3 December 1955 – St Johnstone 7 Hamilton Accies 3 – Rodger and Steel Hat-tricks

On this day in 1955 St Johnstone met Hamilton Accies in a League Division B match at Muirton Park in front of 5,000 fans.

Saints were near the top of the Division and in good form having suffered only one loss in their previous nine League matches. They had also reached the quarter finals of the League Cup, losing 1 – 0 to First Division Motherwell in a third match at Ibrox, after the first two matches had ended 1 – 2 at Muirton and 1 – 0 at Fir Park.

Manager Johnny Pattillo selected the following Saints team: – Roy MacLaren, Jimmy Woodcock, Willie Montgomery, Ernie Ewen, Alex Menzies, Archie Baird, Gordon Fraser, Billy Steel, Ian Rodger, Joe Carr, Billy Hodgson.

Saints got off to a flying start and were 3 goals ahead after only 13 minutes of play.

The opening goal came in just 45 seconds and Ian Rodger was the scorer. The Hamilton keeper made a hash of clearing a passback and when it went straight to Rodger he greatfully accepted the gift lobbing the stranded goalie from 40 yards out. 1 – 0.

Carr started the move for number two on 12 minutes when he delivered a long through pass to Rodger. The centre flicked the ball on to Steel who was able to pick his spot and fire home from inside the penalty area for 2 – 0.

Virtually straight from the restart Accies gave away possession to Rodger who quickly found Hodgson on the left wing. The winger cut in and curled the ball home at the post. 3 – 0 and only 13 minutes on the clock.

After such a whirlwind start it was understandable that the pace diminished and the visitors pulled one back on the 35 minute mark. 3 – 1.

However, when they scored a second just after half time the alarm bells were ringing that a comeback might be on the cards.

Saints regained there composure and with Ewen commanding in midfield Saints got back into their earlier dominant rhythm. A sweeping move involving Baird, Carr and Steel ended with the front man getting his second. Whilst the keeper got his hands to his fierce shot he could not keep it out. 4 – 2.

On 76 minutes Steel put Rodger through and the centre calmly slid the ball past the advancing goalie for 5 – 2.

Seven minutes later Baird set Carr away and when his cross came in Steel was in the right place to make it 6 – 2 and registered his hat trick.

Hamilton rallied again and MacLaren while on his knees made a brilliant save turning a shot over the crossbar. From the resultant corner Accies scored to make it 6 -3.

The final goal came 3 minutes from time when Rodger completed his hat trick finishing with the aid of a deflection. 7 – 3.

The Season ended with Saints in 3rd position with 49 points, 2 behind Ayr United and 5 behind champions Queen’s Park.

Ian Rodger scored 26 goals in all competitions that season with Joe Carr on 18 goals and Billy Steel hitting 16.

Rodger with a total of 116 goals is second position behind John Brogan in Saints all time goal scoring lists.

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