Revenge is a dish best served cold and it was decidedly parky at Hamilton on Saturday. For Darian MacKinnon, the dish he served up against Dundee was colder than an Inuit’s scullery but it certainly warmed the cockles of the locals and new manager, Brian Rice. MacKinnon’s last-minute leveller plundered a deserved point for the hosts and the 33-year-old wasted not time in making a point too.

When the boisterous celebrations had subsided and all and sundry were showered and changed, MacKinnon used his post match blether with the press to get his message across. “I was delighted to score, especially against them,” said MacKinnon with the kind of sneer you’d perform when you catch a glimpse of the bloke who ran off with your wife. Or something like that.

At the start of last year, MacKinnon suffered a serious knee injury against Dundee. That has healed up. There were other wounds that needed soothing, though, and his late intervention at the weekend went a long way to doing that. “I remember the last time, when I was lying on the ground with a serious knee injury and there were about 50 Dundee fans trying to get at me, saying they hoped my career was over. I was lying there and my career possibly could have been over and they were wishing it was. I didn’t forget it and I never will. You can’t. I don’t mind the banter, but it’s not acceptable wishing someone’s career over when you’ve got kids.”

There’s plenty of history between MacKinnon, Hamilton and Dundee. His last goal for the Accies was against the men from the City of Discovery in 2017 while the race for the Championship title between the sides in 2014 – which Dundee won – still lingers in the memory. “There has been a bit between the sides going back to the Championship days,” added MacKinnon. “I remember Ryan Conroy was tweeting stuff like ‘enjoy the play-offs while we’re on the beach’. That was just a bit of banter, even if it was a sore one at the time. There was needle again on Saturday but I know a few of the Dundee boys and we smoothed things over before going our separate ways at the end. It looks like there will be important games with them again this season. It’s like a derby and it’s always a good game to play in.”

MacKinnon’s controlled yet spectacular side-footed finish, after Dundee keeper Seny Dieng had made a right hash of an attempted clearance having hastily raced from his designated area, was a timely tonic for Hamilton as they started the Rice era on a positive note and inched themselves away from the automatic relegation place “It felt like a victory with the goal coming so late and it will be a sore one for them,” he said. “They were probably thinking, three points and up the road and it would have put us in trouble. But that point gives us the lift we needed.

“The old gaffer did well but the new one has come in with some different ideas and he wants us to go after the game, which is what we all like. He pushed me up a little bit, which is good, even though I am getting on a bit.

“There was a bit of negativity towards the end of the old gaffer’s time. You can’t get away from it as you hear it and see it, and it’s not nice.

“Getting off to a good start under the new gaffer was important because you could see the fans getting a lift. I thought we played well and we got after them. There was a big change in terms of our energy and pressing.”

Hamilton had a couple of good early chances but Dundee survived the initial onslaught and took the lead on 66 minutes thanks to a tidy finish from the on-loan Scott Wright. MacKinnon would have the final say, though.