It was a Yuletide tale of missed opportunity for Hamilton on a wet Boxing Day at New Douglas Park. In a match that was pretty evenly contested, Accies were by far the more creative of the two sides but simply lacked the ability to pull the trigger in front of goal.
It came back to bite the home side when Killie midfielder Tope Obadeyi received more than his fair share of luck, when he put past Michael McGovern on 68 minutes. For all their problems up front, if lady luck had shone more kindly on Hamilton, they may have netted three times themselves.
Straight from the off, Ali Crawford chanced a speculative lob from the halfway line, but the Killie keeper was wise to it and saved easily. Despite Accies early domination, Kilmarnock went close after Kiltie picked up a loose clearance and crossed in for Magennis to put a metre high of the crossbar.
Ali Crawford then sent a ball in deep, it was cleared but Accies retained possession with everyone seeming to have a touch in and around the box, but with no takers for a shot. Crawford then sent a corner to the back post, Tagliapietra headed just wide of the back post.
A Darian MacKinnon ball forward to Crawford set off a pacey Accies break, sending wide for Imrie who cut through the Killie back line with a ball to Longridge. Unfortunately, his first touch took him to the wrong side of Balatoni, when he cut back inside to shoot, it deflected off the defender.
Greg Kiltie played the ball wide for Magennis, who cut inside and managed to stumble between two Accies defenders and shoot from eight yards, McGovern came off his line and saved for a corner. Accies then had a great chance when Morris played inside for Crawford who then laid on for Imrie, his eight-yard strike was headed off the line by Balatoni.
At the start of the second half, Hamilton went close when Ziggy Gordon sent the ball deep toward the back post, MacKinnon ran in and headed on goal, but MacDonald saved. Killie went up field, the ball was played into the Accies box for Magennis to volley on goal, McGovern was at his best to tip over the crossbar.
Killie then scored against the run of play, Magennis crossed to the back post, Obadeyi drove the ball into the ground and it looped over the head of McGovern from eight yards. Shortly afterwards, Magennis done well to get onto the end of a ball and head wide of the Hamilton post.
Ali Crawford was taken out by Smith, thirty yards from the Kilmarnock goal. Imrie sent the free kick toward the back post, Ziggy Gordon won the race to the ball and headed on goal from six yards, but MacDonald got down to make the save and out for a corner kick.
Magennis curled a twenty yard shot away from the Hamilton goal before the visitors almost went two up. Kiltie ran toward the Hamilton penalty area and a packed defence, played a one-two with Frizzell and then found himself in space, he struck from ten yards but was denied by the magnificent McGovern.
A rally before full time saw substitute Eamonn Brophy go close on two occasions, his first was a six-yard header that MacDonald was able to smother. The second was a close range strike from a Redmond corner kick, unfortunately, it struck a body in front of goal before being cleared to safety.
Martin Canning said afterwards “It was strange again, but I hate sitting here and saying the same thing, I thought we deserved to win the game and that we done enough to win the game, we’re not putting the ball in the back of the net and that is a bit of a worry, a wee bit of an issue.”
Jubilant Killie boss Gary Locke said: “That’s the response that we’re looking for, I just hope that we can now show it on a more consistent basis. “It’s been our story of the season, with one week to the next, it’s so up and down it’s not true, we got a great response today.”
Accies: McGovern, Gordon, Kurakins, Gillespie, Imrie (Redmond 80), Crawford, Morris, Longridge (Brophy 73), MacKinnon, Garcia Tena, Tagliapietra (Sendles-White 57). Subs Unused: Martin, Docherty, Nade, Boyd.
Kilmarnock: MacDonald, Smith, Findlay, O’Hara, Obadeyi, Slater, McHattie, Kiltie (Carrick 97), Balatoni, Magennis, Frizzell (Splaine 93). Subs Unused: Ridgers, Boyd, Ashcroft, Syme, McLean.