Scottish Premiership
St Johnstone3Hamilton0

St Johnstone 3-0 Hamilton Academical

St Johnstone's Graham Cummins (29)
Graham Cummins (29) headed St Johnstone in front after a goalless first half

Graham Cummings scored twice as St Johnstone moved level on points with fourth-placed Hearts by beating Hamilton Accies.

Hamilton's Ali Crawford passed up a golden opportunity when he fired over when played through by Alex D'Acol.

That miss proved costly when Danny Swanson's corner was headed into the net by Cummins.

Cummins tapped in Blair Alston's low ball before Murray Davidson headed in Brian Easton's cross.

Crawford Calamity

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Highlights: St Johnstone 3-0 Hamilton

It was symbolic of the nature of this game that one of its most refined figures mislaid his composure. Crawford tends to be at the heart of Hamilton's best work, but this was a game that left him grimacing in frustration.

He swept a first-half free kick onto the roof of the net, but it was after the interval that he truly stood out. Sent clear through on goal by D'Acol, the midfielder sliced his shot wide from inside the area.

Hamilton manager Martin Canning stood with his head in his hands. There had been other occasions for regret, with Darian MacKinnon's shot from 20 yards beaten away early on and Craig Watson failing to hit the target from 16 yards out just before half-time. The worst was yet to come, though.

Hamilton manager Martin Canning
Hamilton manager Martin Canning saw his side go 12 league games without a win

Cummins uses his head

St Johnstone were always at their most threatening when the ball was in the air, either through Cummins and Steven MacLean in open play or through Steven Anderson and Joe Shaughnessy at set-pieces.

Moments after Crawford's miss, St Johnstone worked the ball up field and earned a corner that Swanson swung into the penalty area. Despite plenty of practise during the game, the Hamilton defenders weren't able to cope with this delivery, and Cummins leapt to head the ball past the goalkeeper Gary Woods.

Cummins was not finished, and five minutes later he was on hand to convert Alston's cross to further reward St Johnstone's dogged display. Sometimes, a win just has to be ground out, and the home side completed their scoring when Davidson's header from Easton's cross bounced off the post and rolled behind the goal-line.

Seaborne's lucky escape

This was a game that lacked drama and intensity, and even a moment of controversy failed to assert itself. When the Hamilton defender Dan Seaborne slid to stop the ball from going out for a corner, he appeared to handle it twice.

Yet none of the St Johnstone players in attendance, or any of the match officials, spotted the contact, so no penalty claim was made. Relief for Seaborne, and little consequence in the end since St Johnstone went on to win the game.

It was that kind of day for the visitors. Once St Johnstone had established their lead, Crawford sent one free-kick straight at home goalkeeper Zander Clark, then another just wide of the upright.

St Johnstone's Steven MacLean (left) with Craig Watson
St Johnstone's Steven MacLean (left) with Craig Watson

Post-match reaction

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright: "We'll play better and lose, but we got the job done. We upped the tempo in the second half and looked more like ourselves. It was a comfortable win but not a comfortable game.

"[Finishing in the top four] will be the aim. We're level with Hearts now, so we've got to see if we can finish off the season better than them.

"We've tried [to make new signings], but we're in a strong position in the league and the main concern is targeting for next season and keeping ones here. There might be something happens, the chairman does like a last-minute one, and if someone comes out who we think is better than what we've got then we'll do some business. I'm more than comfortable to go with what I've got for the rest of the season."

Hamilton manager Martin Canning: "I've talked about key moments before and there's none more key than [Ali Crawford's miss at 0-0]. When you're through one-on-one, you've got to put the ball in the back of the net. Had we gone 1-0 up, it would have been a deserved lead, we were the better team up until that point.

"We are playing well, and we played particularly well at times today, but we've got to win games. It doesn't matter how we win, we need to become a different team, maybe not so pleasing in terms of knocking the ball about.

"Hopefully we can get one [player] in before Tuesday. It's not easy and we're trying hard to bring players in. We've got a bad run of injuries just now as well, five or six guys out who would be starting or coming on to have an influence. We're stretched, but that doesn't excuse defending like that."

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 12Clark
  • 19Foster
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 6Anderson
  • 24Easton
  • 4Alston
  • 8Davidson
  • 18Paton
  • 11SwansonBooked at 30minsSubstituted forWotherspoonat 72'minutes
  • 29Cummins
  • 9MacLeanSubstituted forCraigat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Mannus
  • 3Scobbie
  • 7Millar
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 22Watson
  • 25Kane
  • 26Craig

Hamilton

  • 34Woods
  • 6Gillespie
  • 2Seaborne
  • 23McMann
  • 10RedmondBooked at 34minsSubstituted forCunninghamat 90'minutes
  • 16Watson
  • 18MacKinnon
  • 11Crawford
  • 7Imrie
  • 9D'Acol
  • 15BinghamSubstituted forBrophyat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Matthews
  • 20Brophy
  • 27Want
  • 28Cunningham
  • 30Boyd
  • 33Hughes
  • 39Adams
Referee:
Nick Walsh
Attendance:
3,279

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamHamilton
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home5
Away10
Shots on Target
Home3
Away4
Corners
Home1
Away5
Fouls
Home10
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, St. Johnstone 3, Hamilton Academical 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 3, Hamilton Academical 0.

Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

Ali Crawford (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Ross Cunningham replaces Daniel Redmond.

Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Alejandro D'Acol (Hamilton Academical).

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Liam Craig replaces Steven MacLean.

Attempt missed. Alejandro D'Acol (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner from a direct free kick.

Foul by Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone).

Alejandro D'Acol (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Eamonn Brophy replaces Rakish Bingham.

Goal!

Goal! St. Johnstone 3, Hamilton Academical 0. Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from long range on the left to the centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. David Wotherspoon replaces Danny Swanson.

Attempt saved. Ali Crawford (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Steven Anderson.

Foul by Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone).

Alejandro D'Acol (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Alejandro D'Acol (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.

Foul by Paul Paton (St. Johnstone).

Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Daniel Redmond (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Goal!

Goal! St. Johnstone 2, Hamilton Academical 0. Graham Cummins (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Blair Alston.

Goal!

Goal! St. Johnstone 1, Hamilton Academical 0. Graham Cummins (St. Johnstone) header from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Danny Swanson.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Ali Crawford.

Joe Shaughnessy (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Alejandro D'Acol (Hamilton Academical).

Attempt missed. Ali Crawford (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Foul by Blair Alston (St. Johnstone).

Daniel Redmond (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Second Half

Second Half begins St. Johnstone 0, Hamilton Academical 0.

Half Time

First Half ends, St. Johnstone 0, Hamilton Academical 0.

Attempt saved. Alejandro D'Acol (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Craig Watson (Hamilton Academical).

Attempt missed. Craig Watson (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Foul by Paul Paton (St. Johnstone).

Alejandro D'Acol (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Blair Alston (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Booking

Daniel Redmond (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic21201055144161
2Rangers2212643021942
3Aberdeen21124538191940
4Hearts2187638261231
5St Johnstone228772825331
6Partick Thistle225892429-523
7Ross County225892539-1423
8Kilmarnock225891937-1823
9Dundee2264122131-1022
10Motherwell2156102535-1021
11Hamilton2221192134-1317
12Inverness CT2238112640-1417
View full Scottish Premiership table

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