DAVID Templeton lapped up the adulation and hogged the headlines after his injury-time winner for Hamilton against Partick Thistle, but he admits that he owes goalkeeper Gary Woods a pint or two for bailing him out right at the death.

Tired from the huge effort expended during 90 bruising minutes as well as from the wild celebrations that greeted his goal, Templeton gifted possession to Thistle with seconds remaining.

The ball was worked wide to Mustapha Dumbuya, who hung a ball up for Chris Erskine to bullet towards the top corner. It looked for all the world that the ball was heading into the net for Thistle to snatch a dramatic draw, but Woods somehow got up to claw the ball out of the top corner and leave the Jags devastated.

It was a crucial intervention, and Templeton reckons that it might just be a pivotal moment in Accies’ fight to stay in the Premiership.

“I really owe Gary Woods for that fabulous save from Chris Erskine right at the death because it was me who’s given the ball away,” said Templeton.

“I was tired and tried to play a ball into the channel for Antonio Rojano to chase but I lost possession and they got the ball into our box.

“Fortunately for me, Gary pulls off an unbelievable save and it’s not the first time he’s done that to earn us points this season. To be honest, I’m not even surprised that he’s done it again.

“When I saw Erskine get his header in I was convinced it was going straight into the top corner and I’ve no idea how Gary got across to claw it out, but I owe him at least a pint.

“These are the kinds of results which help to shape our season, especially since Thistle are round about us in the table.

“It was really important for us to go above them because it gives us the chance to put a bit of distance between us with our games in hand.”

Not that Hamilton’s players or supporters were altogether bothered, but the match on Saturday was hardly a feast of flowing football.

Templeton was encouraged though that Accies were able to dig in and get a result in such circumstances, with similar battles likely to be ahead between now and the end of the season.

“I knew beforehand it probably wasn’t going to be a very nice game to watch or play in, but the most important thing was to get the win,” he said. “It was difficult for me because I was used in central midfield, trying to play on the other side of Abdul Osman.

“Basically, it was a match-up – anywhere I went, he followed me and vice versa. As a result, it was hard to get on the ball and make things happen, but getting the goal at the end made it all worthwhile.”

Templeton has yet to give serious thought to his future beyond the expiry of his Hamilton contract in the summer.

He is simply glad to be back enjoying his football once again after the injury torment that preceded his move to Accies, and is looking forward to playing a full and active role in the remainder of the campaign.

“It’s just good to be playing again every week,” he said. “Now I know I can play for the full 90 minutes time after time because – touch wood – the injuries are all behind me now. After being out for so long, I’m enjoying my football again.

“We have a hard game away to Hibs on Wednesday, but we produced our best performance of the season when we went to Easter Road in August and beat them 3-1. It would be great to get another win to taken into the first of those games in hand, against St Johnstone on Saturday.”