HAMILTON’s inability to hold on to a lead cost them dearly again yesterday when Liam Polworth crashed home a scarcely merited equaliser for the visitors three minutes into added time.
They have been ahead in seven Premiership fixtures thus far but they have won only one of them – against Ross County - which explains why they currently occupy ninth position rather than a place in the top half of the table.
“Yet again we went 1-0 up and were in a good place, playing well, and we controlled the first half,” said Hamilton manager Martin Canning.
“I didn’t see the equaliser coming. Yet again we’ve gone 1-0 up and not held on for a win.
It’s frustrating but the positive thing from our point of view is we controlled a lot of the game and were in their faces and pressed them well.
“We didn’t do a lot wrong and I told the players that in the dressing room afterwards. Sometimes that’s what happens when luck is not on your side but we’ve got to see games out.”
On-loan Hearts defender Brad McKay believed he had beaten the deadlock when his downward header from an Iain Vigurs corner beat Remi Matthews only to be hoofed off the line by Louis Longridge.
It took the hosts almost a quarter of an hour to record their first declaration of intent, Dougie Imrie cutting in from the right touchline to tee up Longridge, who snatched at his shot, firing wildly over.
Emboldened by that, the hosts took the lead in their next attack. Grant Gillespie’s cross was missed by Ali Crawford but Alex D’Acol, in spite of being impeded by Gary Warren, stayed on his feet long enough to drive the loose ball behind Owain Fon Williams from inside the six-yard box.
Goals change games and Accies grew in confidence. Crawford, playing behind the front two, pulled the strings for them and it took a fine fingertip save from Fon Williams to keep out his curling 20-yarder on the half hour.
Inverness at least displayed more urgency after the break (they could hardly have shown less) but they still failed to trouble Remi Matthews in the Hamilton goal.
The hosts, for their part, sat deeper and deeper as the game progressed, seemingly content to hold what they had and hit on the counter.
In fairness, for the bulk of the second half it seemed like a wise move as the Highlanders offered little in the way of an offensive threat.
As if to underline that, it wasn’t until after Accies goalkeeper Remi Matthews was forced to leave the field with a shoulder injury in the 81st minute that Inverness managed to work the goalkeeper and, even then, substitute Robbie Thomson saved well from Ross Draper’s header.
However, that familiar malaise manifested itself again when, with the winning line in sight, Hamilton failed to clear their lines and Polworth latched on to a loose ball to drive it low behind Thomson from 25 yards and twist a knife in the home side’s heart.