After a couple of days of overcast skies, this match started in bright sunshine and it was the Accies who exerted the early pressure, swinging in a couple of dangerous crosses which were cleared, one of them at the expense of a corner.
A bit of niggle was introduced to the game as early as the 7th minute when Jason Scotland chased a long ball into the box and went down under a challenge from McLaughlin after a tussle. It would have taken Sky Sports’ Andy Gray to analyse it a few times to have worked out what had happened but the referee upset both sets of fans by awarding nothing – Accies fans believing the Trinidad man had made the most of the challenge and the home support convinced they had been robbed of a penalty
Alan McManus was booked on 15 minutes for a foul on Gilhaney, a frustration for Saints fans who had seen a couple of late challenges on Sheridan go unpunished and as the game continued it’s fast early pace, Scotland was denied by Accies keeper Jellema in a one-on-one after the Saints man had burst clear of the visiting rearguard.
Booking number two came in just 20 minutes when Parratt was booked for a foul.
The 25th minute brought a lovely free kick move from Saints (the lead up to which had see Wilson booked for hauling back Scotland who was clear) with Sheridan playing the ball low into Scotland who laid it off to the lurking Steven Milne whose parting effort was blocked by the legs of Jellema.
Saints were starting to knock the ball around well and another move was brought to an abrupt halt when Elebert clattered Steven Milne and became Accies booking number three.
After the bright opening period, the game went through a bit of a lull around the half hour mark during which the Accies created a couple of half-chances.
In 43 minutes Saints had the ball in the net but the linesman correctly, if slightly belatedly, flagged for offside after Hardie touched home Andy Lawrie’s drive from the edge of the box.
Within seconds of the second half starting Saints had a great chance to break the deadlock when Jason Scotland put a delightful low ball into the box and it eluded stretching defender Fleming and fell to Martin Hardie but his shot came off the legs of Jellema and went wide for a corner. At the other end Bryn Halliwell twice had to time punches to perfection to thwart Mark Gilhaney with the Saints goal wide open.
The legs of Accies keeper Raymond Jellema were starting to be a significant feature of this game and they again came to the rescue in 53 minutes when Jason Scotland was released down the inside left channel and his shot was rattled the keepers legs and went over – Simon Mensing rightly less than impressed that Scotland had failed to spot him unmarked.
Derek Young replaced Darren Sheridan in 56 minutes
Goalscoring chances were thin on the ground but there couldn’t have been a better one in 63 minutes when Jellema failed to grasp a Derek Young cross and the ball fell to Hardie just three yards from goal but incredibly his fierce drive managed to hit a defender and arced over although the referee had blown for a free kick, which saved Hardie's blushes to some extent.
Saints were now dominating possession but the old failing of not turning possession and chances into goals were starting to haunt them again.
There was drama in 69 minutes when Alan McManus took a free kick but immediately went down clutching his leg. Accies took possession and drove forward and it was some time before the ball was eventually put out by Steven Milne. A bit of niggle followed, Saints players believing that Accies should have put the ball out of play and it only served to again highlight the need for the game’s authorities to come up with a definitive ruling on the issue. Steven Anderson replaced McManus who was unable to continue.
With 12 minutes to go Peter MacDonald replaced Steven Milne but bar a couple of shots from Scotland, Saints were struggling to come near to grabbing a match-winning goal.
With five minutes to Saints were reduced to ten men for the second game in a row. The incident was sparked when Jason Scotland was hauled back in the middle of the park by Derek Fleming. No doubt the Saints man was frustrated at what was the latest in a long line of fouls committed on him but he was absolutely foolish in raising his elbow at the Accies man as the two walked away and the immediate flag of the nearside assistant could and did have only one outcome.
To make matters worse, from the resultant free kick, Paul Sheerin rattled the base of Jellema’s right hand post.
Another frustrating day at the office for Saints who saw another game in which they dominated fail to bring the three points.
SAINTS: Halliwell, Lawrie, Stanic, Mensing, McManus (Anderson), James, Hardie, Sheridan (Young), Milne (MacDonald), Scotland, Sheerin.
Subs not used: Jackson, Cuthbert
ACCIES: Jellema, Parratt, Fleming, Tunbridge, Elebert, McLaughlin (Thomson), McArthur, Wilson, Offiong (Wake), Neil, Gilhaney.
Subs not used: Payo, Easton, Findlay
Paul Sheerin's late strike hits the post
Marvyn Wilson is about to be booked for this challenge on Jason Scotland