Kilmarnock 0-1 Hamilton Academical

Alex Neil

Hamilton Accies maintained their excellent start to the season with a League Cup win at Kilmarnock.

The 2012 winners were totally outplayed by the Championship leaders in the first-half with Mickael Antoine-Curier heading home on 42 minutes.

Kilmarnock rallied early in the second half and Kevin Cuthbert made a good save from Rabiu Ibrahim.

But Antoine-Curier and James Keatings both went close to extending the visitors' lead.

Having been bundled out of the Ramsdens Cup on their first outing of the season, Hamilton have now won five consecutive games.

Accies took the initiative in the early stages, busily finding their way forward in the opening spell and earning a series of corners.

Alex Neil's side came close on 18 minutes when Ali Crawford sent in a free kick from the right wing and Michael Devlin rose well in a busy penalty box to head just over.

The hosts carved a half-chance on 30 minutes after Ibrahim skilfully retained possession and escaped his markers at the left corner flag. He passed to Rory McKeown and the ball was then cleared out to Sean Clohessy at the right corner of the box, but his shot failed to trouble Cuthbert.

Instead, Hamilton took a deserved lead four minutes from the break in simple but emphatic style - Crawford delivered a corner from the right and Antoine-Curier rose highest in the box to bullet a header past Craig Samson and in at the near post.

Kilmarnock had their best chance of an equaliser five minutes after the restart when Ibrahim unleashed an impressive shot from outside the box, which Cuthbert had to claw away round the right-hand post.

William Gros also had an early chance and Clohessy shot straight at the goalkeeper as the hosts enjoyed their best spell of pressure.

Accies also had second-half efforts thanks to Antoine-Curier and Keatings, who were replaced 20 minutes from time by McShane and Andy Ryan.

Clohessy then sent in a cross 12 minutes from time which player-manager Neil, on as a substitute, blocked with a header; and from a second corner, Gros headed narrowly wide.

Kilmarnock had some late efforts on goal but were unable to find a late equaliser to force extra time, while Andy Ryan hit the side netting for Hamilton in stoppage time.