Scottish Premiership
St Johnstone2Hamilton1

St Johnstone 2-1 Hamilton Academical

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Highlights: St Johnstone 2-1 Hamilton Academical

Murray Davidson's header six minutes from time secured a comeback victory over Hamilton Academical that lifted St Johnstone into second place.

Greg Docherty handed Accies a deserved lead when he jinked past two defenders and fired into the far corner.

Steven MacLean fired wastefully against the crossbar but later made up for that by beating Gary Woods on the rebound.

Davidson secured the win as he rose to head home a Scott Tanser cross, before Accies' Darian MacKinnon was sent off.

Victory for St Johnstone, who went into the game after making their best start to a Premiership season, lifted them above Aberdeen, who visit Motherwell on Sunday, on goals scored.

Credit must go once again to Tommy Wright's side, who remain unbeaten at home in the league this season, for finding a way to all three points, but it felt a little cruel on Accies, who put so much into making this match such an entertaining spectacle.

The best chance of a largely featureless opening quarter fell to Hamilton striker Rakish Bingham, but goalkeeper Alan Mannus blocked his effort from point-blank range.

With Michael O'Halloran missing because of an ankle injury and David Wotherspoon on the bench, Wright opted for Liam Craig and Stefan Scougall on the flanks with MacLean and Graham Cummins up front.

St Johnstone's Steven MacLean celebrates his equaliser
Steven MacLean scored St Johnstone's equaliser

The latter almost opened the scoring after challenging Hamilton goalkeeper Gary Woods for a high ball. Cummins won the duel and nodded the ball again on target, but Alex Gogic dealt with the danger before the ball crossed the line.

Hamilton took the lead through Docherty. The talented central midfielder gathered the ball just inside the area and unleashed a thunderous drive that left Mannus with no chance.

St Johnstone almost equalised through MacLean. The veteran striker ran on to a ball lofted over the Hamilton defence, but with just the keeper to beat, he smashed the ball off the underside of the crossbar.

Cummins nodded wastefully over before and Xavier Tomas timed his run to perfection to meet a corner at the other end but his header glanced off the bar.

Saints had moved to a back three to match up with Hamilton in the second period.

MacLean had a shot superbly saved by Gary Woods, but the rebound fell kindly to the striker, who forced the ball home while still sitting on the ground.

After a driving run, Docherty played a through ball to Bingham, but Mannus pulled off a fine save from the striker's shot.

Another chance fell to Maclean, whose shot was blocked on the line by Gogic, before Massimo Donati flashed a header just over the St Johnstone bar.

The winner came when Scott Tanser swung a cross in from the left and Davidson crashed a header into the corner of the net.

As the final whistle approached, MacKinnon was shown a red card for pulling down Paul Paton, denying St Johnstone a clear goal-scoring opportunity.

Post-match reaction

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright: "I'm disappointed with our defending for their goal, although it was a great strike from Greg Docherty.

"But I just felt they were getting too much of the ball in the first half. We changed our shape and matched them up with a 3-4-1-2 and I think, second half, we controlled large parts of the game and probably deserved it in the end.

"I think they have shown a lot of character. I challenged them at half-time because I wasn't particularly happy in going behind and said we'll just match them up.

"We worked on that system pre-season - it didn't work too well, but they do know it.

"It was one versus one all over the pitch so go out and see who's the better individual and dominate your individual in front of you - and I think we did that."

Hamilton Academical manager Martin Canning: "It's disappointing. Defensively, it's not good enough to concede two goals.

"We're comfortable in the game, 1-0 up and deservedly so. Even after it goes 1-1, we have two or three real good chances we should be scoring - Rakish has got two - and that's ultimately cost us.

"The second St Johnstone goal, we'd talked about crosses into the box and Davidson hitting the box.

"It's disappointing for me, it's both things we talked about - MacLean getting space in the box and Davidson hitting the box and it's two things St Johnstone do really, really well in fairness to them.

"We have put so much into it. Similar to last week, didn't deserve to come away with nothing from the game, but ultimately we have and that's worrying because that's similar to last year when we played well in games but don't take points from them.

"We have improved so much over the course of the summer into the start of the season in terms of picking up points and this was another opportunity that the points have now got away."

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 19FosterSubstituted forWotherspoonat 79'minutes
  • 5Shaughnessy
  • 6Anderson
  • 24Easton
  • 21ScougallBooked at 82minsSubstituted forMillarat 86'minutes
  • 8Davidson
  • 18Paton
  • 26CraigSubstituted forTanserat 62'minutes
  • 29Cummins
  • 9MacLean

Substitutes

  • 3Tanser
  • 7Millar
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 12Clark
  • 17Johnstone
  • 27Thomson
  • 28Gilchrist

Hamilton

  • 1WoodsSubstituted forJamiesonat 55'minutes
  • 2Skondras
  • 5Tomas
  • 21DonatiSubstituted forBoydat 90+1'minutes
  • 13Gogic
  • 8Docherty
  • 18MacKinnonBooked at 90mins
  • 7ImrieBooked at 69mins
  • 11Crawford
  • 17LongridgeSubstituted forBiabiat 77'minutes
  • 9Bingham

Substitutes

  • 10Redmond
  • 14Biabi
  • 19Jamieson
  • 22Lyon
  • 27Want
  • 28Cunningham
  • 30Boyd
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
2,880

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamHamilton
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home8
Away16
Shots on Target
Home2
Away6
Corners
Home5
Away7
Fouls
Home7
Away17

Live Text

Match ends, St. Johnstone 2, Hamilton Academical 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 2, Hamilton Academical 1.

Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Alexander Gogic (Hamilton Academical).

Dismissal

Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical) is shown the red card.

Paul Paton (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical).

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Steven Boyd replaces Massimo Donati.

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Joe Shaughnessy.

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by David Wotherspoon.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Alexander Gogic.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Chris Millar replaces Stefan Scougall.

Goal!

Goal! St. Johnstone 2, Hamilton Academical 1. Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) header from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Scott Tanser.

Graham Cummins (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Alexander Gogic (Hamilton Academical).

Attempt missed. Ali Crawford (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

Booking

Stefan Scougall (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Stefan Scougall (St. Johnstone).

Massimo Donati (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) header from the right side of the six yard box misses to the right.

Scott Tanser (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Xavier Tomas (Hamilton Academical).

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

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. David Wotherspoon replaces Richard Foster.

Attempt missed. Massimo Donati (Hamilton Academical) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Brian Easton.

Attempt blocked. Botti Biabi (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Botti Biabi replaces Louis Longridge.

Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

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

Attempt blocked. Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Attempt saved. Rakish Bingham (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Paul Paton (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical).

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Alexander Gogic.

Booking

Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Joe Shaughnessy (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical).

Attempt missed. Louis Longridge (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Hand ball by Louis Longridge (Hamilton Academical).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic76101831519
2St Johnstone7421138514
3Aberdeen6420116514
4Hibernian73311210212
5Rangers73221310311
6Motherwell6312109110
7Hearts723268-29
8Hamilton72141113-27
9Dundee7124815-75
10Ross County7115514-94
11Partick Thistle7034813-53
12Kilmarnock7034511-63
View full Scottish Premiership table

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