Hamilton secure Premiership status with victory over St Johnstone

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Hamilton secured their Ladbrokes Premiership status for a record sixth season with a 2-0 home win over St Johnstone.

Hamilton secured their Ladbrokes Premiership status for a record sixth season with a 2-0 home win over St Johnstone.

Accies, who started the final day of the league season one point ahead of second-bottomSt Mirren, took the lead in the 11th minute whendefender Ziggy Gordon squeezed in the opener from close range following a corner.

Attacker Steve Davies doubled the lead in the 59th minute with a drive and althoughSt Mirren beat already-relegated Dundee 3-2 at Dens Park it was rendered irrelevant.

While Brian Rice’s side begin their summer holidays, the Buddies will start preparing to play Dundee United in the first leg of their relegation play-off at Tannadice on Thursday before the second leg in Paisley on Sunday.

Accies knew victory would keep them safe.

Following the 2-0 defeat by St Mirren on Monday night, and with Alex Gogic suspended, Rice brought back defenders Lenny Sowah and Shaun Want and Davies.

Former Hamilton defender Brian Easton made his first appearance for Saints since December 2017, after recovering from a groin injury whileRoss Callachan, Danny Swanson and Callum Hendry were reinstated.

St Johnstone, who had already wrapped up seventh place, survived a couple of early scares before they fell behind.

In the ninth minute midfielder Tony Andreu headed a Scott McMann cross onto the roof of the net from eight yards before Saints keeper Zander Clark saved a close-range header from Aaron McGowan.

From the resulting Andreu corner, the ball bobbled around the box before Gordon turned and knocked it over the line from around four yards.

Little more of note happened until the half hour mark when Saints almost levelled.

Midfielder David Wotherspoon took a pass from Richard Foster before firing in a left-footed drive from 16 yards only to see McGowan block the shot to safety almost on the goal line.

The visitors looked even more purposeful at the start of thesecond half but contributed to their own downfall for Accies’ second goal.

Poor defending allowed Davies to pounce on a loose ball at the edge of the box and fire low past Clark and into the corner of the net.

That goal eased Hamilton nerves but the Perth side did come close again in the 75th minute when Wotherspoon’s lobbed shot from the edge of the box just cleared the bar.

Oliver Hamilton, 17, came on to make his Saints debut for Swanson in the 83rd minute.

Andreu had a free-kick well saved by Clark in the closing stages and Accies once again were able to celebrate another season in the top flight.

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