Scottish Premiership
HamiltonHamilton Academical0KilmarnockKilmarnock2

Hamilton Academical 0-2 Kilmarnock: Ayrshire side consigned to relegation play-off despite win

By Thomas DuncanBBC Scotland

Kilmarnock's Scottish Premiership survival now rests on a play-off against Dundee despite a comfortable final-day victory at Hamilton Academical confirming their hosts' inevitable relegation.

The Ayrshire side looked to be heading for safety at half-time after Mitch Pinnock's first-half double and with Motherwell leading Ross County.

But the Dingwall side turned things around to win, having only needed a point to survive, rendering Kilmarnock's victory meaningless.

Tommy Wright's side now face Dundee - who beat Raith Rovers 3-1 on aggregate - over two legs in a bid to earn a 29th consecutive year in Scotland's top division. The first match is at Dens Park on Thursday.

Brian Rice's Hamilton needed to win by nine goals to avoid bottom spot and preserve their seven-year stay in the top flight, which never seemed possible.

Kilmarnock's fate was out of their hands after County managed back-to-back wins in the lead up to the final game, and despite the Dingwall side trailing at half-time, they found the required response.

The Ayrshire side held up their end of things by coasting into a comfortable lead, with Pinnock evading his marker to tap home on nine minutes after a superb delivery by Ross Millen.

The Englishman then showed good composure to roll in his second and finish off a rapid counter attack, after a clever pass from Alan Power.

His afternoon was blemished by a missed penalty, though, as Hamilton's 19-year-old goalkeeper Jamie Smith made a fine save on his debut after Kyle Lafferty was brought down midway through the second period.

And as news began to filter through from Fir Park that County had levelled and then taken the lead, Kilmarnock's impetus tailed off.

Hamilton were effectively sure of their relegation, and that was reflected in Rice's team selection as he put out a youthful side.

They were second best for most of the game, and Aaron Martin's clumsy touch and subsequent foul on Lafferty for the penalty summed up their afternoon.

Man of the match - Mitch Pinnock

Mitch Pinnock scores his second goal for Kilmarnock
Pinnock scored twice and missed a penalty to help Kilmarnock keep up their side of the equation

What did we learn?

Kilmarnock held up their end of the bargain as expected, but they will rue certain moments since the split.

They have only lost one of their final five games, but the fact they didn't really turn up in that match against Motherwell will be a source of immense frustration, as will the draws with County and St Mirren, particularly as they were twice in front against both.

Despite a problem in goal and arguably at left-back, they have a fairly settled side and will likely fancy their chances over two legs against Dundee, particularly going forward. They have not sunk like a stone to this position, and arguably look a better and more confident side than the table suggests.

As for Hamilton, they have defied all the odds to remain in the Premiership for seven seasons. Their successful youth academy is the cornerstone of the club, and Rice - who has just signed a new deal - will look to that again as they attempt to rebuild in the second tier.

Smith's fine save on debut epitomised that, and he was one of seven academy products on show against Kilmarnock. Whether there is enough depth to bounce straight back, though, is another matter.

What they said

Hamilton can 'mount challenge' in Championship next term - Rice

Hamilton head coach Brian Rice: "We saw signs today of what these young kids have got and why they're playing in the Premiership at the age they are. Hopefully that's the foundations that we've got for next season."

Kilmarnock manager Tommy Wright: "For Ross County to get three wins on the bounce at this stage of the season, you've got to hand it to them. I can't ask any more from my players.

"When I came in I thought 36 points would have been enough. Unfortunately, it isn't."

Wright buoyed by Kilmarnock form going into play-off

What's next?

Kilmarnock face Dundee at Dens Park in the first leg of the Premiership play-off on Thursday (20:15 BST), followed by the second leg the following Monday. It's holiday time for Hamilton.

Player of the match

PinnockMitchell Pinnock

with an average of 8.05

Hamilton Academical

  1. Squad number20Player nameMoyo
    Average rating


  2. Squad number17Player nameStanger
    Average rating


  3. Squad number32Player nameSmith
    Average rating


  4. Squad number6Player nameHamilton
    Average rating


  5. Squad number7Player nameAnderson
    Average rating


  6. Squad number26Player nameRedfern
    Average rating


  7. Squad number31Player nameSmith
    Average rating


  8. Squad number24Player nameThomas
    Average rating


  9. Squad number21Player nameMunro
    Average rating


  10. Squad number16Player nameMartin
    Average rating


  11. Squad number15Player nameHughes
    Average rating


  12. Squad number2Player nameOdoffin
    Average rating


  13. Squad number4Player nameStirling
    Average rating


  14. Squad number11Player nameSmith
    Average rating


  15. Squad number3Player nameMcMann
    Average rating


  16. Squad number18Player nameMimnaugh
    Average rating



  1. Squad number19Player namePinnock
    Average rating


  2. Squad number6Player namePower
    Average rating


  3. Squad number14Player nameRossi
    Average rating


  4. Squad number28Player nameLafferty
    Average rating


  5. Squad number29Player nameBurke
    Average rating


  6. Squad number10Player nameKiltie
    Average rating


  7. Squad number3Player nameHaunstrup
    Average rating


  8. Squad number22Player nameMillen
    Average rating


  9. Squad number8Player nameDicker
    Average rating


  10. Squad number5Player nameBroadfoot
    Average rating


  11. Squad number16Player nameDoyle
    Average rating


  12. Squad number9Player nameOakley
    Average rating


  13. Squad number7Player nameMcKenzie
    Average rating


  14. Squad number21Player nameMulumbu
    Average rating


  15. Squad number27Player nameTshibola
    Average rating




Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 31Smith
  • 6Hamilton
  • 16MartinBooked at 72mins
  • 3McMann
  • 11SmithSubstituted forMoyoat 66'minutes
  • 4StirlingSubstituted forStangerat 53'minutes
  • 2Odoffin
  • 15Hughes
  • 18MimnaughSubstituted forRedfernat 67'minutes
  • 21MunroSubstituted forThomasat 58'minutes
  • 7AndersonSubstituted forSmithat 58'minutes


  • 5Easton
  • 14Trafford
  • 17Stanger
  • 20Moyo
  • 22Gourlay
  • 24Thomas
  • 26Redfern
  • 27Hodson
  • 32Smith


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 16Doyle
  • 22Millen
  • 5Broadfoot
  • 14Rossi
  • 3HaunstrupBooked at 47mins
  • 6PowerBooked at 90mins
  • 8DickerBooked at 35minsSubstituted forMulumbuat 89'minutes
  • 29BurkeSubstituted forMcKenzieat 67'minutes
  • 10KiltieBooked at 57minsSubstituted forTshibolaat 75'minutes
  • 19Pinnock
  • 28LaffertySubstituted forOakleyat 75'minutes


  • 2McGowan
  • 7McKenzie
  • 9Oakley
  • 12Whitehall
  • 18Waters
  • 21Mulumbu
  • 23Rogers
  • 24Medley
  • 27Tshibola
Kevin Clancy

Match Stats

Home TeamHamiltonAway TeamKilmarnock
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Hamilton Academical 0, Kilmarnock 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Hamilton Academical 0, Kilmarnock 2.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Brandon Haunstrup.

  4. Booking

    Alan Power (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

  5. Post update

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

  6. Post update

    Foul by George Oakley (Kilmarnock).

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Nathan Thomas (Hamilton Academical) left footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Callum Smith.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Jamie Hamilton (Hamilton Academical).

  9. Post update

    George Oakley (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Youssouf Mulumbu replaces Gary Dicker.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. David Moyo (Hamilton Academical) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Colin Doyle.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Mitchell Pinnock.

  14. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Nathan Thomas (Hamilton Academical) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by David Moyo.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Marley Redfern (Hamilton Academical).

  16. Post update

    Aaron Tshibola (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Post update

    Callum Smith (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Aaron Tshibola (Kilmarnock).

  19. Post update

    Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Aaron Martin.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Hakeem Odoffin.

As It Stood

5St Johnstone381112153646-1045
7St Mirren381112153745-845
9Dundee Utd381014143250-1844
10Ross County38116213566-3139
View full Scottish Premiership table

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