They may have made very heavy weather of it and they will need to play far better than this if they are to maintain their summit position, but Championship leaders Hamilton know to win titles and promotions you sometimes need to dig deep and win ugly against opponents with woefully limited ambitions. So, in this respect, very much job done for Alex Neil and his young Accies pacesetters.
Points win prizes and Neil stressed taking three points is never a bad thing even if the performance wasn’t all it could have been. He said; “If you’re disappointed at winning 1-0 at home then you know you are doing something right. It is difficult when teams come and sit in, but some of our passing was excellent and we deserved to win.”
For 30 minutes this was a dire spectacle in desperate need of a shot, crunching tackle or generally anything to belatedly kick start some life into proceedings as table-topping Accies struggled to make progress against visitors more than happy to sit-in and smother the game.
Eventually the patient probing of Accies began to carve out chances, with Antoine Curier firing wide from the edge of the area, James Keating drilling in a shot which was too hot for Grant Adam in the away goal to handle, and Darian MacKinnon prodding wide when he should have opened the scoring.
Accies continued to create and subsequently blow very presentable openings as the interval neared, with Grant Gillespie and MacKinnon again wasteful although, had Cowdenbeath’s Jon Robertson found the net rather than firing inches over inside stoppage time, the price for their lack of a killer edge could have been considerably higher than a verbal half-time shellacking.
Whatever was discussed inside the home dressing room paid immediate dividends as within minutes Accies had the lead they deserved. Full-back Ziggy Gordon, pictured, strode on to Ali Crawford’s superb pass and showed a finishing touch his colleagues had been lacking.
Cowdenbeath now had to come out of their ultra-negative shell and nearly got level as a result of a freak deflection landing at the feet of Kane Hemmings who, having out-paced Martin Canning, will be disappointed to have hit the frame of Accies keeper, Kevin Cuthbert.
If that was a decent chance, then the opening passed up by Robertson in the dying stages is one coming soon to a DVD of shocking misses, as quite how the former St Mirren man managed to miss from six-yards is something he won’t even know.
Cowdenbeath manager Colin Cameron admitted his team paid the price for a slow start to the game. He said: “It took us 70 minutes to get going and we maybe showed them too much respect.
“When we did change our shape we got on the front foot and the miss late on from Robertson was unbelievable.”