St Mirren and Hamilton played out an entertaining 1-1 draw in front of 4537 fans at The Simple Digital Arena on Wednesday night, in a big game at the foot of the Premiership.
David Templeton’s strike gave Accies a deserved lead midway through the first half, before St Mirren pressure told in the second period, with Ilkay Durmus’ 73rd-minute free-kick drawing the hosts level. Mikel Miller had a golden chance to snatch a win for Accies, but he missed a penalty just over ten minutes from time.
The opening stages of the contest were relatively open, with both sides happy to venture forward. Junior Morias looked lively for the hosts and Mikel Miller sharp for the visitors, but clear cut chances were hard to come by.
That is until David Templeton fired a warning shot in the 22nd minute. Showing neat footwork in the D, he beat several players before seeing his effort blocked.
Three minutes later, when a similar opening presented itself, he was more precise. When the ball broke to him on the edge of the area, he took a touch to control before arrowing a sweetly-struck right-footed shot beyond Vaclav Hladky and into the bottom left corner, much to the delight of the travelling fans.
The goal saw the game open up further, with Ilkay Durmus squandering a headed opportunity, before Templeton – brimming with confidence – only just fired wide from 25 yards.
With the home crowd beginning to get restless, it was Accies who looked more comfortable in possession, and in the 39th minute, it was so nearly two.
Fed the ball around 25 yards from goal, Marios Ogkmpoe swivelled and unleashed a thunderous right-footed shot, which flew past Hladky and crashed off the crossbar. A close shave for the Buddies.
On the stroke of half-time, they had two chances to take advantage of their let-off, with skipper, Sam Foley, firing wide, before Tony Andreu saw a shot saved by Luke Southwood.
1-0 to the visitors at the break.
Jim Goodwin turned to the experience of Lee Hodson at the interval, with the Gillingham loanee replacing Jamie McGrath.
He almost made an immediate impact, too, making an overlapping run before sending in a dangerous cross, that sparked a period of pressure from the Buddies.
Accies were quick to take the sting out of the game when opportunities arose, and in the 58th minute, David Moyo came on for Ogkmpoe, before Jon Obika replaced Morias for the home side.
In a rare foray forward, Scott McMann then saw a left-footed drive only just kept out by Hladky.
It was soon back to pressure from the hosts, though, and after slick interplay down the right, Tony Andreu was presented with a golden chance around the penalty spot, which was deflected just over.
Yet, an equaliser had been coming and after a lengthy injury stoppage, it finally arrived courtesy of the left foot of Durmus. It was a real piece of quality, too, as he composed himself, before bending a free-kick from the right side of the area into the near top corner to level the scoring.
Jubilation turned to disbelief for the home fans moments later, when Hodson inexplicably felled Miller in the area.
The Accies attacker dusted himself down to take the resulting spot-kick but he failed to accept Hodson’s gift, dragging his effort wide of the right upright.
In a frantic final period, which included six minutes of added time, St Mirren saw a huge appeal for a penalty waved away by referee Alan Newlands and with no more clear cut opportunities forthcoming, the points were shared.