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Ross County 3-0 Accies, 3rd August

Martin McConnell was at Dingwall on Saturday to report on our opening day league match

Ladbrokes Premiership

Victoria Park, Dingwall

Saturday 3rd August 2019 at 3pm.

Ross County 3 Hamilton Academical 0

We fell to a three goal defeat against newly promoted Ross County, who managed to make it five wins from five after a successful start to their Betfred Cup campaign. First half goals from Chalmers and McKay made it an uphill struggle for us then a third by Stewart meant all three points stayed in Dingwall.

Accies Head Coach Brian Rice said afterwards, “It was a very unHamilton performance. In terms of play off the ball you know. Not going to get it back, not showing any urgency and no hunger. Really, really disappointing. What can I say? Hamilton are renowned for being dogged, keeping at it and not allowing teams to play and we never did that today.”

“No, I didn’t see it coming. Ross County were on the front foot for most of the first half. We couldn’t get out of our own half. We couldn’t get a tackle in or win a header and brought pressure to bear on ourselves. Listen, we got what we deserved from the game and that was absolutely nothing.”

Hamilton made three changes to the side that started against Airdrieonians last weekend with George Oakley coming in for Lewis Smith, Alex Gogic for Shaun Want and John Hunt for Reegan Mimnaugh. County also made three changes with Chalmers, Mullin and Stewart replacing Paton, Spittal and Graham.

County began life back in the Premiership on the front foot from the opening seconds and never allowed Accies to settle or feel comfortable. That being said, they managed to deal with everything other than Fontaine’s header from a corner kick which Alex Gogic cleared from in front of the line. More worrying was an injured Ciaran McKenna being replaced by Markus Fjortoft on 15 minutes.

However, all that pressure finally paid off for the home side when they got a deserved goal on thirty minutes when a Gardyne cross from the left was met by McKay and then played along the line for Joe Chalmers. He took a touch then sent a perfectly curled shot low and in at the bottom corner past an outstretched Fon Williams.

Accies had a wee penalty shout soon after when Fjortoft was hauled back by his jersey has he went for a ball on the edge of the six yard box but nothing was to come of it. Then things went from bad to worse when Hunt was dispossessed outside the box close to the corner flag. Stewart struck his cross low and hard  across the six yard box where McKay struck at the back post.

At the start of the second half, Accies had their first real chances of the match. Firstly when Ross Cunningham weaved his way into the County penalty area and wide, where he spun, shot and forced a decent save from Laidlaw. Then moments later Blair Alston forced a save from the keeper with a strike from 20 yards.

Scott McMann then got in on the act with a driven cross come shot from wide that concerned a defender enough to knock wide of the back post for a corner. The positive start petered out when Gardyne was brought down in a challenge on the bye line outside the box. Mullin sent the free kick over towards the back post and Stewart headed in the third from a few yards out.

County looked lethal with every foray forward into Hamilton’s last third but despite this Alston managed a couple of shots that tested the keeper from distance. A double change saw new signing David Moyo coming on for George Oakley and Lewis Smith for Ross Cunningham to shake things up a little as the match headed for a conclusion.

With the spate of substitutions came the calm as the pace settled down a bit before exploding back to life when Mullin sent a spectacular shot wide of goal from the far corner of the box. Mullin then sent a perfectly struck curling ball across the penalty area for Graham at the back post to strike off the outside edge of the post.

County: Laidlaw, Fraser, Kelly, Fontaine, Morris, Gardyne (Spittal 79), McKay (Graham 74), Vigurs, Mullin (Paton 84), Chalmers, Stewart. Subs Unused: Ruddy, Draper, Grivosti, Watson.

Goals: Chalmers 30, McKay 35, Stewart 56.

Accies: Fon Williams, McGowan, McMann, McKenna (Fjortoft 15), Hunt, Oakley (Moyo 71), Alston, Gogic, Cunningham (L Smith 71), MacKinnon (c), Ogkmpoe. Subs Unused: Southwood, Collar, Mimnaugh, Hamilton.

Cautions: McKenna, MacKinnon, Oakley.

Referee: Alan Newlands. Assistants: David McGeachie & Gary Hilland.4th Official: David Dickinson.

Attendance: 4071 (156 Accies)

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