Dundee United manager Micky Mellon says you cannot afford to “switch off for a second” in the Scottish Premiership after Hamilton Academical snatched their first home point of the season.
Lawrence Shankland’s fourth-minute opener had United in control for the majority as the away side passed up chances to increase their advantage.
But with 15 minutes left, Accies responded with a Hakeem Odoffin diving header.
“You always run the risk,” said Mellon.
“You always feel when you’re playing against a battling Hamilton side, with the amount of free-kicks given, if you knock off at any time you may give yourself problems.”
The away side were rewarded for a bright start after great work down the right by Logan Chalmers allowed him to find Adrian Sporle on the edge of the area. The full-back managed to work his way into the box before laying the ball on a plate for Shankland to steer home his second goal of the season.
Hamilton responded well as Kyle Munro saw a goal-bound effort blocked, but United were always a threat on the counter as the lively Chalmers skipped into the box only to slice an effort wide.
Both sides then had further opportunities as Tunde Owolabi squandered a golden chance when he could not divert a free header towards goal, and up the other end Luke Bolton’s driven effort from the right went just past the far post for the visitors.
Hamilton came out battling in the second half, but United were always a threat as Shankland almost turned provider for strike partner Nicky Clark. However, his close-range effort was well saved by Ryan Fulton.
And even though United looked in control, they were made to pay for not taking their chances as David Templeton’s dangerous free-kick was met superbly by the diving head of Odoffin.
The equaliser gave Rice’s men a spark as Scott Martin saw a low strike go just past the post, but it was the away side who came closest to winning it as Clark saw a close-range effort sail over the bar.
Man of the match – Hakeem Odoffin
What did we learn?
Brian Rice would have been concerned with the game approaching the last quarter. Until then his side had not registered a single goal or point at home and were heading to the foot of the table, but Odoffin’s timely equaliser means Rice’s men are out of the relegation play-off place for now and should give them belief in the weeks to come.
There is no doubt Micky Mellon will feel like this is two points dropped, but there are not many teams who will enjoy welcoming United to their ground this season. The pace Mellon’s side breaks at can be frightening at times, and with Shankland back in the team to provide the finishing touch, they will pose a threat to anyone.
What they said
Hamilton head coach Brian Rice: “I can’t ask for any more, after losing an early goal and showing the reliance and determination. The ‘Hamilton spirit’, as we call it, was evident again today.
“It’s not about the first 11 here, it’s about the full squad and the club in general. The lads throw their bodies on the line, to play for Hamilton that’s what you need to do, that’s non-negotiable.”
Dundee United manager Micky Mellon: “We had chances all the way through until Hamilton equalised to put the game to bed. We weren’t able to do that.
“With the quality of players we have I would back them to the hilt to put them away. On another day we’ll take them.”
Hamilton take on Hibernian at Easter Road on Friday (19:45 BST) as Dundee United welcome Livingston to Tannadice on the same evening (19:45 BST).
Player of the match
with an average of 8.76
Squad number23Player nameFulton
Squad number10Player nameTempleton
Squad number27Player nameHodson
Squad number36Player nameOwolabi
Squad number2Player nameOdoffin
Squad number32Player nameSmith
Squad number7Player nameCollar
Squad number3Player nameMcMann
Squad number19Player nameWinter
Squad number21Player nameMunro
Squad number9Player nameOgkmpoe
Squad number34Player nameCallachan
Squad number18Player nameMimnaugh
Squad number12Player nameWant
Squad number8Player nameMartin
Squad number6Player nameHamilton
Squad number24Player nameShankland
Squad number15Player nameChalmers
Squad number1Player nameSiegrist
Squad number17Player nameRobson
Squad number3Player nameSporle
Squad number20Player nameBolton
Squad number23Player nameHarkes
Squad number6Player nameReynolds
Squad number12Player nameEdwards
Squad number18Player nameButcher
Squad number10Player nameClark
Squad number5Player nameConnolly
Squad number4Player namePowers
Squad number8Player namePawlett
- 2OdoffinBooked at 84mins
- 27HodsonSubstituted forHamiltonat 62′minutesBooked at 79mins
- 8MartinBooked at 40mins
- 18MimnaughSubstituted forCallachanat 45′minutesBooked at 89mins
- 21MunroSubstituted forCollarat 85′minutes
- 36OwolabiSubstituted forSmithat 82′minutes
- 19WinterSubstituted forOgkmpoeat 45′minutes
- 15ChalmersSubstituted forPawlettat 66′minutes
- 18ButcherBooked at 37minsSubstituted forPowersat 74′minutes
- 3SporleSubstituted forConnollyat 54′minutes
Match ends, Hamilton Academical 1, Dundee United 1.
Second Half ends, Hamilton Academical 1, Dundee United 1.
Foul by Ian Harkes (Dundee United).
Hakeem Odoffin (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Ian Harkes (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Offside, Hamilton Academical. Jamie Hamilton tries a through ball, but Marios Ogkmpoe is caught offside.
Attempt blocked. Ian Harkes (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Ross Callachan (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Jamie Robson (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ross Callachan (Hamilton Academical).
Attempt missed. Nicky Clark (Dundee United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Lawrence Shankland with a cross.
Foul by Peter Pawlett (Dundee United).
Jamie Hamilton (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Lawrence Shankland (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Ryan Edwards (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Marios Ogkmpoe (Hamilton Academical).
Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Will Collar replaces Kyle Munro.
Foul by Peter Pawlett (Dundee United).
Scott Martin (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Hakeem Odoffin (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card.