We lost 2-1 at home to Kilmarnock on Saturday afternoon. All the goals came in the second half, David Templeton equalising for us a minute after coming on as sub, direct from a free kick 25 yards out.
New Douglas Park, Hamilton
Saturday 14th April 2018 at 3pm.
Hamilton Academical 1 Kilmarnock 2
Kris Boyd’s late strike was enough to consign us to our fifth straight defeat and seal a sixth consecutive league victory for Kilmarnock in this rearranged fixture. It was a game in hand and an opportunity to gain some ground on the sides below, but instead Accies remain in ninth place as they head in to the all-important post split fixtures.
A frustrated Martin Canning said, “It is a sore one again. It’s frustrating because first half I thought we were good. I thought we ended the half strong and we probably should have scored with one of the opportunities we had before the break. And we don’t take them. Then second half again, nothing in the game.
It was the same as Rugby Park and we don’t do our job for a set piece. We lose a man from a set piece and it’s the way they scored against Partick Thistle last week. We spoke about it through the week. Look at their first goal against us and it’s the same.
They are such a strange team, they’ve been great, they’ve done great but there is never much in the games when you play them. I’ve been to watch them and been involved in as well, but they’ve got that belief and momentum that they win games.
We get it back to 1-1 and you think right, let’s settle down now and try and win the game now. Then we don’t defend our box and we leave Kris Boyd standing in the middle of the six-yard box by himself, and that’s criminal. And that’s why we are where we are, because we’re not defending at the back end of the pitch with defending like that.”
Gary Woods returned between the sticks as Accies made four changes from the defeat to Celtic. Dougie Imrie returned from suspension to take the captain’s armband, with Georgios Sarris and Lewis Ferguson also back in Martin Canning’s starting line-up.
There was also a change in goal for Kilmarnock as Leo Fasan replaced Jamie McDonald. The addition of Rory McKenzie, Aaron Simpson and Greg Kiltie also made it four changes in Stevie Clarke’s ranks as they looked to extend their victorious run.
It was a tall order as Hamilton entered the annual relegation dogfight, both sides on contrasting runs with the visitors also undefeated in the last nine visits to New Douglas Park. Both sides and supporters observed a minute’s applause for former Accies boss John Lambie as the match got underway.
It was a cagey opening half with few clear opportunities until the closing five minutes. Accies had defended their box resolutely enough, whilst trying to move the ball quickly forward to Bingham up front.
Kirk Broadfoot had the first clear opening from a set piece, and should have done better, heading straight at a grateful Gary Woods on the half hour mark.
Hamilton had kept the visitors at bay without finding much forward momentum, but suddenly seemed to spring themselves in to life five minutes before the interval. Darian MacKinnon struck the cross bar, running onto the ball on the edge of the box after good set up play by Crawford and Bingham, his powerful effort catching the woodwork and bouncing over.
Accies went on to have their best spell with Bingham at the heart of things once again, his shot eventually being tipped away by Fasan on 43 minutes from just inside the box. Lewis Ferguson was next to test the Killie keeper’s reflexes a minute later, with a good take down and half volley from the edge of the D.
Hamilton would live to regret the failure to capitalise in this spell, as Killie re-emerged to take a grip of the game early in the second period. Jordan Jones was the main threat, giving warning with a fizzing shot over the top on 48 minutes. He then set up Mulumbu inside the box minutes later butvan der Weg came to Accies’ rescue with a brave block.
The Killie front man was proving hard to pick up, with Shaun Want maintaining a close eye on his forward runs. But it was from a set piece that he finally unlocked the Accies defence, as Killie won a free kick on left touchline with little over an hour gone. Gary Dicker’s delivery finding Kirk Broadfoot inside the six-yard box to bullet a header past Gary Woods.
Accies response was to make an attacking change, with Templeton and Rojano introduced to the fray. And Templeton was to draw Hamilton level with his first touch of the ball, after Lewis Ferguson won Accies a free kick on the corner of the box on 72 minutes. The free kick struck the inside of the near post, struck Fasan and into the back of the net.
Hamilton seemed to be on the up after the change with Templeton having some encouraging touches. But the Ayrshire side were back in front on 78 minutes, when the ball was moved quickly to Alan Power down the right-hand side. Boyd made the run in to the six-yard box and Aaron Simpson picked him out for the unmarked striker to hit the back of the net with a trademark finish.
Accies couldn’t conjure up any magic in response. Instead ex Accie Eamonn Brophy almost made a scoring return to his former club with a powerful effort that was tipped wide by Woods in the closing stages.
Accies: Woods, McMann, Tomas, Imrie (c), Bingham (Ogkmpoe 81), Crawford (Templeton 70), van der Weg, MacKinnon, Ferguson, Want, Sarris (Rojano 70). Subs Unused: Fulton, Jenkins, Miller, Redmond.
Goals: Templeton 72.
Cautions: Tomas, Sarris, van der Weg.
Killie: Fasan, Broadfoot, McKenzie (Power 16), Dicker, K Boyd, (Cameron 90+2), Kiltie (Brophy 75), Jones, Taylor, Findlay, Mulumbu, Simpson; Subs Unused: McDonald, S Boyd, Wilson, Burke.
Goals: Broadfoot 62, Boyd 78.
Referee: Barry Cook. Assistants: Dougie Potter & Gordon Crawford. 4th Official: Don Robertson.