Alloa 0 Hamilton 1: Accies boss 'proud' of defender Jamie Hamilton after first start in over two years

Jamie Hamilton in action against Alloa this afternoon -Credit:Hamilton Accies FC
Jamie Hamilton in action against Alloa this afternoon -Credit:Hamilton Accies FC

Hamilton Accies boss John Rankin says he was proud to see Jamie Hamilton makes his first start for the club in over two years during today's narrow win over Alloa.

The defender last started a game for Accies on April 16 2022 when he picked up a thigh injury which has plagued him for the past 24 months.

But he was able to get a full 90 minutes under his belt at the Indodrill and keep a clean sheet for Accies, who claimed all three points thanks to Kevin O'Hara's first-half strike.

Rankin told the club media: "It was an opportunity for Jamie to get game-time today. He got himself back involved in the squad a few weeks ago and I felt today was the perfect opportunity for Jamie to get his first start in over two years.

"I'm delighted for him but, even more so, I'm proud of him that he has been able to get through his first start.

Defender Jamie Hamilton has signed a contract extension at Hamilton Accies
Defender Jamie Hamilton -Credit:SNS Group

"It says a lot about him. We know he is not anywhere near match sharpness because it will take a while for him to do that.

"We had to protect him a wee bit with it being his first start and bodies being round about him."

He added: "I'm delighted for Andy Winter as well because it was around August or September the last time he started a game.

"We've got much-needed minutes into him as well."

Hamilton Accies boss John Rankin says he sees potential in training that is still to be unlocked in his side
Hamilton Accies boss John Rankin -Credit:SNS Group

It was a play-off dress rehearsal for Accies as they will return to Clackmannanshire on May 7 for the first leg of their Championship play-off semi-final.

And Rankin admitted neither side wanted to give too much away and, with their finishing positions [Accies second and Alloa third] already sealed in League One, there was little to play for.

He said: "We will be back here in 10 days' time and you could see it was cagey with both teams going to face each other again.

"Looking at it overall, I'm delighted to get away here with no injuries, everyone being fresh and three points as well."

Accies now host Kelty Hearts next weekend in their final league match of the season and Rankin added:"I wouldn't say it is a meaningless game, but Kelty have got nothing to play for and we are confirmed in the play-offs.

"It is about professional pride and trying to finish our last league game at home on a high to go into the play-offs with some momentum."

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