Hamilton hit back to deny Kilmarnock overdue win
Hamilton kept up their impressive start to the new campaign as Ali Crawford’s late penalty rescued a 2-2 draw against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.
The hosts looked set for their first win of the season when a Louis Longridge own goal and Lee Erwin strike put them two up.
But Accies followed up successive wins over Dundee and Hibernian with another valuable point as they fought back.
First right-back Giannis Skondras gave them a life line when he rifled home before Crawford tucked home his 88th-minute spot-kick.
Killie were keen to get going after losing their first three games of the new campaign and took just three minutes to go in front.
Kris Boyd lured Xavier Tomas into giving away a needless free-kick wide on the right and the Accies defender was made to pay for his mistake as Dom Thomas’ whipped delivery was turned past his own goalkeeper by Longridge.
Killie passed up a great chance for their second when Thomas slipped in Boyd, but the striker pushed his shot wide.
The striker did not last much longer as he pulled up clutching his hamstring 10 minutes before half-time and was replaced by Erwin.
Killie boss Lee McCulloch had thrown Stuart Findlay straight into the centre of his back-four a day after securing the Newcastle defender on a six-month loan.
The move certainly appeared to give the home side a more solid look than they have shown in recent weeks, but Accies still had chances, with Dougie Imrie firing over after Jordan Jones sold Stevie Smith short, while Jamie MacDonald had to pull out an impressive stop to keep out a Longridge volley.
But it was the hosts who took advantage after 58 minutes when Hamilton switched off at the back, with Erwin galloping on to Adam Frizzel’s long ball over the top before calmly lifting his finish over Gary Woods.
MacDonald got lucky when he was able to grasp a Crawford free-kick at the second attempt before Longridge could pounce on the rebound, while Greg Taylor’s superb last-ditch tackle stopped Skondras from scoring.
But the Greek did not waste his second attempt after 72 minutes as Gordon Greer’s lapse let Scott McMann cross from the left, with Skondras burying his first-time finish.
Killie looked set to cling on until skipper Smith tangled with Greg Docherty in the box.
Referee Andrew Dallas took a moment before pointing to the spot, but there was little doubt in Crawford’s mind as he confidently stroked home from 12 yards.