St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin acknowledged the significance of Saturday’s 1-0 Scottish Premiership victory at Hamilton.
The Buddies started the season with a 1-0 home win against Livingston on opening day before losing 3-0 to title hopefuls Rangers at Ibrox.
Striker Jon Obika’s first-half goal at the Fountain of Youth Stadium gave St Mirren a hard-fought win ahead of a match against Ross County next week.
Hamilton were second bottom of the table last season, with Saints only two points ahead, when the campaign was curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic and with that in mind, Goodwin said: “These are the games that will define our season, and the next one coming up against Ross County and then St Johnstone.
“They are games that we look at, and I am sure those teams will look at too, as realistic opportunities for maximum points.
“They are difficult games, of course they are, but the likes of ourselves, Ross County, St Johnstone, Kilmarnock, there is much of a muchness between the teams.
“There is not a great deal between us and it’s on the day a lot of the time.
“But thankfully on Saturday we managed to get the job done. We rode our luck a lot in the second half but that’s football.”
The second half might have been less nervy for St Mirren had striker Junior Morias had taken one of his chances before the break but Goodwin was in an encouraging mood.
He said: “I have never been so desperate for someone to get a goal as I am for Junior Morias.
“He is probably the hardest working player in the group.
“He has been desperate for an opportunity and he got it and he was very close to getting his name on the score sheet.
“We certainly could have made life easier for ourselves but these things happen. Sometimes you have to credit the opposition as well.”
Goodwin and the St Mirren players noted that half a dozen or so Saints fans watched the game, albeit with a restricted view, from a local retail park.
The Paisley manager said: “I was delighted for the fans, they are brilliant.
“We encourage the social distancing and we want people to stick to the guidelines but it was nice to see them over there and making a little bit of noise and it was good for the players to go over and show their appreciation as well.”
Accies have lost their first three matches ahead of the Lanarkshire derby against Motherwell next week.
Boss Brian Rice was impressed by new signing, 23-year-old Dutch winger Justin Johnson, who came on again as a second-half substitute and he will consider him for a start against Well.
He said: “We will see. His fitness is a good bit away but when he came on the pitch you saw what he can do.
“He is a winger who likes to take people on and get crosses in.
“I thought he did very well when he came on, as did Marios Ogkmpoe.”
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