Wednesday 6th February
A double from Hamilton Accies deadline-day signing George Oakley saw Saints slip to a 2-1 defeat at the Hope CBD Stadium this evening.
After a goalless first half Oakley put the South Lanarkshire side ahead on 68 minutes when he converted a Mikael Miller cross from close range.
Liam Craig had Saints level on 76 minutes when he knocked home a Chris Kane cross. However, Accies secured all 3 points 3 minutes later when Oakley slotted the ball past Zander Cark at the near post from a Tony Andreu cross.
Tonight’s result leaves Saints in sixth place in the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership with 37 points.
After a double header against Celtic Saints were back on the road this evening as they made the trip to the Hope CBD Stadium to take on Hamilton Accies. Tommy Wright made two changes to the side that lost 2-0 to Celtic on Sunday as Murray Davidson and Danny Swanson dropped out to be replaced by Liam Craig and Michael O’Halloran. New Accies Head Coach Brian Rice enjoyed a 1-1 draw with Dundee on Saturday thanks to a very late Darian Mackinnon strike and the new man in charge at the Hope CBD Stadium made three changes to his starting eleven. Out went Tony Andreu, Scott Martin and Scott McMann to be replaced by Lenny Sowah, Dougie Imrie and Steve Davies.
Saints got the match underway but it was the hosts who threatened first as Aaron McGowan played the ball down the right wing to Darian Mackinnon. The midfielder then put a good ball into the box but Zander Clark came out to punch the ball away from the danger area.
Then a couple of minutes later Saints created a chance but unfortunately Liam Craig couldn’t make a proper connection with the ball as Gary Woods came off his line to block before the defence cleared the danger.
On 11 minutes Saints were awarded a free kick after Tony Watt had been fouled by McGowan. Sean Goss took the free kick and his delivery into the Accies box picked out Joe Shaughnessy but the Saints captain couldn’t get his header on target.
On 26 minutes Accies striker Steven Boyd saw his effort go wide of the target from 22 yards. Then on the half an hour mark Steve Davies played the ball back to Boyd whose strike was held by Clark at the second attempt.
A good move by Saints on 34 minutes saw Scott Tanser gather the ball just inside his half before playing it forward to Michael O’Halloran. The attacker advanced with the ball before playing it back to Tanser who delivered a good cross into the danger area picking out Tony Watt. The Saints striker took a touch before having a shot which went wide of the target.
With 2 minutes of the first half remaining Accies were presented with a great chance to break the deadlock as the ball broke to George Oakley in the box who had a shot at goal from close range which was saved by Clark. However, play was pulled back as the former Inverness CT striker was deemed to have been in an offside position.
On 47 minutes Goss tried to play a long ball forward to Matty Kennedy but Sowah was able to make a connection with the ball as he tried to play a pass back to Gary Woods in the Accies goal. However, the pass back was short from the defender and that let Kennedy in who got possession of the ball but Woods was out quick to close down the Saints man who lofted his effort over.
Both Goss and Kennedy were involved in the action again on 58 minutes as Saints created another chance to open the scoring. A long ball forward by Goss was picked up by Kennedy on the left and he advanced with the ball before cutting inside to have a shot but the curling effort went wide of the target.
The first change of the game came on the hour mark as the hosts brought on Mickel Miller for Dougie Imrie.
Then a minute later Hamilton were awarded a free kick after Oakley had been fouled by Joe Shaughnessy, who was booked for the challenge. Boyd took the free kick and his strike took a wicked deflected off the Saints wall before landing on the roof of Clark’s net. The resultant corner was well cleared by the Saints rearguard.
The pressure from the hosts eventually told as they broke the deadlock on 68 minutes as from a free kick the ball was played to Miller. The substitute darted to the by-line before sending a low ball into the box that was knocked home by Oakley from close range at the near post.
Saints though were not behind for long as they equalised on 76 minutes as substitute Chris Kane did well to beat Matt Kilgallon before sending the ball across to the unmarked Liam Craig. The midfielder coolly slotted the ball into the empty net after Woods had been taken out of the play following Kane’s pass.
However, with 11 minutes remaining Hamilton were back in front. A clearance by Clark was picked up by Mackinnon and he played it to Tony Andreu. The substitute then played it in to Oakley and he slotted it past Clark for his and Hamilton’s second of the evening.
Saints then pressed again as they looked for the equaliser and on 87 minutes Kane saw his volley saved by Woods. Then deep into the 4 minutes of additional time Ziggy Gordon produced a great late ditch tackle to block an O’Halloran strike who was in on goal as the hosts held out to secure the win.
Hamilton Accies: Woods, McGowan, Gordon, Kilgallon, Imrie (Miller 60), Davies (Martin 75), Oakley, Gogic, Mackinnon, Boyd (Andreu 68), Sowah
Unused Substitutes: Fulton (GK), Keatings, Penny, Smith
Booked: Gogic, Andreu
Scorers: Oakley (68, 79)
Saints: Clark, Tanser, Shaughnessy, Kerr, O’Halloran, Foster, Craig, Goss, Callachan (Alston 83), Watt (Kane 66), Kennedy (Wotherspoon 77)
Unused Substitutes: Bell (GK), Swanson, Gordon, Keown
Scorer: Craig (76)
Referee: Gavin Duncan
Attendance: 1,174 (232 Saints fans)
Match Report by Daryl Scott
Picture: Liam Craig nets Saints equaliser
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