St Johnstone edged out Hamilton 5-3 in an eight-goal Premiership thriller courtesy of doubles from Stevie May and Craig Conway.
The Saints raced to a three-goal lead during a dominant opening half-hour after former Accies man May gave them the lead in under a minute.
The 27 year-old scored 25 goals on loan at Accies during the 2012-13 season but he headed the visitors ahead after steering David Wotherspoon’s cross past Ryan Fulton.
Accies failed to lay a glove on their impressive opponents in the opening stages as Wotherspoon turned from provider to goalscorer to double St Johnstone’s advantage after 13 minutes.
Ali McCann found himself in space on the edge of the area and squared it for the 30 year-old to fire low past the despairing dive of Fulton into the bottom corner.
It went from bad to worse for Hamilton when May looked to have wrapped up the three points when he grabbed his second goal of the afternoon after 33 minutes.
The diminutive striker managed to nip in front of his defender to flick Conway’s header into the bottom corner.
Hamilton looked defeated but, with a slice of luck, they battled their way back into the contest.
Ronan Hughes showed great perseverance to break from midfield and, although he burst past Liam Gordon with a lucky deflection, the substitute fired a brilliant low finish beyond Zander Clark in the 40th minute.
Hughes’ strike seemed to galvanise the hosts and they pulled another goal back after 44 minutes.
Scott McMann found the towering presence of Marios Ogkmpoe with a cross and the Greek striker looped a header home to give Accies hope.
Hamilton pressed for an equaliser after the break but lacked creativity although Clark had to be alert to tip Kyle Munro’s dangerous cross away.
St Johnstone remained a threat on the break and they extended their lead on the counter attack in the 69th minute. Man of the match May raced down the right flank and showed great vision to square for Conway to smash home.
Hamilton refused to give up and Hughes grabbed his second after 80 minutes, firing home after Ross Callachan’s powerful strike rebounded off the bar,
Just minutes later, though, Conway ensured the three points would be travelling back to Perth when he fired a stunning free-kick past Fulton into the top corner.
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.