Saturday, 12 April 2014 18:06
We were knocked off the top of the table with this draw in blustery conditions at Livingston. Grant Gillespie was suspended and James Keatings was missing injured. Accies struggled to get going in the first half and had goalkeeper Kevin Cuthbert (left) to thank for keeping them in the game when he made some stunning saves. The Accies cause was certainly helped when Marc McNulty thudded a spot kick off the post with Cuthbert beaten just before the half hour mark.
The game took a dramatic turn in the 52nd minute, just as Accies appeared to be taking control of the game. It came with defender Stephen Hendrie being sent off for his second caution of the match. This gave the home side numerical superiority and they took full advantage in the 62nd minute when Kyle Jacobs scored from close range after our defence failed to clear a corner kick. Accies kept going but found it hard to create decent chances and it was a huge relief when Jason Scotland blasted the ball home from 10 yards with five minutes of normal time remaining. The home team ought to have wrapped up the win towards the end but the Accies defence held firm to grab a priceless point and maintain their good unbeaten run.
Stephen Hendrie will now join Ziggy Gordon on the suspended list for the visit of Alloa Athletic to NDP next weekend. Grant Gillespie is eligible to return next week. Darian MacKinnon will also pick up a suspension after his caution this afternoon.
Livi kicked off in sunny but windy conditions, and forced three corners in the opening minutes. The wind was already having an effect on the game with much of the play being concentrated on the East Stand side. Hendrie found himself receiving a yellow as early as the 4th minute for denying a promising attacking move. Mickael had a chance in the 15th minute after rounding a defender, but could only squeeze his shot into the side netting. Two minutes later MAC released Jason Scotland who held and controlled the ball well before teeing up Ali Crawford whose low drive went past the goalie's right hand post. In the 27th minute Kevin Cuthbert made a superb save from McNulty leading to a Livi corner but a minute later the home side got a penalty after canning fouled Scott, but McNulty's penalty was against the upper post / crossbar junction. Still 0-0.
Canning was next to go into the book for persistently infringing the laws of the game in the 36th minute, before Livi keeper Jamieson blasted the ball wildly over the stand roof when under pressure from MAC. Then Longridge carved out a good chance and shot which the 'keeper parried but MAC couldn't get in to shoot.
In the 49th minute Scott had a shot which flashed past Cuthbert's left hand post before we had a spell of pressure and chances involving Longridge, MAC and MacKinnon. In the 52nd minute we were reduced to ten men when Stephen Finnie - for the second time this season - dismissed Stephen Hendrie for a second caution. On the hour mark Cuthbert showed neat footwork to deny McNulty - always threatening - before Scotland then MacKinnon had half chances. The home team took the lead in the 62nd minute when Kyle Jacobs shot home from close range after a corner on the right, 1-0. We made an immediate change with Andy Ryan coming on for Mickael. Garcia Tena and MacKinnon had been cautioned by this time, and Gordon soon followed them into the book. Jason Scotland fired over from distance in the 79th minute before he equalised with five minutes to go. He swept home a low shot on the right side of the box for a deserved equaliser, 1-1. McNulty again had a last minute chance but Cuthbert was alert to it and held well.
Accies: Cuthbert, Gordon, Hendrie, Canning, Crawford, Longridge, MacKinnon, Andreu, Garcia Tena, Scotland, Antoine Curier (Ryan 64). Unused subs Devlin, Neil, Docherty, Kilday, George, Currie. Ref: Stephen Finnie. Att: 1133
Alex Neil's Post Match Comments
Louis Longridge Interview
Ian McFadyen's Match Pictures