Scottish Premiership
KilmarnockKilmarnock0HamiltonHamilton Academical1
By Richard WilsonBBC Scotland at Rugby Park
Carlton Morris (second right)
Carlton Morris (second right) headed Hamilton into a second half lead

Hamilton held their nerve to win three valuable points in a scrappy relegation struggle against Kilmranock.

Quality was a victim of what was at stake with these sides among the three being chased down by bottom side Dundee United.

The decisive goal came during the second half, when Carlton Morris scored with a header.

Kilmarnock had few chances to rue, although Kris Boyd did hit the crossbar with a free-kick.

Both of these teams had suffered heavy defeats in recent weeks, so confidence might still have been bruised, but the prevailing mood was to avoid defeat.

That inevitably produced a tense, nerve-ridden encounter in which the play tended to be scrappy and the decision-making rash. The conditions didn't help, since a cold, biting wind gusted across the pitch throughout and contributed to some of the wayward distribution.

Occasional half-chances emerged from the struggle, but they tended to lack composure. Hamilton would have been heartened, for instance, to see that it was Ali Crawford who was sent scurrying through on goal by Morris, but the midfielder - normally so assured - clipped the ball over Jamie Macdonald but wide of the upright.

There were plenty of attacking options in either side, but they were often peripheral. Even when they did participate, they were reduced to the quality of the game overall. Josh Magennis has been a threat for Kilmarnock throughout the season, but he headed well over when Greg Kiltie crossed into the area.

The same flaws were evident in the second-half, with Gramoz Kurtaj met a Morris cross inside the six-yard box but lifted his first-time effort so high over the bar that the ball ended up in the top tier of the stand behind the goal.

With home advantage, Kilmarnock ought to have been more dominant, and they did muster a period of attacking intent. Kris Boyd claimed for a penalty when he looked to have been bundled over inside the area, and later sent a free-kick from 20 yards out glancing off the face of the bar.

In between, Jamie Hamill headed a Kiltie cross over. The sense, then, was of momentum building, but it was quickly curtailed. Ali Crawford's corner was met by Morris, who rose highest in a packed penalty area and headed the ball over Macdonald's reach and into the roof of the net.

As Kilmarnock pushed forward in search of an equaliser, Hamilton reverted to counter-attack football and should have added to their lead when the substitute Alex D'Acol robbed Lee Ashcroft at the byline and squared for Imrie, but he swept his effort over the bar.

Line-ups

Kilmarnock

  • 21MacDonald
  • 24Syme
  • 18AshcroftBooked at 18mins
  • 26BalatoniBooked at 62mins
  • 22McHattieSubstituted forCarrickat 82'minutes
  • 7McKenzieSubstituted forObadeyiat 67'minutes
  • 19SlaterSubstituted forHamillat 23'minutesBooked at 73mins
  • 8Robinson
  • 23Kiltie
  • 9Boyd
  • 28Magennis

Substitutes

  • 4Hamill
  • 5Findlay
  • 11Higginbotham
  • 13Brennan
  • 16Obadeyi
  • 20Carrick
  • 39Frizzell

Hamilton

  • 1McGovern
  • 2Gordon
  • 4Devlin
  • 44De Lima Tagliapietra
  • 3Kurakins
  • 18MacKinnonBooked at 80mins
  • 7Imrie
  • 22Lyon
  • 11Crawford
  • 12KurtajSubstituted forDochertyat 90+2'minutes
  • 14MorrisBooked at 62minsSubstituted forD'Acolat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Canning
  • 6Gillespie
  • 9D'Acol
  • 20Brophy
  • 21Docherty
  • 26Martin
  • 28Mandiangu
Referee:
Stephen Finnie
Attendance:
3,076

Match Stats

Home TeamKilmarnockAway TeamHamilton
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home8
Away17
Shots on Target
Home1
Away2
Corners
Home0
Away4
Fouls
Home11
Away23

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Kilmarnock 0, Hamilton Academical 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Kilmarnock 0, Hamilton Academical 1.

  3. Post update

    Conrad Balatoni (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Greg Docherty (Hamilton Academical).

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Greg Docherty replaces Gramoz Kurtaj.

  6. Post update

    Greg Kiltie (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Gramoz Kurtaj (Hamilton Academical).

  8. Post update

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

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Dale Carrick (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from the left side of the box is just a bit too high.

  10. Post update

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

  11. Post update

    Dale Carrick (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical).

  13. Post update

    Jamie Hamill (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Darren Lyon (Hamilton Academical).

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Dale Carrick replaces Kevin McHattie.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Gramoz Kurtaj (Hamilton Academical) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Alejandro D'Acol replaces Carlton Morris.

  18. Booking

    Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  19. Post update

    David Syme (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical).

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