Saturday 28th January
Graham Cummins scored a double, his first goals since mid September, on Saints' way to a 3-0 victory at home to Hamilton Accies in the Scottish Premiership.
Murray Davidson scored the third with a sublime header to kill off the game and seal a vulable victory that takes Tommy Wright's side level on points with fourth place Hearts.
Saints welcomed Hamilton Accies to McDiarmid Park this afternoon for their first home Ladbrokes Premiership match of 2017. Tommy Wright made six changes to the side that narrowly went down 1-0 at Celtic on Wednesday night as Tom Scobbie, Keith Watson, Chris Millar, Liam Craig, David Wotherspoon and Chris Kane all dropped to the bench. They were replaced by Richard Foster, who missed Wednesday’s game due to suspension, Brian Easton, Blair Alston, Murray Davidson, Steven MacLean and Graham Cummins. Hamilton Accies player-manager Martin Canning made three changes to the side that won 1-0 at Kilmarnock last weekend in the Scottish Cup as Daniel Seaborne, Rakish Bingham and Craig Watson came into replace Michael Devlin, Massimo Donati and Eamonn Brophy.
It was the visitors that got the match underway and they created the first chance of the match after 5 minutes as a 20-yard strike from Darian MacKinnon was pushed behind for a corner by Zander Clark. The corner was taken by Ally Crawford and he delivered a good ball into the box which found the unmarked Grant Gillespie who fired well wide.
Saints created their first chance on 9 minutes as Richard Foster sent a deep cross into the box which was headed down by Graham Cummins to Steven MacLean however, the Saints striker couldn’t make a connection as the Accies defence cleared. The clearance though only went as far as Murray Davidson who hooked an effort wide of the target.
Another Foster cross 2 minutes later picked out Steven Anderson whose goalward header was cleared by the Accies defence.
Accies were awarded a free kick on 17 minutes after Daniel Redmond had been fouled by Foster. Crawford took the free kick and his ball into the box was deflected for a corner which was punched clear by Clark.
The visitors were awarded another free kick just before the half hour mark as Redmond had been fouled again this time by Danny Swanson, who was booked for the challenge. The free kick was again taken by Crawford and this time he curled his effort over the wall and it went inches over Clark’s goal.
Another Foster cross on 35 minutes caused problems for the Hamilton defence as Accies keeper Gary Woods’ clearance only went as far as Blair Alston who fired well over.
The last chance of what was a rather poor first half fell to the visitors as a miskick by Saints captain Steven Anderson presented Craig Watson with a chance however, the Accies player couldn’t get his effort on target.
Hamilton really should have opened the scoring 6 minutes after the restart as Alex D'Acol sent Crawford bursting into the box and with only Clark to beat he sent his shot from 16 yards high and wide.
Saints then made Accies regret that miss as moments later they broke the deadlock as Alston saw his shot turned behind for a corner by Watson. The corner was taken by Swanson and he delivered a good ball in from the left which found the head of Cummins who bulleted a powerful header past Gary Woods and into the net. It was Cummins third goal of the season.
Saints doubled their lead on 59 minutes as Cummins passed the ball to MacLean who then sent it out wide to Alston. The Saints midfielder then charged down the right before crossing to Cummins who knocked the ball into the net for his and Saints second of the afternoon.
Accies then very nearly pulled a goal back a minute later however, Redmond saw his effort at goal blocked by Anderson.
The visitors continued to huff and puff as they tried to find a way back into the match. On 68 minutes Crawford curled an effort over from 20 yards. Then Accies were awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal after D’Acol had been fouled. The free kick was taken by Crawford however; his effort was straight at Clark.
With 15 minutes, remaining Saints got a third goal as a Brian Easton cross found Murray Davidson whose header came off Woods’ left-hand post before nestling in the net for his third goal of the season.
That third goal finished the game off as a contest as Saints comfortably saw the closing period out to secure the 3 points.
It was a much improved second half as Saints upped the tempo and the win today puts them in joint fourth position with Hearts. The Tynecastle side are in action tomorrow when they travel to Celtic.
Man of the Match: Graham Cummins
St Johnstone: Clark, Alston, Anderson, Davidson, MacLean (Craig 78), Swanson (Wotherspoon 72), Shaughnessy, Paton, Foster, Easton, Cummins Unused Substitutes: Mannus (GK), Scobbie, Millar, Watson, Kane Booked: Swanson Scorers: Cummins (53, 59), Davidson (75)
Hamilton Accies: Woods, Seaborne, Gillespie, Imrie, D’Acol, Redmond (Cunningham 90), Crawford, Bingham (Brophy 76), Watson, MacKinnon, McMann Unused Substitutes: Matthews (GK), Want, Boyd, Hughes, Adams Booked: Redmond
Referee: Nick Walsh Attendance: 3,279
Match Report by Daryl Scott
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