Scottish Premiership
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone4HamiltonHamilton Academical0

St Johnstone 4-0 Hamilton Academical: Hosts make it five wins in a row

By Andrew SouthwickBBC Scotland

Rampant St Johnstone made it five wins in a row as they brushed past Hamilton Academical at McDiarmid Park.

Tommy Wright's men have not conceded during their winning run, and were rarely troubled by the visitors.

Murray Davidson gave the hosts the lead after good play from Drey Wright on the wing, before Wright's cross deflected off Ziggy Gordon to double the lead.

Matty Kennedy slipped in a third before being denied a fourth by the crossbar, but David Wotherspoon soon tapped in.

The win moves St Johnstone just three points behind leaders Hearts and into fourth place in the Premiership.

For Hamilton, though, they failed to make it back-to-back wins, something they have not managed since March.

In-form Saints

With the Perth side in sizzling form, the international break could not be coming at a worse time for them. Their next two games are against sides above them in the table - Kilmarnock and Hearts - and Saints will be chomping at the bit to get a hold of them.

Their eagerness showed in the opening minutes in Perth as Tony Watt, Wright and Davidson all peppered the Accies goal. Liam Craig and David Wotherspoon also headed wide as Saints continued to press Hamilton back.

Martin Canning's side had soaked up Livingston's pressure the week before and hit them on the break to take the three points. But this time they simply could not fend St Johnstone off.

The impressive Wright nutmegged Ziggy Gordon on the right hand side, drove to the by-line, and cut back to Davidson, who side-footed home the opener.

The second goal had a large degree of luck about it. Wright attempted a cross, but it deflected off Accies defender Gordon and gave his own goalkeeper Gary Woods no chance.

Hamilton cannot stem the tide

It may have been fortunate, but it was no more than Saints deserved. Hamilton were being outclassed, yet had Steven Boyd put away an early chance when he elected to shoot first time rather than take a touch, the game could have taken a different turn.

Instead, their confidence waned. Saints' Wright, a summer signing from Colchester, grew in stature as the game went on. At one point he drove through the middle, picked a spot, and was inches away from rippling the net with a long-range strike.

Kennedy added a third when Watt's through ball hit the leg of a defender and landed nicely for him, and he rolled the ball under Woods.

Kennedy also rattled the crossbar, but the fourth goal soon arrived as Dougie Imrie was left to defend against three Saints players, and Wotherspoon duly lapped up the space to tap home.

Sam Kelly could at least have grabbed a consolation for Hamilton and ended Saints goalkeeper Zander Clark's run of clean sheets, but his shot from the edge of the six-yard box was deflected wide, before Rakish Bingham headed the corner off the top of the bar.

Zander Clark sets a new record - analysis

BBC Scotland's John Barnes at McDiarmid Park

This was another impressive performance from St Johnstone as they continued their recent good run of form.

Drey Wright caught the eye on the Saints right wing as he gave Ziggy Gordon an afternoon to forget. His touch, control and deliveries into the box caused Accies numerous problems and two of them in the first half led to Saints goals.

The former Colchester player was positive in everything he did. With him on one wing and the industrious David Wotherspoon on the other, they complimented the front two of Tony Watt and Matty Kennedy who never gave the Accies central defenders a minute's peace as they were dragged out of position.

This was possibly Zander Clark's quietest afternoon in recent matches as he recorded his fifth successive clean sheet to set a record for a St Johnstone goalkeeper in the top flight. He has now gone seven hours and 36 minutes without conceding a goal.

Hamilton contributed to their own downfall with a woeful performance in contrast to the display against Livingston the previous week.

The tannoy announcer also got into the spirit of the occasion with "Hawaii five-o" belting out at the end.

St Johnstone's David Wotherspoon
St Johnstone's David Wotherspoon added a fourth goal in the second half

Post-match reaction

St Johnstone assistant manager Alex Clelland: "We asked them to be better than last week and to have a good start to the game, and we certainly did that.

"I don't think he [Drey Wright] actually started that great today, but when he started going past players and getting balls into Matty Kennedy we really looked a threat."

Hamilton Academical manager Martin Canning: "Second best all over the park. No complaints with the result. We need to compete in games and today we didn't compete enough.

"It was night and day between the two teams. You could see the heads go down and they struggled."

Line-ups

St Johnstone

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Clark
  • 19Foster
  • 5Shaughnessy
  • 15Kerr
  • 3Tanser
  • 7Wright
  • 8Davidson
  • 26CraigSubstituted forNydamat 80'minutes
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 33KennedyBooked at 62minsSubstituted forMcMillanat 77'minutes
  • 32WattSubstituted forKaneat 63'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Kane
  • 16McMillan
  • 17Nydam
  • 21Scougall
  • 23Gordon
  • 28Callachan
  • 30Hurst

Hamilton

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Woods
  • 2McGowanBooked at 39mins
  • 5Tshiembe
  • 6Kilgallon
  • 4Gordon
  • 25MartinBooked at 51minsSubstituted forMcMannat 61'minutes
  • 18MacKinnonBooked at 76mins
  • 30BoydSubstituted forKellyat 45'minutes
  • 9Bingham
  • 7ImrieBooked at 20mins
  • 16Enigbokan-BloomfieldSubstituted forBrustadat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3McMann
  • 12Taiwo
  • 17Penny
  • 20Marsden
  • 26Kelly
  • 28Smith
  • 31Brustad
Referee:
Steven McLean
Attendance:
2,175

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamHamilton
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home19
Away4
Shots on Target
Home5
Away0
Corners
Home2
Away2
Fouls
Home11
Away23

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Johnstone 4, Hamilton Academical 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 4, Hamilton Academical 0.

  3. Post update

    Drey Wright (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Scott McMann (Hamilton Academical).

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. David McMillan (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

  7. Post update

    Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

    Rakish Bingham (Hamilton Academical) hits the bar with a header from the centre of the box.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Scott Tanser.

  10. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Sam Kelly (Hamilton Academical) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  11. Post update

    Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Darian MacKinnon.

  12. Post update

    Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Matthew Kilgallon (Hamilton Academical).

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Joe Shaughnessy (St. Johnstone) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Tristan Nydam replaces Liam Craig.

  16. Post update

    Drey Wright (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Ziggy Gordon (Hamilton Academical).

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. David McMillan replaces Matthew Kennedy.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

  20. Booking

    Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hearts138231913626
2Celtic118122762125
3Kilmarnock137331912724
4St Johnstone137241618-223
5Rangers1163225101521
6Aberdeen126331610621
7Hibernian125342112918
8Livingston11533127518
9Motherwell113261115-411
10Hamilton13319928-1910
11St Mirren131210626-205
12Dundee131111630-244
View full Scottish Premiership table

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