Hamilton Academical 1-1 Rangers: Late Ross Callachan goal earns Accies draw

- in World News
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Borna Barisic's cross deflects off Brian Easton (second left) to give Rangers a late lead
Borna Barisic’s cross deflects off Brian Easton (second left) to give Rangers a late lead

A 94th-minute Ross Callachan goal earned bottom side Hamilton Academical a surprise draw against Scottish Premiership leaders Rangers.

A Brian Easton own goal looked like it would give Rangers the points after visiting goalkeeper Allan McGregor had pulled off a string of saves.

Callachan, Bruce Anderson and Scott McMann were all thwarted in an uncomfortable 90 minutes for Rangers.

But with the last act of the game, Callachan scored from close range.

It means Rangers – who remain unbeaten in the league – now have a 21-point lead at the summit.

Hamilton stay bottom but have narrowed the gap on second-bottom Ross County to three points, and have two games in hand.

A whole league table and 56 points may have separated the two, but Hamilton gave as good as they got against the Premiership leaders.

Ianis Hagi and Joe Aribo put efforts wide from long distance for Rangers, and Connor Goldson had a looping header saved, but that was as close as Steven Gerrard’s side got in a lacklustre first half.

Instead, the best chances fell to the hosts. Anderson played a one-two with Marios Ogkmpoe and sliced a deflected shot just wide. Then McGregor had to be alert when Anderson – on loan from Aberdeen – robbed Filip Helander on the edge of the box.

James Tavernier put a free-kick over just before the break, and Ryan Kent hit the side netting just after it as Rangers tried to go up a gear.

But then McGregor had to make a huge double save to keep Hamilton out, denying McMann and Callachan’s efforts from inside the area.

Hamilton kept pushing, and Anderson drove a low shot at goal which McGregor again blocked.

Ryan Jack’s introduction helped Rangers get more of a foothold in midfield and Kent’s low drive through a ruck of bodies skimmed the far post.

But back came the home side. Callachan’s free-kick was pushed away by McGregor before Rangers broke the deadlock at the other end as Borna Barisic’s cross from the right bounced in off Easton.

It looked like it would be heartbreak for the relegation strugglers but, deep into injury time, McGregor clawed away an Anderson header and Callachan was first to the rebound to fire home.

Man of the match – Bruce Anderson

Allan McGregor saves from Bruce Anderson
The on-loan Aberdeen striker forced McGregor into three fine saves, one of which led to Hamilton’s equaliser, while he was a constant threat throughout the match

What did we learn?

With such a handsome lead at the top of the Premiership, Rangers can afford an off day. But four of their past seven games have been won by just a single goal, and they have dropped points in two.

Recently, they have begun to look more vulnerable and, while it probably won’t hurt their title bid, it may concern Gerrard with the Europa League tie with Royal Antwerp coming up.

Hamilton were nine minutes away from victory – before losing – in midweek but paid the price for missed chances. They were up for the battle with Rangers and their late goal earns what could be a crucial point before a difficult run of fixtures.

Three of their next four games are against top-six opposition, and their next four games are away from home, as they fight for survival.

What did they say?

Hamilton Academical head coach Brian Rice: “I’m proud, not just of the result but the manner of the play. I thought the boys were absolutely outstanding.

“The message was to start the game like we mean it. They showed belief in each other.”

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard: “I’m actually relieved to go away from this game with a point. We nearly won ugly, got a smash and grab, but we need to be better than that. We just weren’t at the races.

There’s so much for me to look through, and for me as well. Maybe I left too much quality and personality on the sidelines because we looked better when the subs came on.”

What’s next?

Hamilton travel to Livingston on Wednesday (18:00 GMT), while Rangers are next in action on Saturday when they host Kilmarnock (15:00).

Player of the match

HamiltonJamie Hamilton

Hamilton Academical

  1. Squad number6Player nameHamilton

  2. Squad number34Player nameCallachan

  3. Squad number27Player nameHodson

  4. Squad number7Player nameAnderson

  5. Squad number3Player nameMcMann

  6. Squad number5Player nameEaston

  7. Squad number16Player nameMartin

  8. Squad number2Player nameOdoffin

  9. Squad number14Player nameTrafford

  10. Squad number9Player nameOgkmpoe

  11. Squad number23Player nameFulton

  12. Squad number15Player nameHughes

Rangers

  1. Squad number1Player nameMcGregor

  2. Squad number10Player nameDavis

  3. Squad number8Player nameJack

  4. Squad number31Player nameBarisic

  5. Squad number6Player nameGoldson

  6. Squad number14Player nameKent

  7. Squad number23Player nameWright

  8. Squad number2Player nameTavernier

  9. Squad number11Player nameItten

  10. Squad number7Player nameHagi

  11. Squad number18Player nameKamara

  12. Squad number17Player nameAribo

  13. Squad number25Player nameRoofe

  14. Squad number5Player nameHelander

  15. Squad number15Player nameZungu

Line-ups

Hamilton

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 23Fulton
  • 6Hamilton
  • 16Martin
  • 5Easton
  • 27Hodson
  • 2Odoffin
  • 14TraffordSubstituted forHughesat 72′minutes
  • 3McMann
  • 34CallachanBooked at 1mins
  • 7Anderson
  • 9Ogkmpoe

Substitutes

  • 15Hughes
  • 17Stanger
  • 18Mimnaugh
  • 19Winter
  • 20Moyo
  • 21Munro
  • 22Gourlay
  • 25Slaven
  • 32Smith

Rangers

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1McGregor
  • 2Tavernier
  • 6Goldson
  • 5HelanderBooked at 76mins
  • 31Barisic
  • 17Aribo
  • 15ZunguSubstituted forJackat 60′minutes
  • 18KamaraSubstituted forDavisat 78′minutes
  • 7HagiSubstituted forWrightat 78′minutes
  • 11IttenSubstituted forRoofeat 66′minutes
  • 14Kent

Substitutes

  • 3Bassey
  • 4Simpson
  • 8Jack
  • 10Davis
  • 16Patterson
  • 23Wright
  • 25Roofe
  • 26Balogun
  • 33McLaughlin

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