Kevin Murphy praised his young Accies side as they beat Buchan 2-1 in Maud by staying composed, a far cry from their last trip up to Aberdeenshire reports Colette Carr.
Despite on-loan Lauren McMurchie’s first Hamilton goal being cancelled out by a penalty for the hosts, Carolina Richardson launched Accies back ahead with her late winner, to Accies delight.
Murphy spoke of the controversial penalty decision, but also credited the girls on how they have grown into a more grown up team. He said: “I didn’t think it was a penalty, from where I seen it I was behind the assistant who gave the penalty who was 50 yards away.
“It did strike her arm but her arm was by her side and across, not in an unnatural position. The referee who was only ten yards away could see it and decided not to give it, and the assistant waved his flag, obviously saw something that I don’t think anyone else saw in the ground, so disappointed but it happens in football.
“I’m so happy because we came up here the last time and obviously were defeated in dramatic fashion, so really pleased. I saw a glimpse of the last game in my head, and that’s always a fear, and after they got their penalty it gave them a lift and we lost our way a bit, but this time we showed a bit of maturity and showed our togetherness and I’m really pleased that these young players are now starting to develop into young adults and these football players that I know they can be.”
Accies dominated early, and after opening chances, Lynsey Hogg sent her free-kick on the 20th minute into the box, but nobody could finish. Four minutes later Gillian Sloey came close to putting Accies ahead, but she couldn’t get her shot over keeper Flaherty.
The half hour mark brought the opening goal, as McMurchie found the net for her first Accies goal after being fed in by Richardson.
Ten minutes before the break, McMurchie’s forty yard free-kick nearly saw McCulloch head away, but her effort was off target.
Buchan then tried to make use of a free-kick in a good position, but Megan Cunningham was well placed to deny.
Accies had a wake-up call at 53 minutes as Buchan sent a great distance shot to edge just over the crossbar.
There was a close shave for Accies again on the 61st as Cunningham left her six yard box to chase down the forward, who sent a spinning ball just past the goal.
Hamilton then found themselves conceding a penalty, after the ball made contact with Hogg’s lower arm, and Buchan placed a strike beyond Cunningham on the 70th to bring the game to level terms.
Richardson nearly bagged Accies’ second five minutes later as she controlled well to turn but her volley was well held.
Ten minutes before time, Gillian Inglis had to leave the pitch after a challenge out on the left saw studs connect with her ankle, Hogg taking the free-kick, with nothing coming of it.
Two minutes before time, Hamilton hit the roof as Richardson broke through to find herself in the middle and calmly put it home, to allow Accies to travel back down with all three points.