Scottish Premiership
St MirrenSt Mirren1HamiltonHamilton Academical2

St Mirren 1-2 Hamilton Academical: Bottom club Accies claim huge three points

By Andrew SouthwickBBC Scotland

Hamilton Academical's fight for top-flight survival is "like climbing Everest with your flipflops on", said Brian Rice after they beat St Mirren.

After nine games with a win, bottom side Accies are now just two points behind 11th-placed Kilmarnock.

After goals from Ross Callachan and David Moyo, the visitors held on despite Jamie McGrath pulling one back.

"It would be the biggest achievement I've ever achieved with what we've been through this season," said Rice.

"I'm absolutely delighted to come and win. It's massive. I said yesterday we need to do what we need to do then look at the situation. It's going to go down to the last game.

"Everyone gave full effort. People throw their bodies on the line every week and that's what we need.

"It's not belief into the squad I need, it's getting my quality players on the pitch - that's been the problem. My flair players have all been injured, but I can't ask for any more than what I got."

The win sets up a grandstand finish to the season, with the Lanarkshire men's two remaining games of the season against the only sides they can catch - away to Ross County, followed by Kilmarnock at home.

These two had history of breaking each others' hearts this season. An 89th-minute Hamilton goal had denied St Mirren a place in the top six, then Jim Goodwin's side gained revenge with a thumping 3-0 Scottish Cup win.

But a win for St Mirren this time could do more than just hurt Accies, with their Premiership survival on the line.

Kristian Dennis almost got a toe to an early St Mirren cross, while Callachan burst on to a back pass but poked wide at the other end. It was the best of a flurry of half chances from both sides.

The visitors grew as a force the longer the half went on, and deservedly took the lead after a bit of head tennis in their box created an opening for Callachan, who knocked the ball in from close range.

Bruce Anderson appealed for a penalty after a shove from Conor McCarthy, but went down too easily to impress referee John Beaton.

However, the on-loan Aberdeen striker was to be pivotal as Accies doubled their lead. He cracked a low shot at goal that hit Moyo and trickled over the line.

Kyle McAllister went close to pulling one back for St Mirren when he latched onto a loose header, but goalkeeper Kyle Gourlay showed quick reactions to palm it away.

Moments later Callachan crashed a shot off the crossbar as Accies threatened a third, then Anderson turned in the box and forced Jak Alnwick into a fine low save.

But McGrath, moments after coming off the bench, hit a sweet low strike past Gourlay to pull one back for St Mirren and suddenly the game was alive again.

And Jay Henderson should have levelled when he found space on the right, but sent his shot wide with the goal at his mercy and Hamilton held on for the three points.

Man of the match - Bruce Anderson

Hamilton's Bruce Anderson
Anderson was everywhere, played a big part in the second goal, and only a fine Jak Alnwick save denied him one of his own

What did we learn?

St Mirren had one eye on next weekend's Scottish Cup semi-final with St Johnstone. That was evident by the four changes Goodwin made, though that only ended up being three after Marcus Fraser was injured in the warm up.

But after going 2-0 down, the Paisley side showed the quality that has taken them to Hampden and they will be kicking themselves they didn't pull back the two-goal deficit.

Accies' desperation was evident, and although both goals they did score were untidy, they also had other big chances. And the confidence will be flowing ahead of two huge final games of the season.

What did they say?

St Mirren changes had 'negative impact' - Jim Goodwin

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin: "It was a really disappointing performance. I thought we were very flat. We made a few changes but I didn't believe they would have the negative impact they did have.

"We gave a few an opportunity and I don't think a few boys took that opportunity. We could have nicked a point at the end but I don't think we would have deserved that."

Hamilton head coach Brian Rice: "It got a wee bit nervous towards the end but I think we deserved to win. We played really well, we had chances and scored two goals. I thought the boys were fantastic.

"We spoke about starting fast and getting on the front foot and we did that. To come here and get three points is massive for us.

'It's never over with Hamilton' - Brian Rice

What's next?

St Mirren take on St Johnstone in the Scottish Cup semi-finals on Sunday 9 May (14:15 BST), before a trip to Kilmarnock in the Premiership the following Wednesday (19:45).

Hamilton must wait until Wednesday 12 May for their next game, when they travel to Ross County (19:45).

Player of the match

StangerGeorge Stanger

with an average of 7.71

St Mirren

  1. Squad number17Player nameMcGrath
    Average rating

    6.54

  2. Squad number14Player nameMacPherson
    Average rating

    6.41

  3. Squad number23Player nameErwin
    Average rating

    5.95

  4. Squad number2Player nameTait
    Average rating

    5.81

  5. Squad number20Player nameDennis
    Average rating

    5.64

  6. Squad number45Player nameQuaner
    Average rating

    5.32

  7. Squad number30Player nameHenderson
    Average rating

    5.29

  8. Squad number15Player nameFinlayson
    Average rating

    5.09

  9. Squad number4Player nameShaughnessy
    Average rating

    4.92

  10. Squad number1Player nameAlnwick
    Average rating

    4.87

  11. Squad number7Player nameDoyle-Hayes
    Average rating

    4.82

  12. Squad number25Player nameErhahon
    Average rating

    4.81

  13. Squad number5Player nameMcCarthy
    Average rating

    4.79

  14. Squad number11Player nameDurmus
    Average rating

    4.56

  15. Squad number10Player nameMcAllister
    Average rating

    4.17

Hamilton Academical

  1. Squad number17Player nameStanger
    Average rating

    7.71

  2. Squad number34Player nameCallachan
    Average rating

    6.69

  3. Squad number7Player nameAnderson
    Average rating

    6.62

  4. Squad number16Player nameMartin
    Average rating

    6.57

  5. Squad number27Player nameHodson
    Average rating

    6.24

  6. Squad number6Player nameHamilton
    Average rating

    6.20

  7. Squad number20Player nameMoyo
    Average rating

    6.03

  8. Squad number21Player nameMunro
    Average rating

    5.98

  9. Squad number2Player nameOdoffin
    Average rating

    5.97

  10. Squad number18Player nameMimnaugh
    Average rating

    5.93

  11. Squad number3Player nameMcMann
    Average rating

    5.77

  12. Squad number22Player nameGourlay
    Average rating

    5.23

  13. Squad number14Player nameSmith
    Average rating

    4.44

  14. Squad number11Player nameSmith
    Average rating

    2.91

  15. Squad number24Player nameThomas
    Average rating

    2.83

Line-ups

St Mirren

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1Alnwick
  • 5McCarthy
  • 15Finlayson
  • 4Shaughnessy
  • 30Henderson
  • 7Doyle-HayesBooked at 90mins
  • 25ErhahonBooked at 32mins
  • 2TaitSubstituted forDurmusat 62'minutes
  • 14MacPhersonSubstituted forMcGrathat 61'minutes
  • 20DennisSubstituted forMcAllisterat 72'minutes
  • 45QuanerSubstituted forErwinat 61'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Mason
  • 10McAllister
  • 11Durmus
  • 17McGrath
  • 23Erwin
  • 26Lyness

Hamilton

Formation 3-1-4-2

  • 22Gourlay
  • 6Hamilton
  • 16Martin
  • 3McMann
  • 2Odoffin
  • 27Hodson
  • 34CallachanBooked at 13minsSubstituted forThomasat 90+1'minutes
  • 18MimnaughSubstituted forStangerat 89'minutes
  • 21MunroSubstituted forSmithat 87'minutes
  • 20Moyo
  • 7AndersonSubstituted forSmithat 88'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Stirling
  • 9Trafford
  • 11Smith
  • 14Smith
  • 17Stanger
  • 24Thomas
  • 26Redfern
  • 41Scully
Referee:
John Beaton

Match Stats

Home TeamSt MirrenAway TeamHamilton
Possession
Home58%
Away42%
Shots
Home11
Away13
Shots on Target
Home3
Away3
Corners
Home6
Away4
Fouls
Home13
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Mirren 1, Hamilton Academical 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St. Mirren 1, Hamilton Academical 2.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Joe Shaughnessy (St. Mirren).

  4. Post update

    Nathan Thomas (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Lee Erwin (St. Mirren) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Hakeem Odoffin (Hamilton Academical).

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Nathan Thomas replaces Ross Callachan.

  8. Booking

    Jake Doyle-Hayes (St. Mirren) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Jake Doyle-Hayes (St. Mirren).

  10. Post update

    Ross Callachan (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Hamilton Academical. George Stanger replaces Reegan Mimnaugh.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Callum Smith replaces Bruce Anderson.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Lewis Smith replaces Kyle Munro.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Daniel Finlayson (St. Mirren).

  15. Post update

    David Moyo (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jay Henderson (St. Mirren) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Lee Erwin.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ilkay Durmus (St. Mirren) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high following a corner.

  18. Post update

    Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by Jamie Hamilton.

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Lee Erwin (St. Mirren) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jamie McGrath.

  20. Post update

    Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by Aaron Martin.

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