With both teams losing their season opener, they seemed intent on relying on offensive tactics from the first whistle and the hosts took the game to their Lanarkshire opponents with Kenny McLean bursting through on goal but his weak effort trundled past the post.
Accies took the lead (18) when Dougie Imrie burst down the right wing before finding the unmarked Crawford and as the St Mirren defenders backed off he was able to fire home a low effort.
Back came the visitors and they came close to an equaliser soon after when James Marwood looped over a teasing cross but Accies Jesus Garcia Tena was in prime position to clear it away.
Straight after the break Hamilton should have doubled their lead when Imrie pounced on a loose ball from McAusland and played in Mickael Antoine-Curier but the Hamilton hitman could only shoot tamely wide.
They didn’t have to wait long though and it was the star man Crawford on target again whose shot took a deflection off McAusland and spun into the net past Marion Kello.
Tempers were getting a little strained as Saints pushed desperately to get back into the contest and they introduced veteran player/coach Gary Teale on the hour.
But Hamilton pushed on and Crawford was unlucky not to complete his hat-trick when his power-drive was easily saved.
Martin Canning was also wasteful for for the newly-promoted side, but in the closing stages the hosts improved as substitute Thomas Reilly wasted an excellent chance when he fired high over the bar after some neat play from John McGinn on the left.
Hamilton safely secured their first win of the season, but it was more misery for the hosts who remain pointless from their opening two games and their fans facing the prospect of another fraught season.