A goal by Rakish Bingham midway through the second half reduced the leeway against the Perth Saints, whose two first half goals gave them victory.
That’s now one win for us from our last 12 games against the Perth side, definitely our bogey side.
Accies media reporter Mark Gillespie gives us his take…
at Hope Stadium
Saturday 1st September 2018 3.00 pm
Hamilton Academical 1 St Johnstone 2
We hadn’t enjoyed the best of runs against Saturday’s opponents, and a fifth straight league defeat against the Perth side leaves us in 10th place in the table going into the international break.
After a disappointing first half showing we had a mountain to climb, as goals late in the first half from Alston and McMillan put Saints in the driving seat. Rakish Bingham brought some late hope with his third goal of the season, but ultimately we couldn’t find the finesse to salvage something from the game.
A disappointed Martin Canning thinks his side have no one to blame but themselves.
“We’ve beaten ourselves today, and that’s taking nothing away from St Johnstone who are a good side. It was poor defending on our part for the two goals. There was nothing in the game up until that. I actually thought we started the game well, getting into some good areas. ”
“We’ve talked all week about ball watching, so for their player to wander to the back post for the second goal is ridiculous. The first goal was almost comedy when we had opportunities to clear the ball.”
“Giving an experienced side a two goal lead made it very tough. We made few changes and managed to get the goal in the second half, but probably didn’t do enough to justify getting anything.”
“I was really happy to add to the squad this week. There will competition now, and ultimately you’ll decide if you play or not by your performance.”
Despite such a hectic deadline day transfer window, the Accies boss showed loyalty to the side which produced a disciplined display last time out at Parkhead. We made just one change to the starting line up, Rakish Bingham returning to partner Mickel Miller up front in a 3-5-2 formation, with Dougie Imrie starting on the bench.
Our opponents likewise made just the one switch from their victory in the Tayside derby, as Alston replaced Davidson in Tommy Wright’s starting plans.
Accies made the better of a scrappy start, to create the first openings. McMann slid Bingham in on Zander Clark on 14 minutes, but from a tight angle he shot straight at the Saints keeper.
Appeals for a penalty were waved away on 19 minutes, with Bingham appearing to have been barged in the back as he got on the end of a Miller delivery. Boyd shot wide from the edge of the box just later, as Accies looked to be getting onto a game.
But we couldn’t capitalise in that opening half hour, and Saints made a good spell late in the half count to take a stranglehold of proceedings, with a little help from the Accies defence.
The opener arrived on 36 minutes, Saints profiting as Accies failed to clear their lines several times. The ball bounced around the box, Woods made a reflex save from Watt from point blank range, but could do nothing to stop Alston bundling the rebound home at the far post.
A Boyd effort from the edge of the box drifted just wide on 40 minutes as we searched for a response, but the visitors took advantage of defensive hesitation to extend their lead in the last act of the half.
Ricky Foster found himself in space down the right to swing a ball to the far post. And it was all too easy for McMillan to shrug off his marker and nod home number two.
Accies made a half time switch, with Sowah replacing Taiwo, knowing we now had to force the game. But instead it was the visitors who showed the swagger and confidence going forward, as McMillan flashed wide on 48 minutes from the edge of the box after Matthew Kennedy’s driving run.
Saints should then really have wrapped up the points on 63 minutes, as Watt exploited space down the left to pick out Kennedy unmarked in the box, but he could only volley wide from inside the six yards box.
And against the odds we had a ray of hope on 68 minutes, pulling one back after a quick one touch passing move. Kelly’s through ball found Boyd inside the box, and his neat lay off sat up perfectly for Bingham to drill home his third of the season.
But ultimately we couldn’t build any momentum to take anything from the game. Instead Saints should have added to their lead on 83 minutes, as substitute Chris Kane fired just wide with Woods off his line.
Accies: Woods, McGowan (Imrie, 61), McMann, Want, Gordon, Taiwo (Sowah, 45),Thsiembe (Kelly, 61),MacKinnon (c), Boyd, Bingham, Miller; Subs Unused: Fulton, Bloomfield, Penny, Cunningham
Saints: Clark, Foster, Alston, Tanser, Kerr, Shaughnessy, Wright, Craig, McMillan (Wotherspoon, 75), Watt (Kane, 82), Kennedy (Nydam, 78); Subs Unused:Mitchell, Anderson, Wotherspoon, Scougall, Callachan
Referee:Bobby Madden Assistants: Douglas Ross & Gordon Crawford, Fourth Official: Kevin Graham
Accies Goals :Bingham, 68
Accies Bookings :Bingham, McMann
Saints Goals : Alston, 36, McMillan, 45
Saints Bookings :Foster