Match ends, Ross County 1, Hamilton Academical 1.
Scottish Premiership: Ross County 1-1 Hamilton Academical
Ali Crawford's stunning free-kick ensured Hamilton took a point despite being dominated by Ross County for large spells at Victoria Park.
County passed up a host of chances before Liam Boyce finally put them in front, heading home for his eighth goal of the season.
The home side's dominance continued after the break until Crawford's moment of brilliance brought Accies level.
Both sides had chances near the end, but neither could find a winner.
Taking your chances
One week ago Ross County were bottom of the Premiership. They looked on course for the top six but simply failed to convert their chances and paid the price.
The home side were full of attacking intent from the off as Andrew Davies saw an early header well saved, and Michael Gardyne's strike brought Gary Woods into action again.
Jay McEveley then tried to bundle home, but could not get his shot off.
It was one-way traffic but Hamilton gained a foothold and began to frustrate.
It needed the talismanic Boyce to intervene and once again he did so in style. Gardyne's delivery was perfect, with the striker easing off his man and directing a header back across goal into the corner.
They had numerous chances to finish it, substitute Alex Schalk off target with a couple when he should have hit the target then denied late on by Woods.
In fairness Schalk did find the net and was incorrectly ruled offside. That would have probably settled the match.
On paper County look like a side that should challenge for the top six. Results like this after being on top for so long are undermining that challenge.
Hamilton hang in
Chances for the visitors were few and far between, with the home side controlling the match for long periods.
They stuck to the task admirably but just could not get the likes of Crawford on the ball to ask questions of the home defence.
When they did he took advantage, sizing up a free-kick on the edge of the box, picking his spot and finding the corner sublimely.
It was such an important goal as it kept his side off bottom spot. He nearly went further with a brilliant long-range effort which cleared the bar by inches as Hamilton began to threaten a winner.
Crawford really has the talent to play at a higher level and, with no disrespect to his team-mates, better players around him would surely enhance his game.
Martin Canning's side have a habit of pulling results out of the bag and did so once again here.
It could prove to be vital come the end of the season.
Ross County manager Jim McIntyre: "We put in a very strong performance. Unfortunately for us the quality we showed in front of goal against St Johnstone was missing today.
"We created enough chances to win three matches today but just didn't take them. While the score is 1-0 you always have a chance of conceding.
"Ali Crawford's come up with a fantastic free-kick when we're sloppy in the middle of the park, give possession away and we've been punished. It's been the sucker punch so it's hard to take.
"I can take the positives of the performance. The type of chances we created were gilt edged. We certainly did a lot of things well within the match. We've been flagged offside and the goal (Alex Schalk's disallowed effort) was onside.
"The players worked extremely hard for each other. The goal that we scored was a fabulous goal.
"They're down but they shouldn't be down with what they gave us. If we play that type of football, like we did last week as well, we'll start winning more games."
Hamilton player-manager Martin Canning: "I've said after many games that we've deserved to win the game and today it's the opposite.
"Ross County were better on the day. It's a bit of progression for us.
"I think last season we may have lost that game. This season we've got the desire to dig in. You've got to find a way at times to stay in a game when you're not performing well and things aren't going for you.
"You always know when you've got guys like Ali on the park, it only takes one moment of quality and you can get back in the game.
"It's strange we could have been bottom. If Ali's one that flies just over the bar goes in, we could have been sixth. That's in the space of 15 minutes. It's a good point. Just now the squad is very strong."
(On Crawford) "He definitely could (play at a higher level). We definitely don't want to lose him as he's so important to us in the way we play.
"He's got individual quality that can change a game in a second. Thankfully today he was able to do it."
- 28van der Weg
- 9DowSubstituted forFranksat 72'minutes
- 4RoutisBooked at 90mins
- 12ChowBooked at 90mins
- 7GardyneSubstituted forDingwallat 82'minutes
- 11CurranSubstituted forSchalkat 45'minutesBooked at 59mins
- 4DevlinBooked at 90mins
- 2SeaborneBooked at 5minsSubstituted forImrieat 60'minutes
- 21DonatiSubstituted forDochertyat 57'minutes
- 12KurtajSubstituted forD'Acolat 64'minutes
- Craig Thomson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Ross County 1, Hamilton Academical 1.
Liam Boyce (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Michael Devlin (Hamilton Academical).
Michael Devlin (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
(Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Michael Devlin (Hamilton Academical).
Tim Chow (Ross County).
(Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Christopher Routis (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Attempt saved. Alex Schalk (Ross County) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Tim Chow (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Attempt missed. Ali Crawford (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.
Attempt saved. Rakish Bingham (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Attempt missed. Michael Devlin (Hamilton Academical) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.
Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Marcus Fraser.
Attempt missed. Grant Gillespie (Hamilton Academical) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.
Attempt missed. Alex Schalk (Ross County) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is close, but misses the top right corner.
Substitution, Ross County. Tony Dingwall replaces Michael Gardyne.
Foul by Alex Schalk (Ross County).
Michael Devlin (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Ross County 1, Hamilton Academical 1. Ali Crawford (Hamilton Academical) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the top left corner.
Foul by Liam Boyce (Ross County).
Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Ross County. Jonathan Franks replaces Ryan Dow.
Ryan Dow (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Grant Gillespie (Hamilton Academical).
Foul by Christopher Routis (Ross County).
Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt missed. Christopher Routis (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.
Foul by Tim Chow (Ross County).
Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Liam Boyce (Ross County).
Michael Devlin (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Andrew Davies (Ross County).
Rakish Bingham (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Alejandro D'Acol replaces Gramoz Kurtaj because of an injury.
Attempt missed. Ryan Dow (Ross County) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top right corner.
Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Dougie Imrie replaces Danny Seaborne.
Alex Schalk (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for dangerous play.