Nov 1 2012 by Andrew McGilvray, Hamilton Advertiser
Hamilton’s dismal home record continued as Raith Rovers sent them spinning a second successive league defeat.
Allan Walker’s 44th-minute strike was enough to separate the teams in a hugely disappointing First Division encounter at New Douglas Park.
Following a minute’s applause in honour of Honorary President and former chairman Jan Stepek, who passed away during the week, Accies lined up with hopes of reversing a poor run of just one win in nine league outings, but in truth never looked like doing so.
The first half was as poor a 45 minutes’s showing as you would be likely to see in the division and, already hampered by the first of a three-match suspension for skipper Alex Neil, Accies were given a major set-back when teenage defender Stephen Hendrie was forced off through injury in just 13 minutes, with Michael Devlin taking over.
With neither keeper really tested during the opening exchanges there was little to warm the 1079 crowd, although Hamilton were perhaps fortunate to survive a good looking penalty appeal by Raith in 37 minutes when it looked like stand-in captain Martin Canning had tripped striker Brian Graham, but referee Brian Colvin wasn’t interested.
Accies then passed up a decent half-chance when Ali Crawford helped set up Stevie May, but his shot flew wide.
Just as it looked like the half would end goal-less Raith scored what proved to be the winner.
Canning and Jonathan Page struggled to cope with a high ball which fell to Greig Spence, and the ex-Accies striker’s volley was poor but fell kindly to Allan Walker, who rifled the ball in off the underside of the crossbar.
Accies boss Billy Reid rang the changes at the interval, throwing on Andy Ryan and James Keatings for Louis Longridge and Gary Fisher, while Raith made a change of their own with goalkeeper David McGurn replaced by Ross Laidlaw.
The pattern of play in the second half didn’t really change, with few chances of particular note at either end.
Keatings was thwarted by a superb saving tackle in 72 minutes following a slide-rule pass from Crawford.
The striker had another attempt in 81 minutes after collecting a good cross from Grant Gillespie, but his tame effort trundled towards a rather grateful Laidlaw.
As the clock ran down Accies pretty much dominated possession, but there was no end product for the crosses fired into the box.
May tried a low shot from outside the box in 86 minutes but was off-target.
The striker blazed an effort over just before the final whistle from a Crawford corner.
At the other end Raith were rarely seen in an attacking sense, and Kevin Cuthbert was virtually a spectactor for the majority of the game, but it was enough to take full points.