Ayr Utd 1, Hamilton 1: Lackluster Accies held in a draw by a strong Ayr team
Hamilton was forced to settle for a point when Ayr United returned to take a point in icy Somerset park – but the Honest Men could have taken all three.
Accies took the lead thanks to Lewis Smith after David Moyo’s powerful header was blocked tight but it was against the run of the game with Ayr’s Tomi Adeloye forcing a good save from Joe Hilton before hitting the bar .
The former East Kilbride and Barnet hitman was a threat throughout and almost equalized just before the break but scored his goal three minutes into the second half and had no chance not to give United the advantage.
Hamilton got off to a good start in the first half but Ayr United grabbed it and nearly took the lead twice in one minute as Tomi Adeloye first forced a superb save from Joe Hilton to deny his header, then hit the bar with a powerful shot.
Hamilton came back into the game and had a few chances, but it was slightly off course when they took the lead thanks to Lewis Smith, slamming the rebound when David Moyo’s header was saved.
Adeloye let pass another great opportunity to equalize just before the break when he sort of shoved his lines at close range after being selected by Michael Moffat’s cut-back.
Ayr equalized within three minutes of the restart, with Adeloye at the left post, and the forward could have given them the lead.
And the submarine Cameron Salkeld almost clinched a winner with a low shot that was deflected a few inches.
Ayr United boss Jim Duffy has made two changes from the squad that drew Morton last weekend. Adeloye and Markus Fjortoft replaced Jon Afolabi and Jack Baird.
His Hamilton counterpart, Stuart Taylor, has remained confident in the same side that beat Dunfermline 1-0 last time around.
Hamilton attacked from the kick-off and forced a corner in the first minute, with Scott Martin’s header deflected wide.
Lewis Smith’s cross was greeted by a fierce header from Moyo who was blocked, Martin’s header tracking taken comfortably by Charlie Albinson.
Ayr’s James Maxwell was sent down the right until he was knocked down by Kieran MacDonald, with Pat Reading’s free kick off the wall in 10 minutes and Mihai Popescu in need of treatment.
The hosts nearly took the lead in 12 minutes from a right corner cleverly led by Adeloye, but slapped over the bar by Joe Hilton.
Adeloye was trying to prove a point and sent a shot crashing under the bar of a Daire O’Connor set up shortly after.
Hamilton returned to the game and a center pushed from Josh Mullin was greeted by Moyo but deflected the left post in 18 minutes.
Marley Redfern had a practice run in 22 minutes, but sent the shot past the corner of the right post.
Six minutes later, Ayr’s Moffat ran to the left and checked on his right foot, but his curling effort was blocked.
Accies took the lead in 39 minutes when MacDonald’s cross was greeted by a powerful Moyo header which Albinson did well to block, but was unable to do anything as Lewis Smith scored his fourth goal of the season .
Hamilton finished the half strong and only a good clearance prevented Reegan Mimnaugh’s free kick from the right from being cut at the back post by Moyo.
But Ayr missed an incredible chance of his own inside downtime when Moffat ran to the left and his cut hit Adeloye, but the forward didn’t connect enough and Hilton was able to save.
But Adeloye scored his goal three minutes into the second half, heading for Jordan Houston’s cross to equalize Ayr.
Mullin should have given Hamilton the lead two minutes later, but sent his low shot that passed the left post 20 yards.
Moyo chased a free ball in 55 minutes and picked Brian Easton, who met his shot in the run, but flew over the upper right corner.
Adeloye found himself on goal again in 64 minutes, but saw his low shot deflected from the post by Hilton at the right post.
Sub Cameron Salkeld sent a shot a few inches from the right post, via a deflection, in 85 minutes as Ayr searched for a winner.
Salkeld’s teammate Joe Chalmers had a chance with a free kick in 87 minutes, but missed it well.
AYR UTD: Albinson, Houston, Fjortoft, McGinty, Reading, Maxwell, Murdoch, McAllister (Chalmers, 80), O’Connor (Salkeld, 80), Mofat (Bradley, 69), Adeloye.
Substitutes (not used): Miller (GK), McKenzie, Afolabi, Ecrepont.
HAMILTON: Hilton, Hamilton (Hughes, 83), Popescui, Easton, MacDonald, Mimnaugh, L. Smith, Martin (Virtanen, 65), Mullin, Redfern (Ryan, 71), Moyo.
Subtitles (not used): J. Smith (GK), Winter, Munro, Shiels.
Reserved: – Moyo (58) z, Virtanen (86)
Referee: Craig Napier.