Scottish Premiership
HamiltonHamilton Academical2Ross CountyRoss County2

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

By Jonathan SutherlandBBC Scotland at FOYS Stadium

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."

Line-ups

Hamilton

  • 1Fon Williams
  • 21Want
  • 26Stubbs
  • 40Hamilton
  • 3McMannBooked at 27mins
  • 13Gogic
  • 25MartinBooked at 90mins
  • 28SmithSubstituted forHughesat 87'minutes
  • 11MillerSubstituted forHuntat 90+4'minutes
  • 14CunninghamSubstituted forDaviesat 45'minutes
  • 9OakleyBooked at 61mins

Substitutes

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

Ross County

  • 1Laidlaw
  • 2Fraser
  • 15WatsonBooked at 29mins
  • 4FontaineBooked at 75mins
  • 18Foster
  • 6Draper
  • 16SpenceSubstituted forHendersonat 73'minutes
  • 27Stewart
  • 9MckaySubstituted forMullinat 65'minutes
  • 7GardyneBooked at 50mins
  • 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
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home12
Away10
Shots on Target
Home3
Away5
Corners
Home8
Away6
Fouls
Home16
Away17

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Hamilton Academical 2, Ross County 2.

  2. Full Time

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

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ross Stewart (Ross County) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ewan Henderson with a cross.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Johnny Hunt replaces Mickel Miller.

  5. Dismissal

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

  6. Post update

    Foul by Scott Martin (Hamilton Academical).

  7. Post update

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

  8. Post update

    Foul by Steve Davies (Hamilton Academical).

  9. Post update

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

  10. Post update

    Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Keith Watson.

  11. Post update

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

  12. Post update

    Foul by Ross Stewart (Ross County).

  13. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Alexander Gogic.

  14. 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.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Ronan Hughes replaces Lewis Smith.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Alexander Gogic (Hamilton Academical).

  17. Post update

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

  18. Post update

    Shaun Want (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Brian Graham (Ross County).

  20. Post update

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

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic119113472728
2Rangers119113372628
3Motherwell127142017322
4Aberdeen126331714321
5Kilmarnock125251013-317
6Ross County123541425-1114
7Livingston123451617-113
8Hamilton122461222-1010
9St Johnstone112451124-1310
10Hibernian111641222-109
11Hearts111551015-58
12St Mirren11227511-68
View full Scottish Premiership table

Top Stories