THE effect of a confidence sapping winless streak took its toll on the Hamilton players as they let two points slip away in this action packed encounter with Ross County.
Scorers: Hamilton Academical - Scotland 3; Imrie 18; Ross County - Curran 28; Gardyne 72
It’s now ten games without a win for the hosts, who couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to grab the elusive victory after Jason Scotland and Dougie Imrie fired them into a 2-0 advantage within the first 20 minutes.
However, instead of building on their lead the home players went into a shell and prayed the advantage would be enough to secure the win. Against other teams it may have been, but Ross County refused to go quietly and fought back to earn a valuable point in their battle against relegation.
“There’s anxiety in the players, which you could see at 2-1,” reflected Accies boss Martin Canning.
“My voice is going and my head is banging from telling them to push up the park. But it’s a part of the learning process and we’re a young team.”
The first five minutes set the tempo for a frantic first half. It wasn’t so much free-flowing football as it was porous defending from two of the league’s more generous sides.
Accies have conceded the most goals in the top six, while County now share the worst record in the top division with Motherwell.
Scotland tapped in from a corner and Imrie was put through the centre by Danny Redmond and he kept his cool to pass the ball beyond Mark Brown.
Two goals down, away from home, is usually an ominous sign for a team in the bottom three, but County never looked out of it.
Buoyed by four straight victories coming into the game, the visitors kept at it and were back in the match when Craig Curran split the two centre backs to head home
Raffaele De Vita’s cross.
“He’s been excellent for us,” said manager Jim McIntrye of his in-form striker.
“He’s a real bundle of energy and he’s scored important goals for us at important times. He’s someone we think a lot of.
“And De Vita is a real intelligent footballer. He can sling balls into the box with both feet and it was great we managed to get both goals from that.”
They had to wait until the 72nd minute to get the second. Perhaps distracted by a crumpled
Darvydas Sernas lying inside the penalty area, the Hamilton defence allowed an innocuous De Vita cross to reach Michael Gardyne at the back post.
The diminutive attacker had wasted a similar chance earlier in the match, but he more than made up for it with a lunging finish across the goalkeeper.
Hamilton: McGovern; Gordon, Devlin, Garcia Tena, MacDonald; Lyon; Imrie, Gillespie, Crawford, Redmond (Longridge 74); Scotland (Hasselbaink 86).
Ross County: Brown; Fraser, Boyd, Boyd, Reckord; Gardyne, Kiss, Woods, De Vita (Cardle 87); Curran (Ross 83), Jervis (Sernas 57).
Referee: C Thomson. Attendance: 1,544.
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