Scottish Premiership
Ross County3Hamilton2

Ross County 3-2 Hamilton Academical

Jonathan Franks struck late on to seal victory for Ross County and leave Hamilton's hopes of Premiership survival in a perilous state.

Rakish Bingham cancelled out Michael Gardyne's splendid opener for County.

The home side regained the lead through a Remi Matthews own goal but substitute David Templeton looked to have earned a draw for the visitors.

However, Franks' strike proved decisive and means Accies can not finish higher than 11th in the table.

Martin Canning's men could still go down automatically if bottom side Inverness Caledonian Thistle can overcome the four-point difference between the sides in their final two matches.

Hamilton's defeat ensures that Dundee are guaranteed Premiership football next season, with Motherwell's win over Kilmarnock also ensuring their safety.

Heartbreak for Hamilton

Accies will argue they deserved something from this match, perhaps even all three points. This defeat will hurt badly.

They dug in after a disastrous start and should have been ahead by half-time.

Remi Matthews
Michael Gardyne's stunning strike beats Remi Matthews in the Hamilton goal

A slice of luck arrived with Bingham's leveller when Ali Crawford's delivery ricocheted in the box and fell perfectly for the striker to slam home. Their fortune ended there in dramatic fashion.

Bingham smashed a shot off the inside of the post soon after. It was unlucky but much more was to follow.

It seemed Crawford had put them ahead with an outstanding free kick from a central area. It sailed over the wall, away from Fox but clipped the inside of the post and out again.

After the break a ball along the six-yard line came through to Greg Docherty, he side-footed from close range for what looked a certain goal but Fox produced an outstanding stop.

Docherty and Massimo Donati came close before substitute Templeton quickly restored parity after Jim O'Brien saw his effort smash off a post and in off Matthews.

It'd be hard to find a more convincing hard luck story.

Hamilton's work rate and commitment was impressive. Their fight under pressure equally so. They also showed they've got ability.

What they don't have is three points. They needed them.

County climb up to seventh

Jim McIntyre's side initially looked very impressive. They were on the front foot and went ahead swiftly.

Gardyne gathered a short corner, ambled to the edge of the box and curled a terrific curling shot into the top corner. It was top quality.

David Templeton
David Templeton levelled for Hamilton after coming off the bench

It was poor defensively and at that stage Hamilton looked up against it.

Franks was unfortunate with a technically excellent volley that flew wide.

Christopher Routis twice had excellent opportunities but hesitated at one, then couldn't beat Matthews with the other.

Their second goal came from an excellent strike from O'Brien. It cracked off the post and, in utter contrast to Hamilton's earlier efforts, cannoned of Matthews and into the net. When your luck is out, it's out.

There was no doubt about the quality of their winner though. Franks sent a tremendous effort straight into the corner to settle a brilliant contest.

McIntyre's side remain on target for a seventh place finish which would be a satisfying outcome after missing the top six.

The unbeaten run that took them clear of relegation trouble now stretches to seven matches.

Post-match reaction:

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre: "It was a very open game. We started the game brilliantly, scored a fantastic goal through Michael Gardyne, but Hamilton came right back into it. It was one of those nights with plenty of mistakes and lots of goalmouth action.

"We've had our pockets picked here before in Dingwall with late goals. I feel we picked theirs tonight. I feel for Hamilton tonight but it's all about our team doing what we can do, trying to get into that fight for seventh.

"We know that we have the quality that can hurt sides but the doggedness wasn't quite there tonight and that is the side that we need to improve for Saturday. I thought Hamilton's players gave their manager everything. I wish them well for their fight to stay up."

Hamilton boss Martin Canning: "I can't believe we have lost that game. We have hit the post twice, one rolled along the line and we've had numerous other opportunities.

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Interviews: McIntyre and Canning

"Their second goal has come off the post, hit our keeper and gone in. That is when you know your luck is out.

"The amount of bad luck we have got tonight is scary. I couldn't ask more of the players. I asked them to be brave and it was one of our best performances of the season. How we have managed to lose that game, I don't know."

Line-ups

Ross County

  • 1Fox
  • 52Tumility
  • 3Naismith
  • 2Fraser
  • 28van der Weg
  • 7GardyneSubstituted forWoodsat 30'minutesSubstituted forO'Brienat 45'minutesBooked at 89mins
  • 12Chow
  • 4Routis
  • 17Franks
  • 10BoyceBooked at 90mins
  • 23SchalkSubstituted forCurranat 53'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6O'Brien
  • 8Woods
  • 11Curran
  • 31McCarey
  • 50Kellior-Dunn
  • 57Malcolm
  • 63Dykes

Hamilton

  • 1Matthews
  • 3SkondrasBooked at 90mins
  • 23McMann
  • 17LongridgeBooked at 8minsSubstituted forTempletonat 66'minutes
  • 14Gogic
  • 7ImrieBooked at 90mins
  • 21Donati
  • 11Crawford
  • 15BinghamSubstituted forTierneyat 70'minutes
  • 8DochertySubstituted forRedmondat 82'minutes
  • 18MacKinnonBooked at 13mins

Substitutes

  • 6Gillespie
  • 10Redmond
  • 16Watson
  • 27Want
  • 31Tierney
  • 34Woods
  • 37Templeton
Referee:
Alan Muir
Attendance:
4,871

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamHamilton
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home12
Away17
Shots on Target
Home5
Away10
Corners
Home4
Away8
Fouls
Home9
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Ross County 3, Hamilton Academical 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Ross County 3, Hamilton Academical 2.

Booking

Liam Boyce (Ross County) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Giannis Skondras (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Liam Boyce (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Giannis Skondras (Hamilton Academical).

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 3, Hamilton Academical 2. Jonathan Franks (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner.

Booking

Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Reghan Tumility (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical).

Attempt saved. Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Booking

Jim O'Brien (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Liam Boyce (Ross County).

David Templeton (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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

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

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Daniel Redmond replaces Greg Docherty.

Attempt missed. Giannis Skondras (Hamilton Academical) left footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

Reghan Tumility (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical).

Foul by Ali Crawford (Hamilton Academical).

Craig Curran (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Giannis Skondras (Hamilton Academical).

Jim O'Brien (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Greg Docherty (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 2, Hamilton Academical 2. David Templeton (Hamilton Academical) left footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom right corner.

Goal!

Own Goal by Remi Matthews, Hamilton Academical. Ross County 2, Hamilton Academical 1.

Jim O'Brien (Ross County) hits the right post with a header from the centre of the box.

Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Alexander Gogic.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Ryan Tierney replaces Rakish Bingham.

Attempt missed. Tim Chow (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Foul by Rakish Bingham (Hamilton Academical).

Jason Naismith (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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

Foul by Reghan Tumility (Ross County).

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. David Templeton replaces Louis Longridge.

Attempt saved. Rakish Bingham (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Foul by Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical).

Jason Naismith (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Jason Naismith.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic363240992574100
2Aberdeen362241066343270
3Rangers361810853411264
4St Johnstone36167134844455
5Hearts361210145549646
6Partick Thistle361012143843-542
7Ross County371013144657-1143
8Kilmarnock37914143554-1941
9Motherwell37108194466-2238
10Dundee36107193856-1837
11Hamilton37614173356-2332
12Inverness CT36513183969-3028
View full Scottish Premiership table

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