Writer: Tactful Sheik
Date:Tuesday August 12 2008
New Douglas Park, Hamilton
Dundee United`s opening match of the new season ended in a complete anti-climax, as newly promoted Hamilton breezed to a deserved 3-1 victory at New Douglas Park.
Craig Levein`s side were humbled in front of the Setanta TV cameras, as Hamilton dominated the match from almost start to finish and broke down Dundee United`s defence with ridiculous ease.
Hamilton went into the match as relegation favourites, but after such a shocking performance from the visitors, it wouldn`t be a surprise if punters were now placing bets on Dundee United to go down this season.
There might have been suspicions of a hand-ball for Hamilton`s winning goal, but they still deserved all 3 points, no matter how they got them.
Accies actually scored 4 times during the Monday night match, unfortunately for defender Mark McLaughlin the opening goal was into the back of his own net.
Dundee United took an undeserved lead in the 23rd minute, after Willo Flood`s cross was met by the head of McLaughlin.
Warren Feeney, on-loan from Cardiff City, might have put the defender off by leaping for Willo Flood`s cross, but all credit to Hamilton for coming back in such a positive fashion.
It took the home side just 6minutes to equalise, when Anthony Stevenson`s free-kick deflected off Morgaro Gomis`s head and the wicked deflection left goalkeeper Lukasz Zaluska complete stranded.
Then referee Stuart Dougal decided to get his name in the newspapers, by awarding Hamilton a dubious 39th minute free kick after James McCarthy divided right infront of the Scottish whistler.
This time Anthony Stevenson floated a ball to the back-post, where defender Mark McLaughlin made amends for his own goal blunder, by heading back across goal to find James McArthur in space.
James McArthur clearly handled the ball over the line, resulting in most of the United team claiming for hand-ball, but blundering ref Dougal awarded the goal because he mistakenly thought the ball had hit McArthur`s chest.
After going 2-1 infront it was a case of when, not if, Hamilton would score a 3rd, but it didn`t come until the 2nd half, when David Graham secured the victory.
Richard Offiong found space inside penalty box, but slipped before he could take a shot and while United`s defence did nothing, David Graham walked up and placed the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of Zaluska`s net.
nited did have a few chances towards the end of the match, but found Hamilton`s keeper Tomas Cerny in inspired form.
There were a few incidents of diving among the Hamilton players, which was surprising since they seemed to be so in control of the match, and they also managed to trick Stuart Dougal into booking Willo Flood a fair challenge on James McCarthy.
While card-happy Dougal also booked substitute Danny Swanson for a bizarre incident, when the youngster look to have been deliberalty body checked by defender Anthony Stevenson, even though Swanson never even claimed a free-kick for the foul.
Were there any positives for Dundee United.... erm, well, it could have been an even more embarrassing score line and at least they cant play any worse against Celtic next weekend...... can they?!?!?!?
Hamilton 3-1 Dundee United
To see full match stats and team line-ups from this game, click here.
To visit the Vital Football (Hamilton Accies) website, click here.
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Date:Tuesday August 12 2008
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