ruled out, we had one ruled offside and one that went in off the post and was ruled out for a foul we couldn’t quite see, so we were delighted when Dougie pops up and gets the goal.”
Martin said of the injured Ali Crawford, “Ali’s fine, he’s got a wee problem with his groin, he felt it a little bit during the warm up and wanted to give it a bash and see how it went, and I think with him coming off he realised he couldn’t continue, but hopefully it’s nothing too serious.”
Striker Carlton Morris said “ On another day, I think we could have taken a bit more from the game, I think we had the ball in the back of the net four or five times but that’s football, that’s the way things happen. The gaffer has instilled in us the desire to fight on when bad things happen, more than anything we lost Ali early on, which was a blow and then Darian being sent off was also a big blow but didn’t stop us as you saw. With ten men we dominated the game for 25 minutes so that shows what we can do and how we are structured.”
Accies: McGovern, Gordon, Kurakins, Gillespie, Imrie (Docherty 88), Crawford (Longridge 23), Kurtaj, Morris (Nade 77), MacKinnon, Garcia Tena, Tagliapietra. Subs Unused: Martin, Canning, Turner, D’Acol.
Goals: Imrie (86)
Caution: Imrie; Sent Off: Mackinnon
Dundee: Bain, Holt, Konrad, Etxabeguren (Meggatt 78), McGinn, Calder (Low 61), Ross, Harkins, Stewart, Loy, Healey (Gadzhalov 81). Subs Unused:Mitchell, Irvine, Gadzhalov, Curran, Skelly.
Goals: Holt (47)
Man of the Match: Jesus Garcia Tena.
Referee: William Collum Assistants: Frankie Connor & Alastair Mather 4th Official: Gavin Ross.
Man of The Match: https://hamiltonacciesfc.co.uk/man-of-the-match-vs-dundee/