Hamilton and Kilmarnock managers accept 'fair' point

Kilmarnock's Chris Johnston tries to fight his way past Grant Gillespie
Kilmarnock's Chris Johnston tries to fight his way past Grant Gillespie (left)

Managers Alex Neil and Allan Johnston agreed that a point each was a fair reflection of at New Douglas Park.

"I thought we held our own," said Accies boss Neil as his team lost ground to league leaders Inverness.

"Probably, over the piece, a point was a fair result for both teams."

Johnston said: "The first half they were the better team, but second half I thought we were by far the better."

The result means the Accies are two points behind John Hughes' Inverness Caledonian Thistle after seven matches.

Player-manager Neil knows his team will have to improve if they are to retain their lofty position but the below-par performance was, in his opinion, in part down to fielding a weakened team.

Neil included himself in his starting line-up after losing fellow midfielder Darian MacKinnon to a four-match ban following his red card against Dundee United and a retrospective ban for striking Tannadice midfielder Paul Paton.

And he had suffered a triple injury blow when centre-backs Martin Canning and Jesus Garcia Tena dropped out along with centre-forward Mickael Antoine-Curier.

"Going forward, we didn't have as much impetus as we've had in recent weeks, but we had four starters missing from the actual team," Neil told BBC Scotland.

"As the game wore on, I took my three most experienced players off and put some of the younger lads on, but I still think, in terms of what we had on the pitch, we had enough to win."

Neil removed himself from the fray for Darren Lyon in 59 minutes, then replaced Dougie Imrie with Louis Longridge soon after and Jason Scotland made way for Eamonn Brophy with 18 minutes remaining.

Alex Neil makes way for Darren Lyon
Alex Neil makes way for Darren Lyon for the last half hour of the game at Hamilton

Neil added: "It was an OK game; there wasn't a great deal of chances for either team.

"I thought we were the better team in the first half - we created more opportunities - and certainly in the second half Kilmarnock had the more clear-cut chances.

"Looking at the game, and looking at what we've had to deal with going into the game, preparation wise, I'm pleased with a point.

"We were resilient when we needed to be and, to be honest, we finished the last 20 minutes with a real lack of experience. It was a really young team that ended the game - and I thought they held their own. I was very happy with them."

"We've got Motherwell in the next two matches, which we're really looking forward to. It's great to get back to the derbies, so hopefully we can get some of our players back for midweek and then for Saturday in the league."

Killie boss Johnston agreed with Neil's assessment of which team had the upper hand in each half.

He said: "In the first half they closed us down better, they passed the ball better, had a couple of chances.

"In the second half I thought we were by far the better team.

"We passed the ball better, created chances and probably should have scored. So a point is probably a fair result."

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