Scottish Premiership
Hamilton0St Johnstone1

Hamilton Academical 0-1 St Johnstone: Perth side move into ninth

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Highlights: Hamilton 0-1 St Johnstone

St Johnstone put seven points between them and bottom side Hearts in the Scottish Premiership with a narrow win over Hamilton Academical.

Callum Hendry's introduction provided a spark for Tommy Wright's side in a game of few chances.

The forward burst into the box to square for Ali McCann, who tapped home the Perth side's first shot on target.

It was a fourth clean sheet in a row for St Johnstone, while Hamilton remain 11th.

Goalkeeper Zander Clark was a spectator for the majority of his 100th St Johnstone appearance, and counterpart Luke Southwood also had a quiet afternoon, until the introduction of Hendry.

The win means Wright's side are unbeaten in four.

A game to forget

In the first half, two hard-working, well-drilled, well-organised teams did a pretty good job of cancelling each other out.

Hamilton nil, St Johnstone nil, meaningful efforts on target nil, proper saves from either goalkeeper nil, flowing football nil, reasons to forsake the high street Boxing Day sales nil.

You get the drift. The first 45 minutes were not good. At all. Meaning that things could only improve, right?

We had to wait an hour for the first flash of proper quality. Mickel Miller darted forward from midfield, leaving a couple of St Johnstone players trailing in his wake.

The only thing that could stop the Englishman, just outside the box? A crude foul from Murray Davidson which rightly earned the veteran midfielder the game's first yellow card.

The match then reverted to type when, from a very promising position about 20 yards, Will Collar's free-kick blasted into the middle of the defensive wall.

A few minutes later, Miller had Clark scrambling to keep it goalless. Nothing to do with the shot, really, more the wicked spin gained from a huge deflection. The slide from the keeper prevented the corner.

With a quarter of the game left, both managers had seen enough. Steve Davies came on for Accies, Drey Wright came on for St Johnstone, and the ball was soon in the net.

Unfortunately for the visitors, so was the home goalkeeper Southwood, bundled over the line by Chris Kane. No goal. No surprise. No change to the stalemate.

Zander Clark

Another substitution. Hendry replacing Stevie May for St Johnstone. He had an instant impact, his hook-shot on the turn appearing to hit an Accies arm as it was deflected away from goal, with loud claims for a penalty ignored by referee Gavin Duncan.

Fans of the Perth club will remember the effect Hendry had when he came on in the last meeting between these two sides at the end of October - his late goal gave them their first league win of the season.

They would have that winning feeling over Accies again. Some poor home defending allowed their opponents to gather just outside the area, and when the ball was cut back, McCann arrived to smack it past Southwood and send the small band of away fans behind the goal away happy.

Man of the match - Ali McCann

The perfect time for the 20-year-old to register his first St Johnstone goal. The strike could prove invaluable, with the Perth side now seven points clear of Hearts and unbeaten in their last four matches.

He didn't really have any other serious rivals for the award, with the possible exception of the industrious Miller for Hamilton, so McCann's solid midfield display earns him the prize.

'We had our pockets picked' - reaction

Hamilton head coach Brian Rice: "I thought first half we were excellent - probably as well as we have played at home. I thought we had our pockets picked, and fair play to them for taking the three points.

"I thought we were the better team by a distance. I don't think we tested the goalkeeper enough, but I can't ask for any more from the boys, except for in the final third having more attempts at goal."

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright: "I'm really pleased we came here and gave them few opportunities. I thought we looked the more threatening side in a game of very few chances.

"That's four clean sheets in a row - that's been the basis of staying unbeaten. When you consider the horrible start we had the players deserve a lot of credit for turning that around."

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St Johnstone players deserve credit for upturn - Wright

Line-ups

Hamilton

  • 31Southwood
  • 2McGowan
  • 26Stubbs
  • 24EastonBooked at 83mins
  • 3McMann
  • 7CollarSubstituted forHuntat 79'minutes
  • 13Gogic
  • 25Martin
  • 11Miller
  • 9OakleySubstituted forAlstonat 75'minutes
  • 20MoyoSubstituted forDaviesat 66'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Fon Williams
  • 6Hunt
  • 8Davies
  • 10Alston
  • 14Cunningham
  • 19Winter
  • 40Hamilton

St Johnstone

  • 1Clark
  • 21Ralston
  • 23Gordon
  • 15Kerr
  • 24Booth
  • 17O'HalloranSubstituted forWrightat 67'minutes
  • 8DavidsonBooked at 59mins
  • 18McCann
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 14MaySubstituted forHendryat 73'minutesBooked at 81mins
  • 9KaneSubstituted forTanserat 85'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Duffy
  • 3Tanser
  • 7Wright
  • 12Parish
  • 19Holt
  • 22Hendry
  • 33Kennedy
Referee:
Gavin Duncan
Attendance:
1,536

Match Stats

Home TeamHamiltonAway TeamSt Johnstone
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home7
Away6
Shots on Target
Home2
Away1
Corners
Home2
Away4
Fouls
Home8
Away17

Live Text

Match ends, Hamilton Academical 0, St. Johnstone 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Hamilton Academical 0, St. Johnstone 1.

Attempt missed. Steve Davies (Hamilton Academical) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left from a direct free kick.

Steve Davies (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Callum Booth (St. Johnstone).

Brian Easton (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Callum Hendry (St. Johnstone).

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Scott Tanser replaces Christopher Kane.

Mickel Miller (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Anthony Ralston (St. Johnstone).

Booking

Brian Easton (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Brian Easton (Hamilton Academical).

Drey Wright (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Callum Hendry (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.

Goal!

Goal! Hamilton Academical 0, St. Johnstone 1. Alistair McCann (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Callum Hendry.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Johnny Hunt replaces Will Collar.

Foul by Will Collar (Hamilton Academical).

Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Blair Alston (Hamilton Academical).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Blair Alston replaces George Oakley.

Attempt blocked. Callum Hendry (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Callum Hendry replaces Stevie May.

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

Foul by Steve Davies (Hamilton Academical).

Aaron McGowan (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone).

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

Foul by Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone).

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Drey Wright replaces Michael O'Halloran.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Steve Davies replaces David Moyo.

Aaron McGowan (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Stevie May (St. Johnstone).

Alexander Gogic (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

Attempt saved. Mickel Miller (Hamilton Academical) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt blocked. David Moyo (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Will Collar (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Booking

Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Mickel Miller (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic19171154114352
2Rangers18152151104147
3Motherwell2012173225737
4Aberdeen2010552925435
5Hibernian206772934-525
6Kilmarnock206591723-623
7Livingston205782829-122
8Ross County195592141-2020
9St Johnstone184771533-1819
10St Mirren2044121629-1316
11Hamilton2036111833-1515
12Hearts2026121734-1712
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