ST MIRREN finally got their first home win of the season as they edged out Hamilton 1-0 in a tense affair in Paisley.
Scorer: St Mirren - Thompson 62
After nine months and 17 attempts, St Mirren finally recorded a win over Premiership opponents in front of their own fans.
Captain Steven Thompson’s first goal of a campaign pock-marked by injury was enough to give the Buddies three precious points, although results elsewhere meant they remain in the play-off position.
“I think all the talk about getting that first home win had gone on long enough,” said the 36-year-old.
“No supporter wants to buy a season ticket and not get to see a win. But once we got the win, hopefully, we can build on it. We want to make home wins our bread and butter.”
On an afternoon when swithering supporters could have been forgiven for staying at home to build an ark instead, it was the hard core from both sides who braved the torrential rain in Paisley yesterday.
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It would be nice to report that they witnessed a classic, but that most certainly was not the case. To be fair to the home side, though, they at least made a fist of it.
Needing the three points to ease their relegation fears, they made all the first-half running and created several decent openings.
Goalkeeper Michael McGovern was their busiest and best performer and the reason they went in level at the interval.
The Irishman did well to hold on to a well-struck 25-yarder from John McGinn and did even better to push Jason Naismith’s header away from the postage-stamp corner.
New boy Alan Gow also got in on the act with a chip from the edge of the penalty area which McGovern fingertipped over.
Hamilton were ragged and rarely able to string three passes together. Even when they did find themselves with an opening, Martin Canning headed wide from a good position and Jason Scotland also failed to hit the target with a shot from 12 yards.
McGovern’s reflexes were tested once again when he managed to beat away a header from McGinn, who had stolen into the six-yard box to power in a header from another fine delivery from James Dayton.
It fell, though, to the talismanic figure of Steven Thompson to finally leave the goalkeeper clawing at fresh air. Kieran Sadlier’s persistence paid off when he drifted from the left flank to right before supplying the busy Dayton.
The winger sprinted for the by-line and his driven cross was met by Thompson, whose first-time shot found the net.
“The last three or four weeks have been the first time since last June that I’ve been pain-free and been able to build up my strength and get where I need to be,” said the veteran.
“I have proved that I’m still able to run about and mix it, even at my age. Some people can be ageist, but I’m desperate to prove them wrong and show I can still lead the line and put a shift in.”
Canning is still waiting for his first victory after nine games in charge and he is in no mood to mollycoddle his under-achievers.
“St Mirren are fighting for their lives, but my boys are fighting to stay in the team,” he said. “At the minute, there are a few who, if they continue to play the way the way they are, it’s not enough.
“I’d rather play a young kid in their place who I know will give me his all. I won’t accept that performance today.”
St Mirren: Ridgers, Naismith, Goodwin, Genev (Sadlier 46), Tesselaar, Dayton (Sonupe 86), Mallan, McGinn, Kelly, Gow (Wylde 78), Thompson. Unused subs: Kello, Reilly, Arquin, Baird.
Hamilton: McGovern, Gordon, Canning, Devlin, McDonald, Routledge, Imrie, MacKinnon (Longridge 87), Hasselbaink, Crawford, Scotland (Brophy 67). Unused subs: Hill, Lyon, Lynch, Brophy, Redmond, Tagliapietra.
Referee: C Allan. Attendance: 3,503.