Ayr draw felt like a defeat, says Accies assistant John Rankin

Hamilton assistant John Rankin says their 1-1 draw at Ayr United tonight feels like a defeat.

Andy Winter’s sixth-minute strike had Accies looking like they were heading for a third successive league win, which would have left them two points behind fifth-placed Raith Rovers, and four adrift of Partick Thistle in fourth.

However, the draw leaves them sixth, four points behind Rovers.

Rankin, who was deputising for self-isolating boss Stuart Taylor, admitted it’s a missed opportunity, and felt they should have seen the game out.

He said: “That feels like a defeat, that’s probably the best way to explain it.

“You get to that stage in the game, you’re 1-0 up and I don’t even think there was 20 seconds left on the clock, and let’s be honest, it’s a wonder-strike – it’s in the net almost before it has left his foot, there was that much power on it.

Rankin says Accies should have made more of their chance and saw the game out
Rankin says Accies should have made more of their chance and saw the game out

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“It was a great strike and sometimes you have to hold your hands up and say you’ve lost points to a world-class strike.

“My thinking, can we prevent it from getting to that stage in the first place? There’s got to be something somewhere.

“There’s definitely something that we can stop for the ball to get there, and that has to be our outlook on it – how do we stop it from getting to our final third and allowing them the opportunity to get a shot at goal.”

Hamilton had chances to stretch their lead, with Andy Ryan and David Moyo in particular going close, and Rankin admits they have to make more of those.

“From the way we played in the first half, the chances that we had, I thought we maybe could have been 2-0 up at half-time,” he said. “If we went 2-0 up at half-time, with the way we’ve been playing recently, I think we see the game out.

“But you always give teams an opportunity when it’s only 1-0, and it just shows that we need to be ruthless and take our chances when we get them.”

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