St Mirren 0-0 Hamilton

Hamilton held top-flight St Mirren to a goalless draw in Paisley to secure a replay in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup.

The Scottish Premier League hosts had the best chances of each half.

Former Accies striker Nigel Hasselbaink and Paul McGowan failed to cash in before the break and Gary Teale went close in the second half.

But the teams will meet again at New Douglas Park on 17 January to decide who will reach the last 16.

Hasselbaink's inclusion up front was the only change to a St Mirren line-up that had been unchanged for three matches, the forward earning a starting berth against his former club in place of the injured Steven Thompson.

Visiting manager Billy Reid made four changes to his Accies side, with goalkeeper David Hutton making his first appearance in a month since the 6-1 league defeat by Dundee.

St Mirren took charge as both sides made a lively start, withPaul McGowan first to test Hutton with a shot after just 90 seconds.

The Buddies had the best of few clear-cut chances in the goalless first half.

David van Zanten tried his luck from distance, Graham Carey embarked on an impressive solo run after an excellent halfway-line tackle only to see his shot blocked, and Hasselbaink hit the side netting after weaving his way in from the left.

Greig Spence had a rare effort for Hamilton just after the half-hour with a curling effort from outside the box that was carried wide of the right-hand post.

Moments later, he sent in a cross from the right at the second attempt that was headed wide by Jim McAlister.

St Mirren enjoyed a good spell just before the break, however, beginning when two of their ex-Hamilton players combined for the best chance of the half on 36 minutes.

Hasselbaink made a great run down the left wing and held off Martin Canning to send the ball low across the face of goal for McGowan, who was just inches away from turning it in at the far post.

Aaron Mooy then blasted wide of the left-hand post and substitute Gary Teale saw a promising cross from the right corner after good work by Hasselbaink booted clear by Lee Kilday just yards from goal.

McGowan's acute-angled shot on the hour was cleared into the side netting and he was later just off target with a drive from outside the box.

In between, Accies substitute Grant Anderson rolled a snap-shot into Craig Samson's arms after hard work by Simon Mensing to retain possession.

Teale tested Hutton after 69 minutes with a good drive that the goalkeeper stretched up to palm away then Kenny McLean also tried a long-range effort for the hosts.

The game was again enlivened in the closing 10 minutes as first Teale was agonisingly wide with a powerful diagonal effort from the right edge of the box and then the sides traded half-chances at each end through Hasselbaink and Mark McLaughlin.

However, neither was able to make the decisive breakthrough.

St Mirren manager Danny Lennon: "It's frustrating that we didn't get the job done but we had a lot of possession, and have to give Hamilton credit for coming with a good game plan, a sort of siege mentality and trying to live off us to win the game.

"We learned from our mistakes against Ayr, and what's important when a team's defending as well as that is that you don't leave yourself wide open.

"We dominated the vast majority of possession and identified Hamilton's game plan early and tried to counteract that by putting Gary Teale on.

"It nearly paid off for us and we looked more of a threat in going forward, but the opportunities that came with the dominance and possession were few and far between."

Hamilton manager Billy Reid: "There was no point in us going gung-ho and not winning the match - there was a game plan to make sure we were tight as a unit and limited St Mirren in their chances.

"We knew they'd have plenty of possession but they didn't hurt us; we weren't really a goal threat in the first half, but in the second the two substitutions gave us a bit of impetus and we looked dangerous every time we broke.

"I have to give David Hutton a bit of credit - I left him out in the past couple of games but he's come back and kept a clean sheet. He didn't have many saves but their goalkeeper didn't make too many either.

"We had a lot of teenagers out there and to come here and draw with a St Mirren side who are flying high in the SPL is a bit of credit to them, and we look forward to the replay."

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