2017-18 Scottish Premier League, Regular Season
  • Dougie Imrie (56' PEN)
  • David Templeton (67')

Hamilton pull away from relegation danger with win over Ross County

Hamilton gave themselves breathing space in the fight against relegation with a crucial 2-0 win over Ross County at the SuperSeal Stadium.
Just three points separated the teams in the bottom three before the match, but it was Accies who pulled away from trouble to leave Ross County adrift of safety at the bottom.
Following a nervy opening period, Dougie Imrie netted the opener from the penalty spot after Bobby Madden penalised Marcus Fraser for a pull in the box before David Templeton doubled the lead shortly afterwards.
There were real concerns before kick-off that Hamilton were being dragged back into the fight at the bottom after a run of six successive defeats, but they displayed their familiar knack for picking up results when they most need them - despite not being at their best.
It was a fiery start to the game, with tackles flying in from both sides in the early stages.
Darian MacKinnon was perhaps fortunate to only see yellow after just 20 seconds when a high foot made contact with Jamie Lindsay, who needed prolonged treatment before rejoining the action.
The delay, so soon after kick-off, made it a subdued start on and off the pitch and there was little quality in terms of play to get the fans off their seats.
Templeton, the best player on the pitch throughout, continued to find space on the left and cut inside before curling narrowly wide of the far post shortly after Alex Schalk had hit one straight at Gary Woods at the other end.
Lindsay had the best chance of a dire first period when he headed Alex Schalk's deflected shot towards the bottom corner, but Woods got down well to send the teams in level.
The opening goal came out of the blue as Madden pointed to the spot following a Templeton corner, with replays showing Fraser had hold of Lewis Ferguson's shirt.
Imrie kept his cool to slot in the penalty, and from there, Hamilton saw the game out comfortably.
The introduction of Danny Redmond off the bench brought more fluency to Accies' attacking game, and it was he who unlocked the County defence to give the hosts a valuable second.
The visitors thought they had cleared the ball but Redmond's first-time ball split the defence and found Templeton onside, and he showed his class to smash the ball into the back of the net for his fifth goal in eight games.
From there the Staggies had no choice but to go all out, but they created little of note to worry the home defence, who held on to go five points clear of the bottom two with just three games to play.