Scottish Premiership
Hamilton2Ross County2

Hamilton Acad 2-2 Ross County: Visitors rescue late draw

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Highlights: Hamilton Academical 2-2 Ross County

Ross County edged into the top six of the Scottish Premiership after Brian Graham's late strike rescued a draw against Hamilton Academical.

The Dingwall side had led within the opening minute, Billy Mckay snaffling a goal after Owain Fon Williams fumbled.

Hamilton responded, though, Lewis Smith and George Oakley scoring within 12 minutes of each other after the break.

However, Graham netted in the 89th minute, before Scott Martin was sent off for Accies in stoppage time.

The late equaliser still leaves County without a win in their last six, while Hamilton move up to eighth despite continuing their winless run of five.

Honours even in gritty affair

This game had gritty written all over it, and the first half certainly was. But these are the sort of games both sides would look at as real opportunities to pick up valuable points.

Although most of the first half was kitchen-sink drama, the start was decidedly box office as County took the lead after just 30 seconds. After some shambolic Hamilton defending Lee, Erwin fired in a shot that Fon Williams spilled into the path of Mckay, who stabbed the ball in.

For the rest of the half, County goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw was a virtual spectator, Hamilton showing a real lack of quality as an attacking threat. The best they could muster was a Sam Stubbs header from a corner over the bar.

County were having the better of it and had a penalty appeal waved away as Ross Stewart was bundled over by Alex Gogic. Stewart also sent an effort wide as County underlined their dominance.

Hamilton's young team looked leaderless in the first half, so at half time the experienced Steve Davies entered the fray. He almost immediately fired in a free kick from 20 yards just wide, but better was about to come from one of the club's academy graduates.

Smith did brilliantly to cut into the box from the right, beating Richard Foster, and he kept his composure to fire past Laidlaw. Hamilton were back level, the 19-year-old with his third goal of the season.

The hosts were looking much more up for the fight in the second half and they would get their reward as they took the lead. Smith this time with the assist and Oakley with the strike to make it 2-1.

The football on show improved as the match entered the final few minutes, and County would hit back thanks to a flowing passage of play. Michael Gardyne raced down the left wing before cutting the ball back perfectly for substitute Graham to finish expertly.

Martin was shown a late red for the home side after exchanging words with the referee and County almost won it from the resultant free kick, but Stewart's effort was blocked as Accies held on for the point.

Stat

Man of the match - Lewis Smith

No doubt about it. Smith is just 19 years of age but is making a real difference for his side, and involved in both goals.

The lifelong Accies fan scored and assisted for Oakley in a victory against Kilmarnock earlier in the season, and did the same today in this draw.

The challenge now for him and the rest of the Hamilton youngsters is to do it week in, week out.

'We deserved to win' - reaction

Hamilton Academical manager Brian Rice: "I think it's a total injustice that we didn't win the game. We have had total possession of the football until the last 10 minutes.

"We've had chances, numerous set plays. In my opinion - only my opinion - I thought we deserved to win the game."

Ross County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell: "There's a bit of disappointment from us. We're really happy with the point we got last week at Easter Road being two goals down.

"It's hard to be too critical on the players because it's another late goal to get us a point away from home but I think there has to be that degree of disappointment because I don't think we hit any kind of level up until that second goal in the second half."

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Watch: 'Total injustice' Hamilton didn't win - Rice

Line-ups

Hamilton

  • 1Fon Williams
  • 21Want
  • 40Hamilton
  • 26Stubbs
  • 3McMannBooked at 27mins
  • 25MartinBooked at 90mins
  • 13Gogic
  • 11MillerSubstituted forHuntat 90+4'minutes
  • 28SmithSubstituted forHughesat 87'minutes
  • 14CunninghamSubstituted forDaviesat 45'minutes
  • 9OakleyBooked at 62mins

Substitutes

  • 6Hunt
  • 8Davies
  • 15Hughes
  • 17Beck
  • 18MacKinnon
  • 20Moyo
  • 31Southwood

Ross County

  • 1Laidlaw
  • 2Fraser
  • 15WatsonBooked at 30mins
  • 4FontaineBooked at 75mins
  • 18Foster
  • 6Draper
  • 16SpenceSubstituted forHendersonat 73'minutes
  • 7GardyneBooked at 50mins
  • 9MckaySubstituted forMullinat 65'minutes
  • 27Stewart
  • 8ErwinSubstituted forGrahamat 63'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Kelly
  • 5Morris
  • 14Mullin
  • 17Henderson
  • 19Graham
  • 23Chalmers
  • 41Dixon-Hodge
Referee:
Colin Steven
Attendance:
1,268

Match Stats

Home TeamHamiltonAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home9
Away9
Shots on Target
Home3
Away5
Corners
Home8
Away6
Fouls
Home16
Away17

Live Text

Match ends, Hamilton Academical 2, Ross County 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Hamilton Academical 2, Ross County 2.

Attempt saved. Ross Stewart (Ross County) header from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Johnny Hunt replaces Mickel Miller.

Dismissal

Scott Martin (Hamilton Academical) is shown the red card for violent conduct.

Ross Stewart (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Scott Martin (Hamilton Academical).

Brian Graham (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Steve Davies (Hamilton Academical).

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Keith Watson.

Foul by Ross Stewart (Ross County).

Sam Stubbs (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Alexander Gogic.

Goal!

Goal! Hamilton Academical 2, Ross County 2. Brian Graham (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Michael Gardyne.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Ronan Hughes replaces Lewis Smith.

Liam Fontaine (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Alexander Gogic (Hamilton Academical).

Foul by Brian Graham (Ross County).

Shaun Want (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt blocked. Brian Graham (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Keith Watson.

Attempt saved. Josh Mullin (Ross County) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Scott McMann.

Ross Stewart (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Sam Stubbs (Hamilton Academical).

Ross Draper (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Steve Davies (Hamilton Academical).

Attempt missed. Brian Graham (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Ross Draper (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Mickel Miller (Hamilton Academical).

Booking

Liam Fontaine (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Liam Fontaine (Ross County).

Steve Davies (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Ewan Henderson replaces Lewis Spence.

Marcus Fraser (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Mickel Miller (Hamilton Academical).

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Liam Fontaine.

Attempt missed. Mickel Miller (Hamilton Academical) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

Michael Gardyne (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Shaun Want (Hamilton Academical).

goal