Scottish Premiership
Kilmarnock1Hamilton0

Kilmarnock 1-0 Hamilton Academical

Alexei Eremenko thundered home a last-gasp free-kick to snatch a home win for Kilmarnock over high-flying Hamilton.

A stalemate had looked inevitable as Killie keeper Craig Samson had kept out Accies' long-range shots at goal and the home side rarely threatened.

Accies' Darian MacKinnon headed over Samson's crossbar in a late attack.

But when Jamie Hamill was brought down by Michael Devlin deep in injury time, substitute Eremenko smacked in the set-piece from 20 yards to win the game.

The victory ended a poor run for Allan Johnston's men. They had lost seven and drawn one in all competitions since an away league win over St Johnstone in mid-October.

With Hamilton's play dictated by player-manager Alex Neil, they soon had their passing game on show on the artificial surface at Rugby Park.

They were soon creating chances, with Mickael Antoine-Curier failing to score as a result of a wayward header.

Hamilton player-manager Alex Neil
Hamilton player-manager Alex Neil replaced himself with Jon Routledge for the last 20 minutes at Rugby Park

Neil can often be found issuing instructions and reprimands when on the pitch - but after being robbed of possession, he was grateful to goalkeeper Michael McGovern for blocking Rory McKenzie's hurried shot from the edge of the box.

Both line-ups had a healthy representation of graduates from their youth ranks on display. One of those in red and white, Ali Crawford, was heavily involved in much of Accies' creative play and he tested Killie keeper Samson twice in the first quarter of the match.

Killie were slow to get going and had to survive a Tony Andreu long-range shot and two scares provided by Dougie Imrie - who a penalty claim rejected after he was challenged by Chris Chantler and then shot over the bar by Imrie.

But the home side began to threaten, and McKenzie's 34th-minute cut-back from the right went just behind Robbie Muirhead, who was denied the chance to sweep the ball home with the goal gaping.

And Hamill gave the home fans in the 3,900 crowd hope when he powered a header at goal, but McGovern was well placed.

The teams were evenly matched after the break and the chances became scarcer.

McGovern smothered a Muirhead drive and then - as the action swept to the other end - Crawford had a shot deflected for a corner, from which Josh Magennis leapt to nod an Accies headed effort off the goal-line.

Then with 10 minutes left, a glorious opportunity fell to Hamilton midfielder MacKinnon, who headed an in-swinging Crawford corner over the bar from six yards.

As the match petered out towards what looked like being a repeat of September's 0-0 draw at New Douglas Park, Johnston and Neil made three changes apiece.

In Eremenko's 13 minutes of play, he pinged a lovely cross deep in to the box for Josh Magennis, who brought the ball down on his toe but could not finish.

And the Finn scored with almost the last kick of the ball to deny Accies second spot in the Premiership.

Kilmarnock's Chris Chantler battles for the ball with Dougie Imrie
Kilmarnock's Chris Chantler battles for the ball with Dougie Imrie
Alexei Eremenko crashes a free-kick over the Hamilton wall to clinch the three points
Alexei Eremenko crashes a free-kick over the Hamilton wall to clinch the three points

Line-ups

Kilmarnock

  • 1Samson
  • 2Barbour
  • 18Ashcroft
  • 6Connolly
  • 23ChantlerSubstituted forO'Haraat 85'minutes
  • 7McKenzie
  • 4Hamill
  • 19Slater
  • 28Magennis
  • 33MuirheadSubstituted forJohnstonat 70'minutes
  • 9MillerSubstituted forEremenkoat 77'minutesBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 10Johnston
  • 11Cairney
  • 13Brennan
  • 20Eremenko
  • 26O'Hara
  • 29Pascali
  • 37Splaine

Hamilton

  • 1McGovern
  • 6Gillespie
  • 5Canning
  • 4DevlinBooked at 90mins
  • 3Hendrie
  • 7Imrie
  • 10NeilSubstituted forRoutledgeat 70'minutes
  • 18MacKinnon
  • 11Crawford
  • 22AndreuSubstituted forLongridgeat 79'minutes
  • 99Antoine-CurierSubstituted forScotlandat 73'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Routledge
  • 9Scotland
  • 17Longridge
  • 20Brophy
  • 24Tena
  • 28Redmond
  • 29Hill
Referee:
Craig Thomson
Attendance:
3,921

Match Stats

Home TeamKilmarnockAway TeamHamilton
Possession
Home47%
Away53%
Shots
Home10
Away15
Shots on Target
Home8
Away7
Corners
Home3
Away7
Fouls
Home11
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Kilmarnock 1, Hamilton Academical 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 1, Hamilton Academical 0.

Booking

Alexei Eremenko (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

Goal!

Goal! Kilmarnock 1, Hamilton Academical 0. Alexei Eremenko (Kilmarnock) from a free kick with a left footed shot to the top right corner.

Booking

Michael Devlin (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card.

Jamie Hamill (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Michael Devlin (Hamilton Academical).

Foul by Lee Ashcroft (Kilmarnock).

Jason Scotland (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Lee Ashcroft (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Martin Canning (Hamilton Academical).

Mark Connolly (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical).

Jamie Hamill (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical).

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Mark O'Hara replaces Chris Chantler.

Foul by Chris Johnston (Kilmarnock).

Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Chris Johnston (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical).

Attempt missed. Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical) header from very close range is just a bit too high following a corner.

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Lee Ashcroft.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Louis Longridge replaces Tony Andreu.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Alexei Eremenko replaces Lee Miller.

Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Stephen Hendrie (Hamilton Academical).

Foul by Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock).

Tony Andreu (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Jason Scotland replaces Mickael Antoine-Curier.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Jon Routledge replaces Alex Neil.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Chris Johnston replaces Robbie Muirhead.

Attempt saved. Lee Miller (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Foul by Chris Chantler (Kilmarnock).

Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Lee Miller (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Alex Neil (Hamilton Academical) header from the centre of the box misses to the right following a corner.

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Jamie Hamill.

Attempt blocked. Tony Andreu (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Ali Crawford (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic18123334122239
2Dundee Utd1811163122934
3Aberdeen1711152617934
4Hamilton18103530191133
5Inverness CT1710252418632
6St Johnstone189271718-129
7Kilmarnock187381822-424
8Dundee185672325-221
9Partick Thistle185582321220
10Motherwell1852111327-1417
11St Mirren1832131432-1811
12Ross County1824121737-2010
View full Scottish Premiership table

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