Our web reporter Martin McConnell with Saturday’s details…
Hope Stadium, Hamilton
Saturday 22nd September 2018 at 3pm.
Hamilton Academical 3 St. Mirren 0
After suffering three consecutive defeats, our second win of the season moved us up to ninth Worries regarding some recent showings were all of a sudden swept under the carpet, after a great team performance saw not a single player put a foot out of place.
Both sides went toe to toe until Hamilton took control with about twenty minutes of the first half left to play. Brustad opened the scoring and a second followed when Miller struck from the penalty spot. Saints never seemed to recover after the goals went in, leaving Miller to put the icing on the cake with his second of the afternoon on 66 minutes.
A very happy Martin Canning said, “The boys were excellent. We spoke after last Saturday where we didn’t create enough and didn’t create as much as we’d like. Albeit, taking nothing away from Livingston. I said it last week that they were good in the game and make it difficult to create chances against them.
But today I thought that we worked hard throughout the week on changing our shape. Today the boys bought in to it and were excellent. It was an enjoyable game and I said that after last Saturday, I didn’t enjoy last Saturday. I just wanted to come and enjoy a game of football, and wanted the boys to come and enjoy playing football and they’ve done that today.
I did say to them before the game today, don’t think that you can just turn up to play football. You’ve got to win the battle first. I thought the balance between competing and winning first and second balls, and then getting the ball down and playing was very good.”
Hamilton made four changes to the XI that started at Livingston last Saturday with Shaun Want, Steven Boyd, Aaron McGowan and Dougie Imrie starting for Ziggy Gordon, Rakish Bingham, Delphin Tshiembe and Lenny Sowah. Saints made just a single change to the side that drew with Celtic, with Hayden Coulson replacing Kyle Magennis.
Accies took time to settle but showed positive signs when Miller drew players toward himself on the edge of the 18 yard line, before teeing up McGowan for a shot that was blocked past goal. From the corner, an unmarked Want could only chest the ball toward goal and force Sampson to touch over the bar, after the ball took a vicious bounce in front of him.
In answer, Saints won a free kick in front of the Accies goal after Martin brought down Smith but MacPherson sent the shot whistling wide. Coulson then had Saints best chance of the match when he shot from eight yards out, fortunately Want slid in to block. MacPherson followed with another free kick from wide but could only sail it in to the arms of Woods.
With Accies beginning to impress, Boyd won the ball deep inside his own half to set himself on a run up the right, his pass inside found Miller who then narrowly shot wide. Moments later with the roles reversed, Miller found Boyd inside the box with a ball that split the defence. His shot was blocked but Brustad followed up to help the ball in to the back of the net.
Within a few minutes Hamilton found themselves with the chance to go two up from the penalty spot after a McMann throw in was quickly touched inside by Boyd for Imrie. Kirkpatrick and Imrie went shoulder to shoulder just inside the corner of the box, Imrie took a tumble, leaving Mikkel Miller the responsibility to put Accies 2-0 up with minutes of the half left to play.
Within in a minute of the restart Hamilton won a free kick deep in the Saints half, Boyd floated the ball in at the back post where Matt Kilgallon headed wide. A half chance then fell for Brustad at the near post when he got onto the end of McMann’s first time cross, but with a defender sliding in, could only knock the ball wide.
Accies continued to have the best of the game without really creating much in the way of clear cut chances, although Miller felt he should have been awarded a spot kick when he went down from a challenge just outside the six yard box. That was soon put to the back of his thoughts when his 22 yard shot struck the inside of both posts before crossing the line for Accies third.
Miller and Boyd had shown a good understanding of each other throughout the game, and it almost paid off one more time when Boyd was able to get onto the end of Miller’s ball through Saints back line. Boyd managed to hit the cross bar despite being a touch overstretched and being forced to lean back as he struck the ball.
Accies: Woods, McGowan, McMann, Kilgallon, Imrie, Miller, MacKinnon (c)(Taiwo 42), Want, Martin (Tshiembe 73), Boyd, Brustad (Bingham 55). Subs Unused: Fulton, Gordon, Keatings, Kelly.
Goals: Brustad 36, Miller 40 pen, 66.
Cautions: MacKinnon, Taiwo.
St. Mirren: Samson, P McGinn, Coulson (Kirkpatrick 31), S McGinn, Flynn, Smith (Brock-Madson 62), Baird, Mullen (Willock 84), Hodson, Edwards, Ferdinand. Subs Unused: Muir, MacPherson, Erhahon, Breadner.
Cautions: Edwards, Flynn, P McGinn.
Referee: Greg Aitken. Assistants: Graeme Stewart & Graeme Leslie. 4th Official: Bobby Madden.