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Daily Record
Daily Record
Paul Thomson

Hamilton Accies boss hails side's spirit as he reponds to 'controversial penalty' award in win over Arbroath

Hamilton Accies boss John Rankin praised his players' character after they picked up their first win of the Championship campaign in controversial circumstances over 10-man Arbroath.

Steve Lawson converted a 58th minute penalty to seal all three points for Accies after Arbroath skipper Thomas O'Brien was sent off for handling Dario Zanatta's goal-bound effort after great work from Ryan One.

Arbroath were furious with the double whammy decision which Dick Campbell described as the "softest he has seen in 33 years in the game."

But Rankin was proud of his players' efforts and says it was about time a penalty decision went in their favour.

He said: "I'm delighted to get the three points.

"I'm a wee bit disappointed with how we played after the goal, I felt we could have killed the game with a good three or four chances after that.

Steve Lawson was on target (SNS Group)

"But credit to the players, we've been there so many times this season when we've been 1-0 up and given away a sloppy goal."

On the penalty, he added: "I thought Dario was putting it in the net and, to be honest, I didn't see it hit a hand, I just saw it hit a body.

"My view was that it was going in the net.

"When you look back at the penalties we've had against us at Ayr and Morton, we probably deserve one and these things tend to even themselves out.

"I've not seen the penalty back yet, but at the time the players' reaction told me it was one."

Accies are now unbeaten in four of their opening five games and Rankin was delighted to see a gre/at response from his side after a dismal display in the defeat to Raith Rovers last week.

He added: "I'm really pleased with the character. We questioned it last week and this week they really stood up.

"Our downfall last week was not getting bodies in the box but I thought in the first half, especially, it was like the Red Arrows at times with the boys running into the box.

"I was really pleased with their energy.

"I thought when big Ryan One came on he added a whole new dimension to us.

"The big man can do that and he needs to play with that freedom that the players allowed him today."

Follow Lanarkshire Live Sport on Twitter via @LanLiveSport, like us on Facebook or find us on Instagram for the latest sports news, pictures and video.

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