Saturday 1st April
An agonising last minute goal from Hamilton's Alex D'Acol meant Saints, who had played for the entire second half with nine men, left New Douglas Park pointless this afternoon.
St. Johnstone were reduced to nine men following an altercation between teammates Danny Swanson and Richard Foster just after the half-time whistle which saw them both red carded.
However, Kilmarnock's draw at Inverness meant that Tommy Wright's side have guaranteed a top six finish this season for the sixth season in a row.
After last weekend’s international break Saints were back in action this afternoon as they took on Hamilton Accies at The SuperSeal Stadium. Tommy Wright made two changes to the team that started at Motherwell a fortnight ago as Alan Mannus and Murray Davidson came in for Zander Clark and Steven MacLean, who couldn’t play due to the artificial surface at The SuperSeal Stadium. Hamilton Accies manager Martin Canning made four changes to the team that started the 4-0 defeat at Rangers two weeks ago as Gary Woods, Alex Gogic, Massimo Donati and Danny Redmond dropped out. They were replaced by Remi Mathews, Michael Devlin, Alex D’Acol and Rakish Bingham.
Saints got the match underway and they were awarded a free kick following a foul on Murray Davidson after 2 minutes. The free kick was taken by Paul Paton and his ball into the box picked out Liam Craig whose header was deflected for a corner. Saints then forced several corners but the home side were able to deal with the early pressure.
Up the other end Greg Docherty unleashed a powerful shot on 4 minutes which was palmed away by Alan Mannus. Then on 15 minutes Ali Crawford created space for himself before having a shot which didn’t trouble Mannus.
The first booking of the match came on 22 minutes as Michael Devlin was shown a yellow card for a foul on Danny Swanson just outside the box. The free kick was taken by Liam Craig however; his effort was blocked before being cleared by the Accies defence.
There were very few chances for large spells of the first half as both teams cancelled each other out.
On 33 minutes, Rakish Bingham fired an effort well over after good setup play by Crawford.
Saints were awarded a free kick on 38 minutes after Graham Cummins had been fouled. The free kick was taken by Swanson however; his effort was straight at Remi Matthews in the Accies goal.
Just before half time Crawford’s corner from the left picked out Georgios Sarris whose header was deflected for another corner. This time Crawford’s delivery eventually broke to the unmarked Bingham who fired well over.
After an altercation at half time which saw both Richard Foster and Danny Swanson sent off Clive Smith came on to make his Saints debut after joining on loan from Preston North End at the end of the January transfer window.
On 63 minutes Docherty setup Scott McMann who had a shot at goal which was deflected for a corner.
With the 2-man advantage Hamilton were creating the better opportunities in front of goal and on 69 minutes Devlin’s curling long range strike was brilliantly tipped over by Mannus for a corner. Then shortly after Crawford setup Dougie Imrie who had a shot at goal which was well saved by Mannus.
With 10 minutes, remaining Hamilton missed a great chance to open the scoring as Danny Redmond’s cross from the left evaded everyone before falling to Ioannis Skondras who sliced his effort wide.
Saints were defending well and on 86 minutes Mannus made a spectacular save to deny Crawford.
However, the home side eventually found a way past the inform Saints keeper in the 90th minute as Alex D’Acol knocked home from close range to break Saints hearts.
Man of the Match: Alan Mannus
Hamilton Accies: Matthews, Devlin, Gillespie (Skondras 53), Imrie, Docherty (Brophy 66), D’Acol, Crawford, Bingham (Redmond 76), MacKinnon, McMann, Sarris Unused Substitutes: Jamieson (GK), Gogic, Donati, Adams Booked: Devlin, Crawford Scorer: D’Acol (90)
Saints: Mannus, Scobbie, Alston (Smith 45), Davidson, Swanson, Shaughnessy, Paton, Foster, Easton, Craig (Millar 87), Cummins Unused Substitutes: Clark (GK), Wotherspoon, Coulson, Thomson, Hurst Booked: Cummins Sent Off: Foster, Swanson
Referee: Don Robertson Attendance: 1,662
Match Report by Daryl Scott
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