Saturday 17th October 2020
Saints climbed off the bottom of the Scottish Premiership this afternoon as they defeated Hamilton Accies 5-3 at the FOYS Stadium with Stevie May and Craig Conway both scoring twice.
Saints took an early lead inside the first minute as May flicked the ball home from close range. They then doubled their advantage on 14 minutes thanks to an excellent David Wotherspoon strike and Callum Davidson’s side were 3-0 up just after the half an hour mark as May glanced a header past Ryan Fulton in the home goal.
However, Ronan Hughes and Marios Ogkmpoe both scored for Accies just before half time to bring the hosts back into the match.
Into the second half Craig Conway restored Saints two-goal advantage on 69 minutes with a fine low strike. Accies though came back again 10 minutes later as Hughes scored from close range after Ross Callachan’s effort had hit the bar. Saints though made sure of the points with 8 minutes remaining as Conway smashed an excellent free kick into the top right-hand corner of the net.
Today’s result moves Saints up to ninth position in the Scottish Premiership, with 10 points. Next up for Saints is a Tayside derby at home to Dundee United next Saturday, kick off 3pm.
Saints were back in league action this afternoon as they made the trip to South Lanarkshire to take on Hamilton Accies. Callum Davidson made four changes to the side that defeated Brechin City 7-0 in the Betfred Cup last Saturday. Danny McNamara, Jason Kerr, Scott Tanser and Ali McCann all came in to replace Shaun Rooney, Callum Booth, Craig Bryson and Liam Craig. Accies got a 2-1 win at home to Ayr United in the Betfred Cup last weekend and Head Coach Brian Rice also made four changes to his starting eleven. Out went Ben Stirling, Reegan Mimnaugh, Charlie Trafford and Callum Smith to be replaced by Scott Martin, Shaun Want, David Moyo and Kyle Munro.
It was an overcast afternoon in Hamilton as Murray Davidson got the match underway. Stevie May scored a hat-trick last weekend against Brechin City in the Betfred Cup and the Saints striker continued where he left off last week as he gave Saints the lead in the first minute of the match. David Wotherspoon advanced down the left and it looked like the midfielder was having a shot at goal however, as he fired the ball into the box May got a touch to knock it home from close range.
Despite that early setback Hamilton created an opportunity to level the match on 6 minutes as David Templeton’s strike from just outside the box went inches wide.
Saints though continued to create their own chances and on 11 minutes a Scott Tanser cross from the left picked out May but he flicked his effort wide of Ryan Fulton’s goal.
Saints then doubled their advantage on 14 minutes as Ali McCann, who was back in the team after being away on international duty with Northern Ireland last weekend, played the ball across to Wotherspoon and the midfielder unleashed a great left footed shot from 22 yards that gave Fulton no chance.
Accies then suffered another setback on 20 minutes as Ronan Hughes came on to replace an injured David Templeton.
Saints were playing well and on 24 minutes Liam Gordon saw his shot deflected behind for a corner by former Saints player Ross Callachan. Then 5 minutes later Accies were awarded a free kick following a foul on David Moyo by Murray Davidson. Callachan stepped to take the free kick but Zander Clark made a great save as he got down low to palm away the midfielder’s effort.
Saints were looking like they would score every time they came forward and on 32 minutes a Danny McNamara cross from the right picked out May but his glancing header was tipped over the bar by Fulton. From the resultant corner Craig Conway’s delivery from the left was met by May and this time he sent a great header past Fulton to give Saints a well-deserved 3-0 lead.
Then with 5 minutes of the first half remaining Accies pulled a goal back as Kyle Munro slipped the ball into the path of Ronan Hughes and the substitute ran into space before sending a good right-footed effort low past Clark.
The hosts then got a second goal 4 minutes later as they were awarded a free kick after Hughes had been fouled by Gordon. Scott Martin floated the free kick into the Saints box from the left and Marios Ogkmpoe got up well to send a powerful header into the top corner of the net.
On 50 minutes a Conway corner from the right picked out Jason Kerr but his header went inches wide.
Then 3 minutes later Accies almost got the equaliser as Munro’s cross from the right was directed towards goal by Hughes but Clark made a great save as he got a hand to the shot to push it away.
Saints made their first change of the game on 65 minutes as Craig Bryson came on to replace Ali McCann. The midfielder was very quickly involved in the action as on 69 minutes he sent a great through ball forward to May as Saints broke forward quickly. The Saints striker then gathered the ball before cutting it back to Conway who slotted it home to restore Saints two-goal advantage.
Bryson was then just about on the scoresheet himself on 71 minutes as Gordon setup the midfielder but his left footed effort went inches wide.
Then 2 minutes later Saints created another chance as Jamie McCart surged forward before playing the ball into the path of Conway but his shot was saved by Fulton. Then from the follow-up McNamara saw his effort go over.
As the half wore on Accies made a couple of changes as they introduced Smith and Stirling into the action and the hosts pulled a goal back with 11 minutes remaining. Callachan saw his shot from just outside the box hit the bar and the loose ball broke to Hughes who despatched a low shot past Clark.
Saints though got a fifth goal on 82 minutes as they were awarded free kick on the edge of the area after substitute Chris Kane had been fouled by Hakeem Odoffin. Both Conway and Tanser stood over the ball and it was former who would take the free kick as he sent an excellent right-footed strike around the Accies wall and into the top right corner of the net for his second goal of the afternoon.
Saints created chances for more goals in the closing stages as Kane put a shot wide and then with 3 minutes remaining Tanser’s cross picked out Conway but the midfielder’s glancing shot went over.
Hamilton Accies: Fulton, Odoffin, McMann, Martin, Ogkmpoe, Templeton (Hughes 20), Want, Moyo, Munro (Smith 74), Hodson (Stirling 78), Callachan
Unused Substitutes: Gourlay (GK), Collar, Trafford, Mimnaugh, Owolabi, Johnson
Scorers: Hughes (40, 79), Ogkmpoe (44)
Saints: Clark, Tanser, McCart, Kerr, Gordon, Conway, Davidson, Wotherspoon (Booth 83), May (Kane 80), McNamara, McCann (Bryson 65)
Unused Substitutes: Parish (GK), O’Halloran, Rooney, Hendry, Craig
Scorers: May (1, 33), Wotherspoon (14), Conway (69, 82)
Referee: Kevin Clancy
Match Report by Daryl Scott
Picture: Stevie May scores Saints first goal of the match
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