Kilmarnock 0 - 0 Hamilton Accies: Drab draw at Rugby Park

Killies Gary Dicker, left, battles for the ball with Dougie Imrie of AcciesKillies Gary Dicker, left, battles for the ball with Dougie Imrie of Accies
Killies Gary Dicker, left, battles for the ball with Dougie Imrie of Accies
Kilmarnock moved up to seventh place and Hamilton improved to ninth but those were among the few positives which could be drawn from this dour affair.

The unfortunate souls tasked with searching for talking points could do no better than come up with three penalty claims – one for Killie, two for Accies – which referee Euan Anderson chose to ignore.

Kris Boyd went down after being sandwiched by Michael Devlin and Georgios Sarris, Dougie Imrie then plunged to the plastic and Steven Smith handled the ball but was adjudged to have done so involuntarily.

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Grant Gillespie made it a very long afternoon for himself when he collected a caution in the fifth minute when he scythed down Jordan Jones as the winger surged past him and he was fortunate to remain on the field when he repeated the offence 12 minutes later.

However, it was Accies who forced the first save of the afternoon midway through the first half when Jamie MacDonald got down low to his right to beat away a low drive from Rakish Bingham.

The hosts were disadvantaged when centre-back Miles Addison, who appeared to have turned his ankle in the build-up to that chance, hobbled off and was replaced by Jonathan Burn.

Ali Crawford is Hamilton’s leading scorer and most influential player but the midfielder failed to hit the target from two excellent shooting positions while Kris Boyd was inches away with a looping header from Jones’ cross. Then came the penalty claims.

“As far as I’m concerned, it was a penalty,” said Imrie. “I’ve stepped inside their player, I knew he was going to make a tackle and he’s brought me down. It’s black and white but it’s difficult for the referee.

“Kris Boyd also wanted a penalty when he went down and the two incidents were exactly the same. We aren’t going to go down inside the box for nothing, there was contact and I thought his was a penalty as well. If it’s not a penalty then it’s a dive and he has to book me, which he didn’t.”

Bingham missed the best chance of the first half when, unmarked, he headed wide from six yards from a Crawford corner.

Kilmarnock were more purposeful after the interval (they could hardly have been less so) and Woods did well to keep out a venomous volley from the previously anonymous Souleymane Coulibaly.

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The goalkeeper then had to leave his penalty area to get a vital block on another shot from the Ivorian but that brief revival soon ended and the home side returned to their torpor.

Jones was the one player who attempted to take on opponents and create openings but he was unable to carry the rest of his team-mates with him on this occasion.

Kris Boyd did have the ball in the net in the 77th minute, instinctively deflecting a shot from substitute Adam Frizzell behind Woods but he was adjudged to be in an offside position as, indeed, he had been for most of the second half.

Gary Dicker had an opportunity to win it but Woods got down well to parry the midfielder’s angled drive. However, that was eclipsed in stoppage time when MacDonald produced a superb reflex save to turn behind a 25-yarder from Massimo Donati.

“When your goalkeeper has to make a wonder save right at the death, it’s a point gained,” said Kilmarnock manager Lee Clark. “I don’t think we deserved to lose but we didn’t deserve to win.”