Why Hamilton Accies will be a miss to the Scottish Premiership despite what many think

It was heading towards stoppage time in Hamilton’s final game in the top-flight when the ball found striker David Moyo in the box. The Zimbabwe international turned and ballooned a shot high over the bar.

Accies, amongst some Scottish football fans, have been much maligned during their Premiership stay. Picture: SNS

It was an effort which perhaps summed up a season where Accies won just seven games, conceded the most goals and had two eight-games winless streaks.

The 0.79 points-per-game they picked up is the lowest during their seven-year stay in the Premiership.

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Moyo’s shot in the 2-0 defeat to Kilmarnock not only flew over the bar but it headed towards the Sainsbury’s which backs onto the ground, in part of the stadium where a double decker bus used to sit.

There was something quite fitting about it. After all, these peculiarities are what some fans of Scottish clubs use to sneer at Accies.

Since the crucial 2-1 loss to Ross County last Wednesday there has been a mixture of glee and relief around a section of Scottish football that Accies had finally been relegated.

‘What do they offer?’ rival fans have chimed over the years with digs about their small support, the plastic pitch, two stands and a gazebo, Morrison’s and Sainsbury’s towering over the ground, the presence of a double decker bus.

These jibes are popular amongst fans of clubs who are perceived to be bigger.

Hamilton's seven-year stay in the Premiership came to an end on Sunday. Picture: SNS

During Accies’ seven-year stay in the Premiership, Hearts have been in the Championship for two campaigns, Hibs for three, Dunfermline Athletic have been slumming it in the second and third tiers in that period. The Dundee teams? A combined six seasons out the top-flight.

Despite what has felt like a never-ending struggle to keep their head above water, Accies had managed to survive in the Premiership. Until now.

Understandably, there has been criticism from their own fans that it’s all they did, all they know. Survive rather than thrive. For supporters it’s demoralising. Instead of looking to kick on, Accies largely got worse, certainly in terms of points return. You want to see your team strive for more.

Sunday’s relegation was coming.

But for this writer, the Premiership, to an extent, will be a poorer place without them.

They had a knack of putting noses out of joint, to ruffle feathers,on and off the pitch, and it will be missed.

At their best, Accies were a combative, direct outfit. At their worst they were a nuisance. Despite their losing record – recording more defeats (132) than draws (62) and wins (64) combined – they were a team you didn’t fancy coming up against, especially at New Douglas Park – or the raft of iterations throughout their Premiership stay.

Teams would go into the game knowing they should win but it was very rarely simple and straightforward.

Yet, it was the perception of Accies off the pitch which will be missed most and their view amongst fans of other clubs, that ability to be different.

There was something about the patchwork nature of their ground which reflected their squad from season to season.

As a supporter you want to be provoked into feeling something. For better or worse Accies did that. Nondescript they certainly weren’t.

Hamilton were a team with a Premiership identity and it was, perhaps not by design, to annoy. And, deep down, it will be missed.

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