Hamilton 1-1 Dundee United: Hakeem Odoffin rescues point for Accies
Brian Rice delighted with his squad’s resilience after Lawrence Shankland goal cancelled out
Hamilton head coach Brian Rice hailed the spirit of his team as they came from behind against Dundee United to earn their first home point of the Premiership campaign.
Dundee United were on course to clinch a win which would have elevated them to fourth place in the table following Lawrence Shankland’s fourth-minute opener.
However, with 15 minutes remaining, Hamilton drew level as defender Hakeem Odoffin notched his third league goal in five games to seal a 1-1 draw.
Odoffin’s header lifted Hamilton to tenth and Rice was delighted with the character his side displayed.
“That’s three early goals we’ve lost in the last three games, but they are never beat. They will keep going,” Rice said. “I think it’s because of the spirit. We’ve not scored a lot of goals but we are a goal threat in there – we’ve missed a few chances today as well.
“That’s the best thing when you go home on a Saturday night – have you moved up in the league? That’s the aim, to keep moving up.
“We know where we’d love to be but I never look too far ahead. The spirit and energy they show is demanded here and I think it’s the group I’ve got, with the young boys and good quality older lads. It’s a good blend.
“There’s not a lot between all the teams outside the Old Firm. Hibs are doing fantastically well at the minute too and I must mention them.”
Rice was delighted for Odoffin as he maintained his impressive scoring streak.
He said: “It is brilliant for the boy. He had never scored a first-team goal and he has got himself three now. I am delighted for him.”
The equaliser came when David Templeton swung in a free-kick, after Ryan Edwards had fouled Marios Ogkmpoe. The ball reached the far post area where Odoffin stooped down to guide a diving header beyond Benjamin Siegrist and notch Accies’ first goal at their own patch this season.
The visitors had taken just four minutes to break the deadlock. While Shankland’s goal against St Mirren last week was a spectacular effort, this was a far more routine finish after some fine build-up play.
Logan Chalmers burst down the right flank and his cross was collected by Adrian Sporle. His route to goal was blocked but his cut-back was perfect for Shankland to finish off from close range.
Chalmers should have doubled Dundee United’s lead in the 16th minute when he was played in by Clark but he blazed high over the crossbar.
Tunde Owolabi spurned a glorious chance to draw Hamilton level on his first start for the club since joining from FC United of Manchester. Kyle Munro sent in a wonderful cross but the unmarked striker glanced his header wide.
United manager Micky Mellon was frustrated his side did not capitalise on their early lead and reckons they need to be more clinical.
The Tannadice outfit created good chances to stretch their advantage but these were spurned by Nicky Clark and Logan Chalmers.
Mellon said: “I’m frustrated as we did have some clear-cut chances and, on another day, if you got one of them you would be expecting to take them.
“That’s not a criticism but when you’re 1-0 up at Hamilton and get those opportunities you must take them as they are a constant threat with their direct play.
“I’m frustrated we didn’t get the second goal but to create that many chances at a tough place like Hamilton you have to look at the positives.
“On another day we could have been more clinical, but we’ll respect the point and respect Hamilton.
“We weren’t quite capable of finishing off the opportunities to take another three points, but it’s another point on the road and keeps us ticking over.”
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