Saturday 18th May
Saints slipped to a 2-0 defeat against Hamilton Accies in the final game of the season at The Hope CBD stadium this lunchtime.
Accies, who had to better St Mirren’s result at Dundee to secure their place in the top flight started brightly, and they were ahead after 11 minutes. A corner from the right by Tony Andreu broke to Ziggy Gordon in the box who converted from close range.
Saints tried to respond and David Wotherspoon saw his effort just before the half an hour mark cleared off the line by Aaron McGowan.
Hamilton though doubled their advantage on 57 minutes when Steve Davies took advantage of slack defensive play by Saints as he rifled his shot past Clark to seal the points for the Accies.
Despite the disappointing result today Saints finish the season in seventh spot with 52 points.
For the final weekend of the SPFL Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership season Saints made the trip today to South Lanarkshire to take on Hamilton Accies at The Hope CBD Stadium in a lunchtime kick off. After securing seventh place in the league last Saturday with a 2-0 win against Motherwell at McDiarmid Park, Tommy Wright made four changes to the team. Out went Scott Tanser, Murray Davidson, Matty Kennedy and Michael O’Halloran. They were replaced by Brian Easton, who was making his first appearance since December 2017, Danny Swanson, Ross Callachan and Callum Hendry. There was also a place on the bench for young striker Oliver Hamilton. Accies lost 2-0 to St Mirren on Monday evening in Paisley so they came into today’s match knowing they needed to better St Mirren’s result at Dundee to avoid the relegation play-off. Head Coach Brian Rice made three changes to the side that started five days ago as Steve Davies, Shaun Want and Lenny Sowah came in for Alex Gogic, who was suspended after being sent off on Monday, Reegan Mimnaugh and Marios Ogkmpoe.
Saints got the match underway but it was the hosts who created the better chances in the opening exchanges with striker George Oakley seeing his header going just wide of the post after 3 minutes.
On 9 minutes Accies came very close to opening the scoring as a header from Tony Andreu landed on the roof of Zander Clark’s net. Then a minute later Clark had to look lively as he made a great save pushing an Aaron McGowan header behind for a corner. Andreu took the corner and his delivery from the right wasn’t cleared by the Saints defence and defender Ziggy Gordon pounced to knock the ball home from close-range. It got even better for Accies a couple of minutes later a news filtered through that Dundee were one up against St Mirren.
After suffering the early setback Saints went in search of the equaliser and on 21 minutes after some good build up play the ball broke to Liam Craig who unleashed a half-volley effort at goal but it didn’t trouble Accies keeper Gary Woods. Then 3 minutes later Danny Swanson went on a great run into the box but Darian Mackinnon got back to knock the ball behind for a corner which came to nothing.
On 28 minutes Richard Foster played a great pass to David Wotherspoon and the Saints midfielder cut back across the box before having a shot which was blocked on the line by McGowan. The loose ball then fell to Ross Callachan but he put his powerful effort wide of the target. Saints continued to push for the equaliser against a lively Accies side and on the half an hour mark another Foster delivery into the box was flicked on by Callachan to Kane but his header lacked power as Woods easily gathered.
Tommy Wright’s men continued to create chances and on 34 minutes Wotherspoon cut in from the right before having a shot however, the effort from the Canadian internationalist went narrowly wide of the target.
Despite the Saints pressure Hamilton were still a threat and on 37 minutes Mackinnon powered through the middle of the park before having a strike at goal from 18 yards that went inches over.
3 minutes into the second half Steve Davies setup Scott McMann who had a shot at goal but Clark got down well to save the low angled shot from the left-back.
On 51 minutes Wotherspoon slipped a neat pass to Foster and the right-back went to cross the ball across the face of the Accies goal however, Lenny Sowah got back to deflect it behind for a corner which came to nothing.
Saints were pressing for the equaliser during the opening stages of the second half however, they couldn’t take advantage of having the lions share of possession. Then on 57 minutes Steven Davies capitalised on hesitation in the Saints defence to smash the ball past Clark from 16 yards to double Accies lead.
Tommy Wright decide to make a couple of changes as he brought on Michael O’Halloran and Blair Alston for Callum Hendry and Ross Callachan. Then on 74 minutes Foster linked up well with Wotherspoon down the right as the later had a shot at goal which went narrowly over.
With 9 minutes of the match remaining Tommy Wright brought on young striker Oliver Hamilton for his first appearance, replacing Danny Swanson.
Accies pressed in the closing stages with substitute Marios Ogkmpoe having a shot saved by Clark and the follow-up from Oakley was blocked before being cleared. Then deep into the 4 minutes of added time Clark was called into action again as he made a great save to keep out an Andreu free kick.
Hamilton Accies: Woods, McGowan, McMann, Gordon, Davies (Ogkmpoe 59), Oakley, Mackinnon, Want (Imrie 80), Andreu, Martin (Mimnaugh 89), Sowah
Unused Substitutes: Marsden (GK), Winter, Smith, Hamilton
Booked: McMann, Martin, Mackinnon
Scorers: Gordon (11), Davies (57)
Saints: Clark, Kane, Wotherspoon, Swanson (Hamilton 81), Kerr, Foster, Hendry (O’Halloran 68), Gordon, Easton, Craig, Callachan (Alston 70)
Unused Substitutes: Bell (GK), Tanser, Shaughnessy, Davidson
Referee: Steven McLean
Attendance: 2,553 (249 Saints fans)
Match Report by Daryl Scott
Picture: Brian Easton defends well against Marios Ogkmpoe
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