Saints 0-2 Hamilton Academical

Last updated : 31 October 2009 By Stuart Gillespie

You can complain all you want about dodgy refereeing decisions and some time wasting, but we created little and hardly tested Accies keeper Tomas Cerny. Sure, Hamilton had few chances too, but they were far more dangerous from set piece and were as good as home and dry by half time. Not a great end to October - although maybe it will stop us getting the manager of the month curse!

The already threadbare striking options were fortunately not depleted further as Michael Higdon was deemed well and fit enough to start alongside Billy Mehmet. Not so lucky was Steven Thomson, who was still missing. Allan Johnston had deputised for him on Tuesday but he ended up in the stand, meaning Stephen O'Donnell got a rare start.

Disaster struck after two minutes. David Barron stupidly gave away a corner, the defence failed to deal with it and when James Wesolowski's shot found its way to Marco Paixo, the Spaniard hammered it into the net to give Accies an incredibly early lead.

It shouldn't have been anything to worry about - all our league wins this season have seen us lose the first goal. However, we seemed stunned by such an early blow and the closest we came to an immediate response was when O'Donnell fired a shot into a Hamilton player. James McArthur showed what a shot should look like when the ball sat up nicely and he launched a missile that Paul Gallacher did well to deal with before Andy Dorman shot tamely at Tomas Cerny.

It was not a great first half from Saints and things were summed up 10 minutes before the break. Jack Ross produced a good cross for Higdon, but instead of shooting he decided to pass to Dorman. The less said about his shot the better, but it still almost produced a goal when it was deflected and Cerny had to look sharp to prevent a goal.

Sadly, the Saints defence weren't quite so alert. When Paixao's corner was cleared straight back to him by Ross, it gave the Spaniard another chance to deliver the ball into the box and this time it was to be more fruitful as Martin Canning rose highest to head in Accies' second. There was nearly a third before the break, but this time Gallacher was able to smother the ball.

The fire alarm accidentally going off at half time provided some half time amusement. Any hope it was because the players had been given a rocket up their backside disappeared quickly as we started the second half in similar fashion to the way we'd finished the first, although Higdon did head wide from Andy Dorman's free-kick. Dorman was out of sorts and picked up a silly booking before Ross set up Mehmet in an excellent position, the striker's fine shot being deflected over by team mate O'Donnell. It really was one of those days.

It got even worse midway through the second half, when Lee Mair became the first player to be sent off at the new ground. After some idiotic play at the half way line, Mickael Antoine-Curier found himself with just Mair between him and Gallacher. The pair tangled, Antoine-Curier went down and off trotted Mair. Probably not a clear goal scoring opportunity, but definitely last man and it resulted in another entry in the crazy world of Gus MacPherson substitutions when Chris Innes came on for O'Donnell. We're 2-0 down, why not go three at the back and try to push for a way back into the game? We have nothing to cling on to!

A horrendous Saints performance continued when the ball got trapped under Mehmet's feet as he tried to shoot before McCarthy shot straight at Gallacher as Accies looked to make their man advantage count. There was little in the way of Saints' shots to get excited about, although Garry Brady - on for Stephen McGinn - duffed a volley well wide. The madness of the early substitution was highlighted in the last few minutes when John Potter was replaced by Conor Ramsay. We could have achieved the same effect if he'd come on for O'Donnell after the red card!

A horror show for Hallowe'en from nearly every Saints player. A disaster all round, with hardly anyone putting in a decent display. Things must improve or we could end up having a repeat of last season.