THIS really ought be the season Hamilton Academical finally say goodbye to the Premiership.

That the other clubs near the bottom have had more money to spend is nothing new. The difference this time is many have changed managers which tends to result in an upturn of fortunes.

And speaking of fortunes, the smallest club in Scottish football’s top tier had the best part of a million pounds stolen through what was described as “an elaborate fraud.”

This money they could not afford to lose and seemingly will never see again.

A run of eight games without a win, which included six defeats on the bounce, gave off the impression that this band of solid, honest but limited players may well have hit a wall.

And given what is happening off the field, there would not be too much the board could do come January to remedy the situation if their team found themselves cast adrift at the bottom.

However, nobody watching the Accies on Saturday against Aberdeen, the country’s second-best team for over three years, would have thought this was a group on their knees.

Hamilton were the better side and had they just a bit more confidence in front of goal, something struggling sides tend to be missing, they would have beaten Derek McInnes’s men.

Good on them.

Martin Canning and his players are cheating nobody. They always give their best, which sometimes isn’t enough, but on the weekend’s evidence, the team everyone writes off could well surprise us all again.

“I thought we did deserve the three points, but Aberdeen did put a lot into the game as well,” said Hamilton midfielder Darian MacKinnon who was superb in what turned out to be a highly entertaining 2-2 draw.

“They have a lot of quality although we know we are a match for anyone when we are bang at it. If we are not at it, then we will get turned over.

“Out of ten, I’d give us five for the season so far. We started well and then had that dreadful run which we needed to end.

“We were right up for it against Aberdeen. We knew we needed a positive result going into the international break. I thought to a man that everyone of us was very good.

"Now we need to make sure we continue the momentum and strive to get up the league.”

Hamilton took the lead through a superb Dougie Imrie free-kick before Aberdeen’s Greg Stewart, who had his best game since signing, made it level before half-time.

Aberdeen must have felt they had won the game when, with 16 minutes to go, Kari Arnason’s bullet of header made it 2-1. However, a goal by the talented David Templeton moments later won the home side a much-needed and well-deserved point.

As for Aberdeen, it is now all about waiting; on what happens with McInnes and the plans for a new stadium and training ground.

“I disagree that he’s taken Aberdeen as far as he can," said Gary Mackay-Steven. "As well as the job he’s done, there’s always the next season.

"The manager is in a great place right now.”