Eiji Kawashima earned Dundee United a point after saving Ali Crawford’s spotkick against Accies but they still fell further behind in the relegation battle.
It was easy to see why both sides are struggling in the bottom half of the table as it was a match devoid of quality and clear cut opportunities.
The best chance fell to Dundee United striker Simon Murray in the first half but he saw his shot saved by Michael McGovern.
The match looked to be petering out for a draw but Accies then had a chance to snatch all three points at the death as Dougie Imrie surged into the box and was brought down by Paul Paton.
Crawford stepped up to take the spotkick, went for power instead of precision and saw his effort saved.
Michael Devlin was then sent off in the dying stages of the match for a second bookable offence.
Player-manager Martin Canning said: “It’s a positive to get our fourth clean sheet in five games but to miss a penalty in the dying stages feels like we’ve lost a game.”
United boss Mixu Paatelainen still believes his side can get themselves out of trouble.
“We were well worth a point. A few weeks ago we would have lost that one. We’ve got the spirit to get out of this. There’s a hunger and a determination there is no question.”
United host Motherwell on Tuesday at Tannadice in what could potentially have huge consequences for United’s Premiership survival.
The Steelmen lost 2-0 at Kilmarnock to drop into the relegation play-off spot. However, there are still 12 points ahead of United though the Arabs have a game in hand.