St Johnstone boss Callum Davidson hailed the character of Guy Melamed after the striker bounced back from his Hampden disappointment to net a late equaliser at Hamilton.
The Israeli spent Sunday’s Betfred Cup final on the bench despite netting a double in Saints’ previous match at Motherwell, but he returned to the team with a bang.
Melamed forced several excellent stops from goalkeeper Ryan Fulton before controlling Liam Gordon’s ball over the top and finishing calmly with three minutes left to earn the cup winners a 1-1 Scottish Premiership draw.
Davidson said: “It was a great through ball by Liam and brilliant touch by Guy. It’s something we know he can do.
“You saw all game he was a danger in the box. It was an unbelievable touch and finish and we got what we deserved.
“It shows his character. He has been over here on his own, his girlfriend is back in Israel. You can see what kind of character he is, a great character. He would have been disappointed but you couldn’t tell that.
“I was really pleased with his performance again, he was probably the one player who started to link our attacks and get us going.
“Scott Tanser, who I thought was tremendous, again could be disappointed (to be left out at Hampden) but what an attitude he showed.”
Davidson feared it would be difficult for his players to get back to league duty so soon after their Hampden triumph against Livingston.
“It was a big worry for me,” he said. “I probably wasn’t looking forward to this game for that reason.
“Ask me after five minutes and I might have had a different answer but once we got that out the way I thought we were really good and our energy levels were tremendous.”
Accies were heading off the bottom of the table following Ross Callachan’s superb curling strike in the first half and head coach Brian Rice was aggrieved over Melamed’s goal.
“We’re obviously disappointed to lose the late goal after scoring a fantastic one ourselves to go in front,” Rice said.
“I thought we defended ever so well. I’ve seen their goal again and I think it’s offside but it doesn’t matter what we think now – the assistant referee didn’t think so it’s just one of those things.
“I feel a bit aggrieved at the goal but you saw a team out there fighting like hell and it’s another point.”