A late goal from the penalty spot by James Chambers was enough to defeat Partick Thistle as Hamilton Accies progressed to the third round of the Ramsdens Cup on Tuesday night.
The Accies enjoyed the majority of possession but were unable to make their chances count until a controversial penalty decision given by referee by Craig Thomson sealed the win for the home side.
Accies started brightly but Thistle created the first real chance of the game, with David Rowson’s long shot drifting over the bar.
On the 22nd minute Lee Kilday had an opportunity to give Hamilton the lead after meeting a McLaren corner at the far post however his header went wide.
Moments later Derek Lyle almost gave the home side the lead when he received a lovely cross from David Hopkirk but Partick goalkeeper Scott Fox was on hand to deny the former Jags player.
Accies were looking dangerous from set pieces and were forcing the majority of Partick’s efforts to come from long-range.
The best chance of the first half fell to Simon Mensing for Hamilton on the stroke of half time when the ball fell to his feet following a corner kick however the versatile Englishman blasted the ball over the bar.
After the interval Hamilton introduced Ali Crawford into the game, replacing David Hopkirk who had picked up a slight knock.
Partick should have taken the lead on the 55th minute when Chris Erskine broke through on goal but Kilday made a fantastic last-ditch tackle to deny the visitors and Hamilton could breathe a sigh of relief.
The Thistle forward looked like he should have pulled the trigger earlier and will be disappointed not to have hit the target.
On the hour mark Grant Gillespie had a shot tipped over the bar after some good build-up play by Hamilton.
The Accies were denied a goal soon after when Mensing’s powerful header from a McLaren corner crashed off the post and bounced clear.
Jags boss Jackie McNamara brought on Kris Doolan to replace Martin Grehan and the striker made an immediate impact when his shot from the edge of the area was cleared off the line by James Chambers.
With 20 minutes remaining Hamilton through caution to the wind and introduced Dougie Imrie and Grant Anderson, and the Accies now appeared to be far more dangerous in attack.
The gamble soon paid off as Johnny Lindsay was judged to have pushed Imrie inside the box and Hamilton were awarded a penalty with just under five minutes left on the clock.
However there appeared to be minimal contact between the two players and the Thistle fans were less than impressed with the decision.
Chambers stepped up for the Accies and calmly slotted the ball past Fox to give Hamilton the win and book their place in the third round of the Ramsdens Cup.
Report by Andy Alston