New Douglas Park, Hamilton
Sunday 22nd November 2015 at 12.30pm
Hamilton Academical 1 Aberdeen 1
Due to a clash in colours, Accies decided with SPFL permission to wear the all white French national team strips, in an act of solidarity with the citizens of Paris, after the recent atrocity there. The jerseys featured the club badge, sponsors logo and the flags of both Scotland and France. All twenty strips will be sent to a French Ligue 1 side, to auction off for a charity of their choice. Before the game there was an impeccably observed minute’s silence.
Accies made two changes to the line-up that faced Hearts at Tynecastle a fortnight ago, with Jesus Garcia Tena still carrying a knock received in that match. Jamie Sendles-White getting the opportunity to take the Spaniard’s place, and Grant Gillespie back from suspension to replace Chris Turner. The Dons were forced to make one change, Niall McGinn in for injured skipper Ryan Jack.
After weathering some early Accies pressure, Aberdeen opened the scoring with just over three minutes on the clock, when Kenny McLean hammered home from ten yards. Accies edged the first half in terms of chances in front of goal, but the Dons caused a few problems of their own when breaking at speed. But truth be told, both sides squandered the ball on far too many occasions.
The roles were reversed somewhat in the second half, with Accies getting the equaliser through a Dougie Imrie tap in, and Aberdeen testing the Hamilton goal on more occasions than Michael McGovern would have liked.
Accies started on the front foot, with Grant Gillespie making a strong run forward after winning a challenge in midfield, his ball toward Morris went astray before finding its way out to Imrie. The Accies midfielder hammered a shot on goal from 15 yards, but the strike was a little too straight, allowing Danny Ward the chance to make the save.
Moments later, Grant Gillespie hit a shot past the back post from out wide. Then with three and a half minutes gone, the ball was played from the back out to Niall McGinn on the left hand side. He crossed into our penalty area, the ball found its way to Kenny McLean who hammered the underside of the cross bar with his shot and into the net, 0-1.
In the 15th minute Adam Rooney played Peter Pawlett in with a beautifully weighted pass that allowed him the opportunity to go one on one with McGovern, fortunately for Accies, Jamie Sendles-White came sliding in to steal the ball from the foot of Pawlett as he was about to pull the trigger. The ball was then played out to Imrie who made his way down the right hand side, crossing to the back post, Ward came off his line and grasped the ball from the head of Greg Docherty.
Docherty, Dougie Imrie and Carlton Morris all had chances on goal, before Morris glanced a header past the post from an Antons Kurakins cross. Aberdeen were one up, but it was the home side doing pressing, Danny Ward earning his money in goal, and Derek McInnes expressively giving his opinion from the touch lines.
Aberdeen had the best of the chances as the second half crept closer, McGinn winning the ball and sending wide to Jonny Hayes, the Irish winger sent the ball dangerously into the six yard box but Kurakins was first to the cross, and clearing to safety. A final moment of danger for Hamilton defence came when Graeme Shinnie made his way to the bye line and sent the ball across the Accies goal line, luckily there were no takers for Aberdeen.
With the second half less than a minute underway, Shay Logan made his way down the wing before knocking the ball in for Hayes to rise and head narrowly past the post. Darian Mackinnon struck a shot past the post, then McGinn countered with a decent ball toward the back post that McGovern stole from the head of Mark Reynolds.
Niall McGinn made a useful run down the touchline, winning a corner kick for his efforts. The ball was sent over to Pawlett on the edge 18 yard line, then played to McLean who sent over the cross bar from 12 yards out. Hamilton youngster Greg Docherty then showed a moment of pure class when he sent the ball past Logan and Taylor, then sent the ball into the six yard box for Imrie, but Ward intercepted before the Accies man had a chance to connect with the ball.
The scores were levelled on the 69th minute, when Gramoz Kurtaj crossed into the visitor’s penalty area. Greg Docherty managed to send a shot to the back post, Ward got down to save but failing to hold, and the ever present figure of Dougie Imrie rushed in to send over the line from four yards, 1-1.
Jonny Hayes then forced a save from Michael McGovern from fully thirty yards, the ball rebounded to McGinn but he was forced wide and couldn’t manage to take a chance. McGinn then shaved the cross bar with an effort of his own, and Shinnie shot wide from a tight angle. Hayes then sent a cross into the six yard box that deflected off of the cross bar, and Aberdeen scorer Kenny McLean made McGovern get down to make another fine save.
With the match dying down, Imrie sent a free kick into the visitor’s penalty area that was cleared as far Grant Gillespie, who whistled a shot past the post from 25 yards. Accies then had the final chance when Kurtaj sent a corner kick toward the back post, Lucas Tagliapietra ran in and headed over the cross bar.
Accies manager Martin Canning said afterwards “I thought over the piece, taking in the whole game, we were the better team in the first half, albeit that we were one nil down. I thought the second half was slightly more even but we edged it again I think, a point was probably the least we deserved. We’ve been drawing without picking up wins despite good performances, and if we continue to play like that, I think it won’t be long before we start winning again, the performance levels have been really good.”
Hamilton goal scorer, Dougie Imrie said of his side’s performance “Just delighted to get a point and get the reaction after going 1-0 down, I think we had plenty of chances to go on and win the match today. From our point of view it’s a bad goal to lose, I think Darian has run by Kenny and if he stays I think he blocks it and its great finish and in of the bar. Like I say, I think the character of the team after that was excellent.”
Accies: McGovern, Gordon, Kurakins, Gillespie, Imrie, Kurtaj, Morris (D’Acol 61), Sendles-White, MacKinnon, Docherty (Boyd 79), Tagliapietra. Subs Unused: Martin, Canning, Longridge, Nade, Ryan.
Goal: Imrie 69.
Cautions: Gillespie, Gordon, Kurtaj.
Aberdeen: Ward, Logan (Considine 78), Shinnie, Taylor, Reynolds, McLean, Flood, Rooney, McGinn, Hayes, Pawlett (Smith 78). Subs Unused: Brown, Robson, Goodwillie, Quinn, McLaughlin.
Goal: McLean 3.
Referee: William Collum Assistants: Frankie Connor & Sean Carr 4th Official: Euan Anderson