Hamilton Accies battled back in dramatic fashion from four goals down to draw 4-4 with Raith Rovers in the opening match of the 2021/22 Scottish Championship season.

Lewis Vaughan’s penalty followed by a worldie from Dario Zanatta gave the Kirkcaldy side a two-goal lead at the break. Aidan Connolly and Vaughan added to that lead before a late Accies fightback with a double from Kieran MacDonald, a sublime Andy Ryan finish and Shaun Want strike sending the away fans wild.

Brad Spencer took a sore one and the game was temporarily delayed before Raith won a penalty after Jamie Hamilton was judged to have handled the ball from a Spencer cross. Vaughan converted sweetly from the spot despite Ryan Fulton’s best efforts in the Accies goal.

The hosts doubled their lead on 25 minutes with a great finish from Zanatta into the top right hand corner after picking the ball up in midfield and cutting inside. Hamilton head coach Brian Rice wasted no time in changing things and made two changes at the break, with Ryan and Scott McMann replacing David Moyo and Callum Smith.

 

It was 3-0 to the hosts on 52 minutes with a fantastic finish from Connolly, who fired low past Fulton. Vaughan helped get the season off to a flyer for Rovers by making it 4-0 on the hour with a lovely chip over Fulton.

Raith Rovers v Partick Thistle - Pre-Season Friendly

Vaughan netted. (Photo by Christian Cooksey/Getty Images)

Accies got a goal back minutes later with MacDonald finding himself unmarked at the back post to head in what appeared to be a consolation for Accies.

The visitors made it 4-2 through Ryan with 15 minutes still to play. Christophe Berra then came close to putting the ball in his own net as Accies looked rejuvenated with their goals. MacDonald further reduced the deficit with 10 minutes remaining as the hosts struggled to get out their own half.

Accies went up the park soon after and equalised through Shaun Want in incredible fashion. Here are three things we learned.

Hamilton FC Media Access

Delight for Rice. (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

End-to-end

Raith won their Premier Sports Cup group in impressive style and seemed to take that confidence into this league opener. They looked comfortable even into the later stages of the second half, finding themselves 4-0 up. Then they suddenly fell apart and blew their lead.

Accies show character

Bouncing straight back up to the Premiership after relegation at the first time of asking is never easy. You can just ask Dundee, Dundee United, Hearts and Hibs that. In the first half it looked like Accies were in for a rough day but a few tactical changes at half time turned Accies into a whole new threat.

Ryan the difference

It was a goal and an assist for Accies’ half time substitute and his presence really spurred his side to believe that a comeback was possible.

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