Saturday, 10 March 2012

Hamilton 0-2 Ross County

Hamilton 0-2 Ross County
Irn Bru Division One
New Douglas Park, Hamilton
Sat 10th March 2012

Ross County extended their unbeaten league run to 24 games - a new record for the First Division - with a comfortable 2-0 win over Hamilton.  Both goals coming early in the first half from Colin McMenamin and Scott Boyd.  With Falkirk yet again dropping points with a 1-1 draw at home to Partick, County now sit eleven points clear at the top of the league, with a game in hand.

Derek Adams stuck with the same starting eleven and substitutes bench for the fifth game in a row - but then why change a winning formula !
The New Douglas Park surface looked in very good condition, and it allowed County to pass the ball around well in the opening minutes of the game.
And it only took six minutes for County to take the lead.  Paul Lawson picked the ball up in the middle of the park, and seeing Scott Morrison running down the left win, Lawson played a defence splitting pass to set him fee.  Morrison in turn crossed the ball into the box, where he found Colin McMenamin who was unmarked on the edge of the six yard box, allowing him to slot the ball into the empty net.

Hamilton best chance of the match came shortly after this, but the shot from the edge of the box was hit straight at Michael Fraser in the County goal.

County doubled their lead within 20 minutes.  County won a corner on the right hand side of the pitch, The Hamilton defence were sleeping when the ball was played short to Richard Brittain, this gave him tome to angle the ball into the back post for Scott Boyd to get above Simon Mensing, and head the ball into the net, via the inside of the opposite post.

This goal effectively ended the game as a contest - Hamilton's midfield harrassed County players at every opportunity, but County were able to pass the ball around well on the pitch and prevent Hamilton from getting  a hold of the match.

When Hamilton did mount an attack, it generally fell apart in the final third of the pitch, much to t annoyance of the home fans, who let their team know how they felt.

Into the second half, and County were quite content to sit back and defend their two goal lead.  Hamilton huffed and puffed, and despite them having more possesion than County, they did very little with it, with Michael Fraser being rarely tested.
County seemed to play well within their capabilities, and you always felt they had that extra gear they could move into if required - but as it was they didn't need to.
County hit on the break, but when getting to the final third of the pitch they opted for the safer option of holding onto the ball rather than playing hopeful crosses into the box - this lead to a series of Ole's from the 300 or so away fans in the 'Spice of Life' stand behind the goal County were attacking.

With the frequency of the games County are playing just now, Derek Adams made a three changes in the second half, replacing Michael Gardyne, Iain Vigurs and Paul Lawson with Steven Craig, Mark Corcoran and Rocco Quinn.

County only had two attempts on goal in the second half, both of which were hit wide of the target.

Full Time : Hamilton 0-2 Ross County

County Team : Fraser, Miller, Morrison, Boyd, Munro, Lawson (Quinn), Gardyne (Craig), Kettlewell, McMenamin, Brittain, Vigurs (Corcoran)
Unused Subs : Malin, Flynn

For a full Tactical Analysis of the today's game, check out Ross County Tactics Website