Buddies frustrated in stalemate
Referee Meir Levi largely impressed by allowing the Scottish Premier League match to flow on Saturday after being drafted in by the Scottish Football Association to cover for striking Scottish referees. Simon Mensing had the ball in the back of his own net with just over 20 minutes to go but the own goal was chalked off by Meir's assistant as the match ended goalless. Hamilton made three changes from their defeat against Hearts for the visit of St Mirren. Marco and Flavio Paixao were drafted into the team, along with Grant Gillespie. David Elebert, David Buchanan and Andy Graham all dropped to the bench. Saints were without the suspended Michael Higdon and Kenny McLean was named among the substitutes as Steven Thomson and Aaron Mooy both started. Accies started strongly and carved out a couple of decent chances early on. Gillespie was allowed to run unchallenged into the box in the opening minute before John Potter cleared the danger before he could unleash the shot. Marco Paixao then picked out his twin Flavio at the back post who found Gary McDonald in space in front of goal but his shot looped high into the air before being gathered by goalkeeper Craig Samson. At the other end, Saints were threatening when David van Zanten whipped a cross in from the right but Gareth Wardlaw just failed to connect with the header 10 yards out. Hamilton still looked most likely to find the back of the net and Gavin Skelton tried his luck with an audacious attempt from 35 yards but the shot fizzed narrowly past the post. The home side had the chance to pile on the pressure again when Dougie Imrie delivered a free-kick into the box that was nodded on by Martin Canning only for Flavio Paixao to hook over from six yards when it looked easier to leave the net bulging. Saints had offered little in front of goal but Thomson collected on the edge of the area only to spurn the chance to open the scoring by screwing his shot wide, before a tame free-kick from Paul McGowan just before the interval fell harmlessly wide. Hamilton should have been ahead shortly after the restart when Damian Casalinuovo picked out Flavio Paixao for the header and he had the crowd on their feet only to nod agonisingly wide of the target. Accies threw Nigel Hasselbaink into the action for Casalinuovo, while Saints swapped Mooy for Sean Lynch. The other Paixao brother, Marco, then passed up a great opportunity of his own when he met Dougie Imrie's corner only to send a firm header over the crossbar from close range. St Mirren thought they had taken the lead with 71 minutes gone when Mensing stabbed a McGowan cross into his own net but the goal was disallowed by assistant referee David Elia Biton, seemingly for either a foul or an offside decision. The referee had a call to make when Skelton went to ground under pressure from Lynch but no penalty was forthcoming for Accies with just eight minutes to go. Samson pulled off a great save to deny Jim Goodwin late on before McDonald had the ball in the back of the net but a foul had already been given against Goodwin well before the effort crossed the line as the match ended in stalemate.