Hamilton 1-1 Dundee: Dougie Imrie the Hero

A LATE Dougie Imrie goal rescued a point for ten-man Accies as Dundee were denied back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

Dundee's Paul McGinn (right) challenges Gramoz Kurtaj. Picture: SNS
Dundee's Paul McGinn (right) challenges Gramoz Kurtaj. Picture: SNS

The Dark Blues led through Kevin Holt’s deflected strike and enjoyed numerical superiority when Darian MacKinnon was red-carded for violent conduct.

However, Hamilton, who also had two efforts chalked off, fought back to earn a merited draw and leave manager Martin Canning delighted.

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He said: “Over the piece we deserved to take something out of the game but it didn’t look as if the goal was going to come.

“The players have been different class all season and you can’t fault their attitude – you saw that again today.

“They deserve everything they get.”

Accies made a bright start and soon had Scott Bain in action.

Indeed, only the Dundee goalkeeper’s reflexes denied Hamilton an early opener when Ali Crawford’s free-kick found Carlton Morris, whose stabbed effort drew a crucial point-blank save.

The home side felt aggrieved when Gramoz Kurtaj’s defence-splitting pass sent Imrie racing clear only for an assistant’s flag to stop the striker in his tracks.

The Dark Blues remained dangerous on the break and might have broken the deadlock when Rory Loy cut in from the left flank before firing into the side netting.

Imrie’s corner quickly had Dundee back in defensive mode and they looked anything but comfortable before Ziggy Gordon’s mis-placed cross relieved the pressure.

Hamilton suffered a setback when Crawford limped off but they shrugged off the creative midfielder’s absence by forging the best chance of the first half and one which should have led to an opening goal.

Grant Gillespie’s searching diagonal pass was instantly controlled by Imrie who rolled the ball into the path of Kurtaj.

The German-born midfielder had just Bain to beat but, from 12 yards, scooped a weak effort wide.

Dundee made the breakthrough on the restart, albeit with a huge slice of luck when Holt’s 25-yard effort took a wicked deflection to leave Michael McGovern hopelessly wrong-footed in the Hamilton goal.

Fortune – and a rare moment of leniency by referee Willie Collum – favoured Accies immediately afterwards when Healey appeared to be pushed to the ground by Lucas Tagliapietra as he raced through on goal.

A penalty and a red card looked inevitable but the official waved play on.

Collum was never going to shun a second opportunity to brandish red, especially when MacKinnon’s retaliatory lunge left Thomas Konrad writhing in pain and Hamilton facing an uphill task with just ten men for the last half-hour.

Hamilton thought they had equalised when a fierce shot by Carlton Morris drew a brilliant parried save from Bain. The loose ball was quickly played back across goal and this time Morris did beat Bain.

However, Accies’ celebrations were cut short by a contentious offside flag.

Hamilton had a second “goal” ruled out for an infringement seen only by Mr Collum after Tagliapietra’s header crossed the line.

There was finally a sense of justice – at least among home supporters – when the equaliser arrived four minutes from time, Gordon’s pinpoint cross making it easy for Imrie.

Dundee manager Paul Hartley declared: “The most disappointing thing is that we didn’t see it through especially after the sending off. It looked like we got spooked by them going to ten men.

“Having got our noses in front we should have shown a clean sheet mentality.”