Saints 2-1 Hamilton Accies

Saturday 23rd September

Saints bounced back from going a goal down to defeat Hamilton Accies this afternoon at McDiarmid Park. Greg Docherty had given the visitors the lead on 23 minutes when he weaved past a couple of defenders before firing a great strike past Alan Mannus. Saints though responded with a much improved second half performance as Steven MacLean levelled the match on 49 minutes. Then with 6 minutes remaining Murray Davidson secured the points for Saints as he bulleted a header past substitute goalkeeper Darren Jamieson after Scott Tanser had delivered a great ball into the box.

Hamilton Accies also had midfielder Darren MacKinnon sent off in the final minutes for a last man challenge on Paul Paton.

The result moves Saints above Aberdeen, who take on Motherwell on Sunday, into second place on goals scored.

MATCH REPORT

Saints were looking to bounce back against Hamilton Accies this afternoon after their first loss of the league season against Tayside rivals Dundee last Saturday. Tommy Wright made 3 changes to the starting line-up, bringing in Stefan Scougall, Murray Davidson and Graham Cummins for Michael O'Halloran, David Wotherspoon and Denny Johnstone.

Hamilton got the game underway shooting towards the Ormond Stand.

The first real chance of the game came on 17 minutes for the visitors when Ali Crawford played in Rakish Bingham who was one-on-one with Alan Mannus but the Northern Ireland internationalist did well to block the shot with Greg Docherty blasting the rebound well wide.

On 22 minutes Paul Paton's pass was met by Graham Cummins’ head, whose effort bounced over Gary Woods and the Saints striker then had another header but it was tame and the goalie scraped the ball off of the line.

Just seconds later Hamilton's Docherty cut in on his right from the left-hand side after a quick counter and fired the Lanarkshire team in front. 1-0 Hamilton.

After 38 minutes a Paton ball was met by Steven MacLean whose shot slammed off the crossbar, the ball took a bounce and Cummins blasted his rebound half volley well over.

Saints got the second period underway and the first chance of the second half came just 40 seconds in when Liam Craig's cross from a free kick was met by Cummins but the Irishman couldn't keep it down and it went just over the bar.

On 47 minutes a Crawford corner picked out centre half Xavier Tomas whose header skimmed the crossbar.

Saints equalised just four minutes into the second half when a Cummins ball from the left found MacLean whose header was spectacularly saved by Woods but the Saints number 9 latched onto the ball again and fired it low into the net to level it up.

On 72 minutes Docherty played through Bingham but the striker's shot was well blocked by Alan Mannus to keep it at one a piece.

Substitute Scott Tanser played a great ball into the box on 76 minutes and it met MacLean who took a touch and fired low and hard but his shot was cleared off the line by the Hamilton defence.

Murray Davidson fired Saints into the lead with just 6 minutes to go with a bullet header after a great cross from the left-hand side by Tanser. 2-1 Saints.

As the match entered added on time Darian MacKinnon brought Paton down when he is through on goal and the Hamilton midfielder was sent off by Willie Collum.

Saints once again showed great character to come from a goal down to take all 3 points after a much improved second half performance.

St Johnstone: Mannus, Foster (Wotherspoon 78), Anderson, Shaughnessy, Easton, Davidson, Paton, Craig (Tanser 61), Scougall (Millar 85), MacLean, Cummins.

Unused Substitutes: Clark (GK), Gilchrist, Thomson, Johnstone.

Booked: Davidson, Scougall

Scorers: MacLean (49) Davidson (84)

Hamilton Accies: Woods (Jamieson 53), Skondras, Tomas, Imrie, Docherty, Bingham, Crawford, Gogic, Longridge (Biabi 76), Mackinnon, Donati (Boyd 90).

Unused Substitutes: Redmond, Lyon, Want, Cunningham.

Booked: Imrie

Sent off: Mackinnon

Scorer: Docherty (23)

Referee: Willie Collum

Attendance: 2,880

Match Report by Hannah Klatschak

Picture: Steven MacLean scores the first goal.