DCSIMG

Championship roundup: Accies stall in title bid

Players confront each other in the box after a penalty was awarded to Falkirk. Picture: SNS

Players confront each other in the box after a penalty was awarded to Falkirk. Picture: SNS

  • by CRAIG P STEWART
 

IT WAS a day of draws in the Championship on Saturday with all three games ending in stalemate and title-chasing Hamilton Accies and Falkirk left thinking about what might have been.

Both sides were set to take over from idle leaders Dundee. However, the New Douglas Park side had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Queen of the South and the Bairns where left rueing a missed penalty in their 1-1 draw with visitors Livingston.

The Doonhamers and Hamilton had tested each other in the first half with Anthony Andreu seeing a 35-yard drive tipped over by goalkeeper Zander Clark and the hosts going very close with an Iain Russell drive that smacked against a post.

Accies scored 11 minutes after the restart when James Keatings curled over a corner and Martin Canning rose to head home. That goal pushed them to the summit, but they then had to settle for drawing level on points with Dundee when Gavin Reilly converted a Kevin Holt cross at the back post to peg them back. Hamilton boss Alex Neil said: “It was a tight game and it was an exciting game as both teams went for it. The disappointing thing for me was that having got ourselves ahead we could not pick up the three points.”

The point moved Queens three points clear in fourth place, and manager Jim McIntyre said: “I was disappointed with their goal as I thought there was a foul as the corner came over. However, the response to going behind was terrific.

“That is our first point from Hamilton this season and it could have been three as we had the better chances, especially in the first half.”

Falkirk will have mixed emotions after their failure to dislodge Paul Hartley’s side. They scored a late equaliser to make sure that they got a point but also missed a great chance that would have got them three points.

The Lions took the lead ten minutes from half-time when Jason Talbot crossed and Marc McNulty forced his way in to net a header via the woodwork.

Rory Low set up the leveller with nine minutes left when he picked out Blair Alston and he sent a right-foot shot into the far corner.

The win that would have moved the Bairns to the top on goal difference looked on when Simon Mensing floored Craig Sibbald in the box three minutes later to concede a penalty.

Before it could be taken, referee Bobby Madden had to deal with a melée that broke out after the award that involved several players from both sides.

Madden sent off the home side’s Phil Roberts and somewhat surprisingly only booked Mensing in the two-minute delay that followed his decision.

Mark Millar stepped up to take the kick and Darren Jamieson did well to block the effort with his legs and secure his side a point.

Falkirk manager Gary Holt said: “The referee has said that there was a head-butt involved, but our player maintains he never did it. We will appeal if we can. However, it was frustrating that the person that caused the trouble only got booked.”

Livingston boss John McGlynn said: “We stuck to our gameplan really well and we almost pulled off a win I felt was deserved.”

Matters were no clearer at the foot of the table after Cowdenbeath hit back twice to draw 2-2 with Alloa Athletic at Central Park.

The Wasps took the lead after six minutes when Graeme Holmes fired past Thomas Flynn but the hosts levelled when James Fowler’s low ball allowed Greg Stewart to send a shot home. Alloa goalkeeper Scott Bain excelled before Ryan McCord restored their advantage just before the hour mark with a low drive. Stewart grabbed a share of the points for his side when he converted a long throw-in from Rory McKeown.

 

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