Scottish Premiership - Play-off Final - 2nd Leg
Hamilton1Dundee Utd0

Hamilton Academical 1-0 Dundee Utd

Hamilton Academical retained their Scottish Premiership status thanks to Greg Docherty's goal in Sunday's play-off final against Dundee United.

With the tie goalless after the first leg, hosts Hamilton were denied by a brilliant Paul Dixon clearance and Cammy Bell's save from Dougie Imrie.

Docherty won it with a fine strike from Ali Crawford's excellent set-up work.

Simon Murray went close to an equaliser for United, who will play at least a second season in the Championship.

Accies were promoted to the Premiership in 2014 thanks to a play-off final win over Hibernian, and Sunday's result means they are the only side to have come up from the Championship via the play-offs since their introduction.

Docherty delight

It seems fitting that a player who came through the Hamilton youth system won such an important match for the Lanarkshire club.

Greg Docherty celebrates
Greg Docherty put an injury-hit campaign behind him by netting the winning goal

Docherty started his Hamilton career as an eight-year-old in 2005 and, now 20, struck a special winner in 2017.

The 20-yard drive was only his second goal of an injury-troubled season but the Scotland under-21 midfielder was one of the stars of the show.

His first-half pressing and passing was excellent, so the perfect low shot into the corner after 64 minutes was well deserved.

Crawford v Bell

Amid the nerves and high balls in a tense first half, it was Hamilton's Crawford who had the best opportunities. The only problem being that Bell was equal to them.

The pick of the bunch was the United goalkeeper's diving save to stop Crawford's 12-yard effort after good work by Danny Redmond and Grant Gillespie down the right.

Paul Dixon clears the ball
Dundee United's Paul Dixon made a terrific first-half clearance to deny Hamilton

Compared to his usual high standards, Crawford has been quiet on the goals front in 2017. But he looked busy and creative in both of these play-off matches as he tried to save the club he came through the youth academy at from dropping into Scotland's second tier.

His earlier range-finder had been spilled by Bell, only for Dixon to beat Danny Redmond to the rebound and make an excellent clearance.

The visitors struggled for any fluency in the first half, with their best chances coming at the start and end of the opening 45 minutes.

Accies' on-loan Norwich goalkeeper Remi Matthews kept out Tony Andreu's flick early on before brilliantly tipping over to prevent Scott McMann turning into his own net.

Four seasons

At the start of each campaign Hamilton are often the team tipped for the drop, but they will now enjoy a fourth consecutive season in the top flight.

This was a hugely disappointing day for United, who fell at the final hurdle following a six-game play-off slog.

Simon Murray had two great chances near the end to equalise, but lifted his first narrowly over before sending his next effort straight at Matthews.

Dundee United's Simon Murray
Dundee United's Simon Murray passed up his side's best chances against Hamilton.

Line-ups

Hamilton

  • 1Matthews
  • 3Skondras
  • 6Gillespie
  • 14Gogic
  • 23McMann
  • 8DochertyBooked at 18minsSubstituted forLyonat 78'minutes
  • 10Redmond
  • 7Imrie
  • 11Crawford
  • 37TempletonSubstituted forLongridgeat 55'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 15BinghamSubstituted forSarrisat 87'minutesBooked at 89mins

Substitutes

  • 16Watson
  • 17Longridge
  • 19Jamieson
  • 22Lyon
  • 28Cunningham
  • 30Boyd
  • 89Sarris

Dundee Utd

  • 1Bell
  • 2Dillon
  • 4Durnan
  • 14Edjenguele
  • 3DixonBooked at 90mins
  • 7Spittal
  • 16Flood
  • 19Andreu
  • 12TelferSubstituted forFraserat 71'minutes
  • 9Murray
  • 18Mikkelsen

Substitutes

  • 5Donaldson
  • 6Toshney
  • 10Fraser
  • 11Nicholls
  • 21Zwick
  • 24Robson
  • 35Allardice
Referee:
Craig Thomson
Attendance:
5,027

Match Stats

Home TeamHamiltonAway TeamDundee Utd
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home6
Away12
Shots on Target
Home5
Away5
Corners
Home4
Away5
Fouls
Home12
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Hamilton Academical 1, Dundee United 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Hamilton Academical 1, Dundee United 0.

Attempt saved. Thomas Mikkelsen (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Thomas Mikkelsen (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Booking

Paul Dixon (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Louis Longridge (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Georgios Sarris (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card.

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

Foul by Tony Andreu (Dundee United).

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Georgios Sarris replaces Rakish Bingham.

Attempt saved. Simon Murray (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Foul by Rakish Bingham (Hamilton Academical).

William Edjenguele (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Simon Murray (Dundee United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high.

Foul by Ali Crawford (Hamilton Academical).

Tony Andreu (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Grant Gillespie (Hamilton Academical).

Willo Flood (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Darren Lyon replaces Greg Docherty because of an injury.

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

Foul by Willo Flood (Dundee United).

Louis Longridge (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Paul Dixon (Dundee United).

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Scott Fraser replaces Charlie Telfer.

Foul by Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical).

Blair Spittal (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Scott McMann (Hamilton Academical).

Thomas Mikkelsen (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Scott McMann.

Attempt blocked. Blair Spittal (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Goal!

Goal! Hamilton Academical 1, Dundee United 0. Greg Docherty (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ali Crawford.

Foul by Alexander Gogic (Hamilton Academical).

Thomas Mikkelsen (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Scott McMann (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Thomas Mikkelsen (Dundee United).

Foul by Rakish Bingham (Hamilton Academical).

Thomas Mikkelsen (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Mark Durnan.

Grant Gillespie (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Paul Dixon (Dundee United).

goal

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