Match report: Frustration as Aberdeen held 2-2 at Hamilton Accies

Kari Arnason.

Aberdeen lost ground on Premiership leaders Celtic as they were held 2-2 away to Hamilton Academical in a dramatic clash.

The Dons had to fight back from behind on the artificial surface at the SuperSeal and were 2-1 up courtesy of goals from Greg Stewart and Kari Arnason.

However, their lead lasted only a minute as battling Accies hit back against the Reds, who now trail Premiership leaders Celtic by three points.

Whether this is Derek McInnes’ last hurrah as Aberdeen boss remains to be seen, as he is top of Rangers wishlist to succeed Pedro Caixinha.

There has been no approach to Aberdeen from the Ibrox club regarding McInnes, who is contracted to Pittodrie until 2020.

Since Hamilton came back into the top flight in 2014-15, the Dons had won just once in five league games on their artificial surface

A 1-0 League Cup win at the ground brought some respite from the gloom of visiting Hamilton – but it returned today as the Reds slipped three points behind league leaders Celtic.

The artificial pitch at Hamilton’s SuperSeal was a source of frustration for the Dons last season as they inexplicably lost both Premiership games at the stadium.

There was some joy with a 1-0 at Hamilton in the League Cup earlier this season, but it is a stadium that has not been a happy hunting ground for the Reds in recent years.

Aberdeen made one change to the side that defeated Ross County 2-1 at Pittodrie last weekend with Gary Mackay-Steven coming in for Scott Wright.

The first opportunity fell to Aberdeen as a poor clearance from defence was collected by Ryan Christie 25 yards out.

The on-loan Celtic attacker sliced his effort well wide in the seventh minute.

It was the only action of a dire opening period until Hamilton grabbed the opener from a free-kick in the 19th minute.

Scott McKenna fouled Darian Mackinnon 22 yards out and Dougie IMRIE drilled home a super free kick beyond keeper Joe Lewis.

The defensive wall completely disintegrated  to leave Lewis badly exposed.

Aberdeen were on the back-foot and David Templeton raced onto a through ball in the 23rd minute. Keeper Lewis raced to block his attempted lob just inside the box.

The Dons defence was again posted AWOL when Templeton was found completely unmarked 15 yards out and he wasted a glorious chance by blazing wide.

It was a costly miss as the Dons were level in the 26th minute when Graeme Shinnie found Greg STEWART with a perfectly judged through ball as he attacker did not have to break his stride.

The on-loan Birmingham City attacker held his cool as keeper Gary Woods raced from his goal to brilliantly dink an effort over him and into goal.

The game opened up and Lewis had to block a low shot from Mackinnon in the 36th minute and then a glancing header from Antonio Rojano minutes later.

Icelandic international Kari Arnason headed inches over at the near post when connecting with an inswinging Stevie May corner as the first half ticked down.

In the 50th minute Gary Mackay-Steven burst down the right wing and flashed a cross deep into the box. May connected but his 15-yard glancing header went wide.

 

 

 

 

Hamilton came close to grabbing the lead near the hour mark when they raced upfield at pace on the counter-attack from an Aberdeen corner.

With the Reds back-line struggling to regroup, Darian Mackinnon drilled a low shot from the edge of the box inches wide of the far post.

Moments later, keeper Woods blocked an effort from Stewart.

Aberdeen went ahead in the 73rd minute courtesy of a superb delivery from a corner by May.

Icelandic international ARNASON raced into the area to meet the ball with real venom and his powerful six=yard header bounced on the ground and beyond keeper Woods.

It sparked chants of “oh Derek McInnes” from the travelling Red Army, desperate for the manager to remain at Aberdeen if Rangers come calling.

Within a minute Accies were back on level terms in a dramatic game, when TEMPLETON unleashed a low left-footed shot across goal and beyond Lewis.

Aberdeen pushed on looking for a late winner but could not break down Accies.

Teams:

Aberdeen: Lewis, Logan, Shinnie, O’Connor, McLean, Stewart, Mackay-Steven, Arnason, McKenna, Christie, May.

Subs: Rooney (for Mackay-Steven 79), Maynard (for May 88).

Subs not used: Rogers, Considine, Reynolds,  Wright, Tansey.

Hamilton: Woods, Skondras, McMann, Tomas, Imrie, Docherty, Gogic, Templeton, Mackinnon, Rojano, Lyon.

Subs: Redmond (for Lyon 74), Bingham (for Rojano 79), Boyd (for Templeton 85).

Subs not used: Jamieson, Biabi, Ferguson, Cunningham, Boyd.

Referee: Nick Walsh

 

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