Dundee Utd 2-2 Hamilton: Match Report – view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.
Accies hit top spot
Hamilton moved to the top of the Scottish Premiership on goal difference thanks to a hard-fought 2-2 draw at Dundee United that saw both sides finish with 10 men.
Alex Neil’s side leapfrogged Inverness who lost at Partick Thistle to make the Lanarkshire side the early-season leaders, with one goal more than Caley Thistle.
Nadir Ciftci, who was later to see red, put United ahead after 17 minutes before Mickael Antoine-Curier equalised 11 minutes later.
Hamilton’s Darian MacKinnon was sent off moments later, only for Anthony Andreu to fire Hamilton in front after 34 minutes with the aid of some poor goalkeeping from home number one Radoslaw Cierzniak.
Ciftci was ordered off five minutes before the interval and United’s Polish defender Jaroslaw Fojut then popped up to power home a header to make it all even on the stroke of half-time.
United threatened first after eight minutes when Ciftci’s powerful shot from just inside the box was parried by visiting goalkeeper Michael McGovern.
Keith Watson attempted to head home the rebound at the far post, but Hamilton captain Martin Canning got there first to head clear the danger.
But the hosts did not have to wait too much longer to find the net as they went ahead after 17 minutes.
Mario Bilate’s quick throw-in caught the Hamilton defence napping and Ciftci raced into the box with the ball at his feet.
The Turkish player brushed aside two Hamilton defenders before cutting into the six-yard box where he calmly slotted past the advancing McGovern and into the bottom corner of the net.
United defender Callum Morris then took a fresh air swipe at Imrie’s mis-hit shot, allowing Antoine-Curier to pounce on the mistake and he lashed the ball home past Cierzniak from 10 yards.
But Hamilton’s celebrations were cut short when MacKinnon was then sent off for a second yellow-card offence.
Having been booked a minute earlier for a tussle with Ciftci, MacKinnon was given his marching orders by referee John Beaton for aiming some verbal abuse at the home dug-out following their equaliser.
Despite being down to 10 men, Hamilton still went ahead after 33 minutes.
Andreu picked up a pass from Antoine-Curier 25 yards from goal, and could not believe his luck as his effort was helped on its way into the net by Cierzniak who allowed the ball to squirm under his body.
United were reduced in number when Ciftci was dismissed for a second bookable offence, as he deliberately punched the ball in from close range with his hand in an attempt to make it 2-2.
But Fojut levelled for the hosts right on the stroke of half-time with a towering header into the top corner from Gary Mackay-Steven’s corner, leaving McGovern helpless.
The match calmed down a little after the break although Hamilton did go close to going back in front after 55 minutes.
Alister Crawford got the better of United midfielder Paul Paton before firing in a shot which Cierzniak was relieved to see clear his near post.
Crawford was involved again after 71 minutes as he forced Cierzniak into a reflex save. The Polish goalkeeper had raced off his line in an effort to help his defence but found himself in no-man’s land.
In the dying minutes, Hamilton skipper Martin Canning’s header went just inches over the bar from Crawford’s corner as United breathed a sigh of relief.