Remi Matthews enjoys play-off victory with Hamilton against fellow Norwich City loanee Tony Andreu
Goalkeeper Remi Matthews won the battle of two Norwich City loan players yesterday as he helped Hamilton seal Scottish Premiership survival.
Greg Docherty scored the only goal of the two-legged play-off win over Dundee United, which condemned them to 12 more months in the Championship.
While Matthews was in goal for Accies, Tony Andreu – who has scored 19 goals in 40 appearances during his season-long loan north of the border – lined up in the United attack.
The hopes of both sides hung in the balance following the goalless first leg at Tannadice and there was an understandably tense atmosphere as the return got under way.
Matthews did well to settle Hamilton nerves when he pushed away Andreu’s opening effort just five minutes in before brilliantly tipping over to prevent Scott McMann turning into his own net
Matthews was alert late in the half as he reacted impressively to keep out a Charlie Telfer cross deflected towards the angle of his goal-frame by Accies full-back Scott McMann.
Docherty’s decisive goal came on 64 minutes, and with so much riding on their promotion hopes, United threw themselves forward but were frustrated when Simon Murray blazed over when through on Matthews.
There was no joy in Scotland on Saturday for former Norwich goalkeeper Joe Lewis.
The 29-year-old, from Broome, was between the sticks for Aberdeen, who were beaten 2-1 by all-conquering Celtic in the Scottish Cup final. Lewis came through the youth set-up at City but never played a senior game.
There will now be more speculation about the future of Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes.
Sunderland are understood to have discussed McInnes as they began considering potential replacements for David Moyes, with known-admirer Walter Smith helping Black Cats chief executive Martin Bain, formerly of Rangers, select a shortlist.
Despite Saturday’s defeat, McInnes further enhanced his reputation with his tactics and approach against the Scottish champions as the Dons pressed their opponents all over the park and held them – until substitute Tom Rogic capitalised on their tired legs to net a stoppage-time winner at Hampden.