Hamilton Academical’s Scottish Premiership relegation worries increased after a home defeat by Dundee United.
Marc McNulty was gifted an early opener and goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist made several good stops to keep the visitors in front.
Accies are now two points adrift at the foot of the table with relegation rivals Kilmarnock and Ross County drawing in Ayrshire.
Dundee United move into seventh place.
The hosts had 27 shots on goal, but Brian Rice’s men could not find a leveller, with their winless run extended to eight games with just four left to play.
The Hamilton head coach was left to rue a freak accident that may rule first-choice goalkeeper Ryan Fulton out for the rest of the season this week. Kyle Gourlay started for the sixth time this season in his place but it was his mistake that led to the only goal.
A poor goal-kick rolled out to Jeando Fuchs, the midfielder teeing up McNulty for a simple finish six minutes in.
Aside from the goal, the home side made a bright start. Scott McMann had two chances with his first smartly saved by Siegrist after a Mark Reynolds deflection while a follow-up was beaten away by the Swiss keeper.
McMann was left cursing Siegrist again as the left-back tried his luck from 25 yards out, but the Dundee United goalkeeper did enough to parry safely.
The United keeper was kept busy throughout. Hakeem Odoffin, Kyle Munro and McMann all had good opportunities and Callachan missed the best of them, his lob from two yards landing on the roof of the net. That was before Ronan Hughes and Munro both missed further chances.
Hamilton continued to squander multiple openings to get back on level terms as United held on. The home attacks had calmed later in the match but Siegrist was still called upon on occasion, first to tip Odoffin’s shot from outside the box by the post before he had to be mindful as Bruce Anderson’s shot flew over the bar.
Man of the Match – Benjamin Siegrist
What did they say?
Hamilton Academical head coach Brian Rice: “I am scratching my head as to how we didn’t win the match. It’s the best performance of the season from us by a long way, especially at home. We lost a sloppy goal but we responded fantastically.
“Some of the play was outstanding and I have a group of gutted lads in there. But there are a lot of positives to take. We couldn’t put the ball in the net but I couldn’t ask more from that. But we need to win games.”
Dundee United manager Micky Mellon: “We could’ve been better with the ball. We had seven chances we should have scored from. But it’s a difficult place to come.
“We will continue to drive the players on. It’s another valuable three points. At Dundee United you’re expected to win every game. That’s the ask and the drive of the fanbase and ourselves.”
Hamilton now have a 10-day wait until their next match, a home Lanarkshire derby with Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership. Dundee United travel to Forfar Athletic in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup next Friday (19:45 BST).
- 16MartinBooked at 75mins
- 5EastonSubstituted forSmithat 79′minutes
- 17RobsonBooked at 70mins
- 66FuchsSubstituted forHotiat 71′minutes
- 23HarkesSubstituted forPawlettat 57′minutes
- 3SpörleSubstituted forClarkat 57′minutes
- 9McNultyBooked at 75mins
- 24ShanklandSubstituted forAppéréat 84′minutes
Match ends, Hamilton Academical 0, Dundee United 1.
Second Half ends, Hamilton Academical 0, Dundee United 1.
Foul by Louis Appéré (Dundee United).
Aaron Martin (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Offside, Hamilton Academical. Kyle Munro tries a through ball, but Bruce Anderson is caught offside.
Attempt blocked. Nicky Clark (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Marc McNulty.
Attempt saved. Nicky Clark (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Louis Appéré.
Attempt saved. Kyle Munro (Hamilton Academical) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Ross Callachan.
Attempt saved. Louis Appéré (Dundee United) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Florent Hoti.
Marc McNulty (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Aaron Martin (Hamilton Academical).
Attempt blocked. Calum Butcher (Dundee United) header from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Peter Pawlett with a cross.
Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Hakeem Odoffin.
Substitution, Dundee United. Louis Appéré replaces Lawrence Shankland.
Peter Pawlett (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Scott McMann (Hamilton Academical).
Florent Hoti (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ronan Hughes (Hamilton Academical).
Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Callum Smith replaces Brian Easton.
Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Brian Easton.