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Hamilton end Aberdeen’s unbeaten run

Alex D'Acol (left)

Alex D’Acol (left) scored an early penalty kick

Aberdeen’s seven-game unbeaten run came to a halt as Hamilton earned a narrow win at New Douglas Park.

The winner was somewhat controversial, with Dons defender Anthony O’Connor adjudged to have fouled Alex D’Acol, with the Brazilian netting the penalty.

Aberdeen dominated large spells but squandered opportunities when presented to O’Connor, Adam Rooney and Andrew Considine inside the area.

The win moves Hamilton into the top six of the Premiership.

The referee Willie Collum wasn’t allowed time to settle into the game. Only five minutes had passed when D’Acol fell backwards inside the penalty area, and Collum felt there was enough in the contact from O’Connor – even though it seemed minimal – to award the spot-kick.

D’Acol’s finish was crisp, and Hamilton were left in a familiar position but looking, again, for a different outcome. Eight times previously this season they had led 1-0 but failed to claim a victory, but the early goal initially worked in their favour.

Aberdeen looked rattled, with O’Connor and Mark Reynolds uncertain on their feet at times, while the attacking play tended to be too hurried, lacking poise. They were more assertive after the break, but accumulated penalty claims rather than clear chances.

The visitors felt there was a pull on Kenny McLean inside the area and then a trip on Shay Logan as he galloped into the box, but Collum wasn’t convinced enough by the merits of either.

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Alex D’Acol (right) watched as his penalty beat Aberdeen goalkeeper Joe Lewis

The home side sensed that there was a hesitancy to try take advantage of in Aberdeen’s start to the game. D’Acol and Eamonn Brophy were willing runners up front, and there was a relentless energy to the central midfield three of Greg Docherty, Darian Mackinnon and Ali Crawford.

Other chances were created, although they tended to be sporadic. D’Acol shot over, Mackinnon saw a effort pushed away and Grant Gillespie’s half-volley was deflected wide by his own player.

After the break, it was resistance that was more critical to Hamilton, and the back three was well screened by the tireless midfielders. Gillespie, though, rifled another effort on target after a cute back heel by Crawford, but the effort was straight at the Aberdeen goalkeeper Joe Lewis.

Hamilton were holding on by the by the end, but they did enough to seal the victory.

Aberdeen need to regroup

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A controversial penalty decision helps Hamilton Academical gain all three points at home to Aberdeen.

The outcome will frustrate Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes, since his side came into the game on a run of six straight victories. He has picked a consistent starting line-up in that time, but the efforts of key players like Rooney, Johnny Hayes and Graeme Shinnie fell just short on this occasion.

There was plenty of spirit and commitment – the team never let up chasing a goal – but it would have felt like one of those nights when Rooney met Hayes’ cross with a header only to see it saved by Hamilton goalkeeper Gary Woods.

McInnes made three changes at once in the second half, sending on Peter Pawlett, Niall McGinn and Miles Storey to add more pace and direct running to the side, but the latter lashed his best opportunity wide on the run. Aberdeen have the squad and the means to recover, but this was a reminder of how competitive the division can be.

Even with the final kick of the ball, Aberdeen might have equalised, but Considine lashed the ball over from close range.

Live Text

Match ends, Hamilton Academical 1, Aberdeen 0.

Second Half ends, Hamilton Academical 1, Aberdeen 0.

Attempt missed. Andrew Considine (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.

Attempt missed. Miles Storey (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Louis Longridge replaces Ali Crawford.

Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ali Crawford (Hamilton Academical).

Foul by Adam Rooney (Aberdeen).

Michael Devlin (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Georgios Sarris (Hamilton Academical).

Attempt missed. Anthony O’Connor (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Georgios Sarris.

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Daniel Redmond replaces Greg Docherty.

Attempt saved. Grant Gillespie (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Greg Docherty (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Greg Docherty (Hamilton Academical).

Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Grant Gillespie (Hamilton Academical).

Substitution, Aberdeen. Peter Pawlett replaces James Maddison.

Substitution, Aberdeen. Miles Storey replaces Mark Reynolds.

Substitution, Aberdeen. Niall McGinn replaces Wes Burns.

Foul by James Maddison (Aberdeen).

Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Gramoz Kurtaj (Hamilton Academical).

Foul by Mark Reynolds (Aberdeen).

Alejandro D’Acol (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Gramoz Kurtaj replaces Eamonn Brophy.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Michael Devlin.

(Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6-second violation by Grant Gillespie (Hamilton Academical).

Attempt missed. Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is just a bit too high.

Attempt saved. Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

Alejandro D’Acol (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Andrew Considine (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Eamonn Brophy (Hamilton Academical).

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Georgios Sarris.