Scottish Premiership
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone4HamiltonHamilton Academical1

St Johnstone 4-1 Hamilton Academical

By Scott DavieBBC Scotland at McDiarmid Park

Steven MacLean netted a hat-trick as St Johnstone made it back-to-back home wins with a comfortable demolition of Hamilton at McDiarmid Park.

MacLean set up Liam Craig to slam in the opener and added a penalty after a Darian Mackinnon hand ball.

The striker then met a Graham Cummins cross to slot home from eight yards.

MacLean stabbed home from a Michael O'Halloran knock-down in the second half before Lucas Tagliapietra headed in a consolation goal for Accies.

Hamilton had started more impressively on the back of their 3-2 win against Hearts last time out, knocking the ball around effectively going forward.

Unfortunately for player-manager Martin Canning, they looked vulnerable to the hosts' counter-attacking and that proved their undoing.

Cummins should have given Tommy Wright's side the lead as early as the seventh minute when he broke clear of a square back line.

But Michael McGovern was in the sort of form that got him the nod ahead of Alan Mannus in the Northern Ireland side as he raced out to block the forward's shot.

There was nothing he could do to prevent Saints surging into a two-goal lead in the space of just a couple of minutes midway through the opening period though.

So often troubled by injury, Murray Davidson limped off on 19 minutes and his replacement Liam Craig made an instant impact.

The midfielder got on the end of a MacLean cross to guide in his first goal since returning to McDiarmid Park after two seasons with Hibs.

Hamilton had no time to regain their composure before they found themselves two down when MacKinnon handled a Darnell Fisher free kick in his own penalty area.

MacLean sent McGovern the wrong way with the resulting kick after MacKinnon had picked up his fifth booking in five league games to add to the 14 from last season.

Steven MacLean completes his hat-trick with a good poacher's finish
MacLean completes his hat-trick with a good poacher's finish

It looked a case of how many Saints would score after that and MacLean collected his second of the afternoon by forcing in a Michael O'Halloran cross from the right.

He completed an impressive hat-trick on 54 minutes as Hamilton were once again shredded at the back with Craig causing chaos with a cross from the left.

O'Halloran nodded it down into the path of MacLean who prodded it behind McGovern to make sure he would be heading home with the match ball while the visitor's were going home with nothing.

That made it six for the season for the big striker who only managed three in an injury hit campaign last time and it will be a major boost to Saints' chances if he stays fit.

At least Hamilton could not be faulted for effort and that was rewarded when the St Johnstone defence failed to deal with a corner.

Central defender Tagliapietra forced the ball home and Accies made another couple of half chances but they will have to sharpen up at the back if they are to get back on track at Pittodrie on Tuesday.

Line-ups

St Johnstone

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Mannus
  • 22FisherBooked at 61mins
  • 2Mackay
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 24Easton
  • 8DavidsonSubstituted forCraigat 20'minutesBooked at 72mins
  • 7MillarBooked at 51mins
  • 10WotherspoonBooked at 34mins
  • 29O'Halloran
  • 9MacLeanSubstituted forThomsonat 78'minutes
  • 18CumminsSubstituted forSuttonat 84'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Scobbie
  • 4Lappin
  • 11Sutton
  • 12Clark
  • 25Kane
  • 26Craig
  • 27Thomson

Hamilton

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1McGovern
  • 2Gordon
  • 24Tena
  • 44De Lima Tagliapietra
  • 3Kurakins
  • 18MacKinnonSubstituted forDochertyat 62'minutes
  • 6GillespieBooked at 2mins
  • 7ImrieSubstituted forNadeat 45'minutes
  • 11Crawford
  • 12KurtajBooked at 90mins
  • 14MorrisSubstituted forLongridgeat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Canning
  • 10Redmond
  • 17Longridge
  • 21Docherty
  • 22Lyon
  • 26Martin
  • 27Nade
Referee:
Andrew Dallas
Attendance:
2,648

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamHamilton
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home8
Away11
Shots on Target
Home6
Away4
Corners
Home2
Away8
Fouls
Home11
Away19

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Johnstone 4, Hamilton Academical 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 4, Hamilton Academical 1.

  3. Post update

    Craig Thomson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Antons Kurakins (Hamilton Academical).

  5. Booking

    Gramoz Kurtaj (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card.

  6. Post update

    Craig Thomson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Gramoz Kurtaj (Hamilton Academical).

  8. Post update

    Craig Thomson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Christian Nade (Hamilton Academical).

  10. Post update

    Liam Craig (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Christian Nade (Hamilton Academical).

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. John Sutton replaces Graham Cummins.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Lucas (Hamilton Academical).

  14. Post update

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

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Louis Longridge replaces Carlton Morris.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Alan Mannus.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by David Mackay.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Craig Thomson (St. Johnstone).

  19. Post update

    Antons Kurakins (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  20. Substitution

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