Football: McCulloch misery

Hamilton 0 Dundee 4 Grady 57, pen 83, McCulloch og 38, og 64 Attendance: 1,967
Click to follow
The Independent Online
It was never like this at Ibrox or Upton Park for Sandy Clark. Hamilton's manager watched his side, at present renting dishevelled Cliftonhill, suffer a blow which could affect their dream move back to the Premier League.

Ten years ago, Hamilton were there - even famously knocking Rangers out of the Scottish Cup that same season - but two own goals from Scott McCulloch and a more orthodox double from Dundee's James Grady have cast a cloud over the former Rangers and West Ham striker Clark's current goal.

Grady completed the rout with an 83rd-minute penalty after he had been brought down to complete a good day's work for the leaders over their promotion rivals.

Hamilton are testimony of the perils of being a groundhopper. They are like Brighton, except they win more often, though the clubs are united by Paul McDonald, who started his career here before ending up with the troubled English Third Division team.

Clark's side had been tenants for four seasons since vacating their own Douglas Park, playing first at Firhill in Glasgow and now at Albion Rovers' ground in nearby Coatbridge.

They are waiting on planning permission for a new stadium in their home town, but uncertainty has cast doubts that they will be allowed into the Premier League should they win the title.

Clark had told his players to ignore the politics and concentrate on the points and, indeed, Hamilton had led the table until defeat last week handed Dundee a two-point advantage.

The visitors threatened to increase the gulf in the 10th minute when Grady went to the by-line and delivered a good cross for Brian Irvine who failed to get a vital touch to the ball.

After 38 minutes Dundee did go ahead thanks to a huge slice of luck. Barry Smith's pass opened up the Hamilton defence although Grady's shot was venomous, the vital touch which beat Allan Ferguson was from his own defender, Scott McCulloch.

Twelve minutes after half-time, Russell Kelly sent over a low cross which was dummied by Annand and Grady profited by thundering a left-foot shot high past Ferguson.

Things went from bad to worse for the home side when the unfortunate McCulloch scored his second own-goal of the match in the 64th minute. The defender was a victim of a wicked bounce from Annand's cross and the ball struck his chest and looped over the anguished Ferguson.

Comments