Accies hold Buddies in cup
St Mirren and Hamilton face a replay in the Scottish Cup after their fourth-round 0-0 draw in Paisley on Saturday.
Last Updated: 07/01/12 5:09pm
The SPL hosts had the best chances of each half, falling to Nigel Hasselbaink and Paul McGowan in the first and Gary Teale after the break, but the teams will now meet again at New Douglas Park on January 17 to decide who will take their place in the last 16.
Hasselbaink's inclusion up front was the only change to a St Mirren line-up which had been unchanged for three matches, the forward earning a starting berth against his former club in place of the injured Steven Thompson.
Visiting manager Billy Reid made four changes to his Accies side, with goalkeeper David Hutton making his first appearance in a month since the 6-1 league defeat by Dundee.
Greig Spence, Ali Crawford and Grant Gillespie all started in place of the injured Alex Neil, benched Andy Ryan and Gordon Smith, whose month-long loan from Hearts has ended.
St Mirren took charge as both sides made a lively start. Paul McGowan was first to test Hutton with a shot after just 90 seconds, while Hamilton won the game's first corner a minute later.
The Accies goalkeeper was then forced to rush to the left corner of his box to punch away a long ball which was poised to drop invitingly for McGowan.
St Mirren had the best of few clear-cut chances in the goalless first half. David van Zanten tried his luck from distance, Graham Carey embarked on an impressive solo run after an excellent halfway-line tackle only to see his shot blocked, and Hasselbaink hit the side netting after weaving his way in from the left.
Greig Spence had a rare effort for Hamilton just after the half-hour with a curling effort from outside the box which was carried wide of the right-hand post. Moments later, he sent in a cross from the right at the second attempt which was headed wide by Jim McAlister.
St Mirren enjoyed a good spell just before the break, however, beginning when two of their ex-Hamilton players combined for the best chance of the half on 36 minutes.
Hasselbaink made a great run down the left wing and held off Martin Canning to send the ball low across the face of goal for McGowan, who was just inches away from turning it in at the far post.
Aaron Mooy then blasted wide of the left-hand post and substitute Gary Teale saw a promising cross from the right corner after good work by Hasselbaink booted clear by Lee Kilday just yards from goal.
Hamilton continued defending in numbers as the second half got under way and then made a double substitution 10 minutes after the resumption, going on to win two corners in quick succession.
McGowan's acute-angled shot on the hour was cleared into the side netting, and he was later just off target with a drive from outside the box. In between, Accies substitute Grant Anderson rolled a snap-shot into Craig Samson's arms after hard work by Simon Mensing to retain possession.
Teale tested Hutton after 69 minutes with a good drive which the goalkeeper stretched up to palm away, then Kenny McLean also tried a long-range effort for the hosts.
The game was again enlivened in the closing 10 minutes as first Teale was agonisingly wide with a powerful diagonal effort from the right edge of the box and then the sides traded half-chances at each end though Hasselbaink and Mark McLaughlin - but neither was able to make the decisive breakthrough.