Scottish Premiership
Hibernian2Hamilton0

Hibernian 2-0 Hamilton Academical

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Highlights: Hibernian 2-0 Hamilton Academical

Hibernian gave new head coach Paul Heckingbottom a winning start as they eased past Hamilton to move up to seventh in the Scottish Premiership.

Florian Kamberi claimed a touch on the excellent Daryl Horgan's inswinging cross to put the hosts ahead.

Marc McNulty then converted a penalty after Lennard Sowah was deemed to have fouled Hibs captain David Gray.

Hibs missed further chances and Stephane Omeonga hit a post, Mickel Miller twice going close for Accies.

A first defeat under new boss Brian Rice drops Hamilton into the relegation play-off place, with Dundee winning at Livingston.

Victory for Hibs, just a second in nine home league games since thrashing Accies 6-0 in early October, lifts the Leith outfit above Motherwell - who play Hearts on Sunday - and within three points of St Johnstone in sixth.

Hibs always threatened to add more

The decline in Hibs' fortunes since Accies' last visit to Easter Road had brought just three wins from their previous 17 league games.

Former Leeds and Barnsley boss Heckingbottom, installed this week after the messy departure of Neil Lennon, promised a tweak of approach rather than radical change as he named an unchanged line-up for his first game in charge.

Against inviting opponents, Hibs started to rediscover themselves.

Kamberi saw an early effort superbly saved by Accies keeper Gary Woods before claiming the opener after 16 minutes, flicking out his right foot to get the faintest of touches to Horgan's left-wing cross.

The Swiss striker might have had a second when, from another penetrating Horgan delivery, the ball bounced off the back of his head and onto the top of the bar, a relieved Woods diving on it at the second attempt.

But when the unfortunate Sowah was adjudged to have fouled Gray in the air as they competed for a cross, McNulty slammed home the resultant spot-kick for his second goal in successive games.

Accies, a muted force in attack in the first half, at least showed signs of life on the resumption.

The dangerous Miller cut in from the right flank before curling an effort narrowly over with his left foot, before Hibs keeper Ofir Marciano was forced to palm away a deflected shot from David McMillan.

Miller later gave the hosts another scare when he escaped down the right flank but his cross-cum-shot ricocheted off the right-hand post.

But Hibs always threatened to add to their tally.

Horgan, at the heart of their best moments, played in Gray down the right, and his cross eluded Kamberi before Accies defender Ziggy Gordon slashed it clear over the bar.

McNulty might have done better with a header from eight yards, but could only direct Horgan's cross straight at Woods.

The hosts should have made it a more emphatic victory when Oli Shaw broke clear with two team-mates screaming for the ball to his right, but Sowah dispossessed Shaw and the chance went begging.

Another substitute, Omeonga, then drove a low shot against the foot of the post as Hibs finished in the ascendancy.

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Heckingbottom missed being on the sidelines

Hibs 'need more of a cutting edge' - Analysis

BBC Scotland's Brian McLauchlin at Easter Road:

Paul Heckingbottom will have enjoyed his team's first-half showing but will undoubtedly look for improvement in the weeks to come.

His two main strikers finding the back of the net will have given him a warm glow, and the link-up play between Kamberi and McNulty looked as though it could prove a fruitful partnership.

The new Hibs boss will be looking for more of a cutting edge in front of goal though, with substitutes Shaw and Omeonga both passing up glorious opportunities to extend the lead.

Hamilton were given chances to get back into it in the second period and if they are to pull clear of relegation battle, they too must be more clinical in front of goal.

But this was Hibs' day and with a trip to Dundee next Friday, followed by a Scottish Cup quarter-final with Celtic eight days later, there is much to look forward to for Heckingbottom and the club's fans.

Post-match reaction:

Hibs head coach Paul Heckingbottom: "The players thoroughly deserved it. There were some really good moments of play, and I hope the players can see the reward of their hard work on the training ground.

"We have tried to keep it as simple as possible, and the things we stressed to them they did well, which was good. But there are lots of areas where we need to get better as well.

"The bigger picture is improvement all the time. Regardless of where we finish this year, we want to finish higher next year."

Hamilton boss Brian Rice: "There wasn't a lot in it in the first half. At half-time I said to them 'have a go, don't have any regrets, let's get on the front foot and get forward' and we did that second half. We threw everything at Hibs.

"We had a couple of chances and we just need to take care of the ball better. We were getting in front of their back four but our final decision was a wee bit nervous. But we will put the finishing touches to that and see where it takes us."

Line-ups

Hibernian

  • 1Marciano
  • 2Gray
  • 24McGregorBooked at 63mins
  • 4Hanlon
  • 16Stevenson
  • 5Milligan
  • 8Slivka
  • 14MallanBooked at 67mins
  • 7HorganSubstituted forOmeongaat 72'minutes
  • 22KamberiSubstituted forAllanat 85'minutes
  • 9McNultyBooked at 51minsSubstituted forShawat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 18Nelom
  • 20Bigirimana
  • 31Bogdan
  • 32Shaw
  • 40Omeonga
  • 43Mackie
  • 49Allan

Hamilton

  • 1Woods
  • 4Gordon
  • 6Kilgallon
  • 46SowahBooked at 74mins
  • 2McGowan
  • 13GogicSubstituted forMimnaughat 64'minutes
  • 18MacKinnon
  • 11Miller
  • 16McMillanSubstituted forDaviesat 57'minutes
  • 9OakleyBooked at 62mins
  • 22AndreuSubstituted forSmithat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Davies
  • 17Penny
  • 20Marsden
  • 25Martin
  • 28Smith
  • 30Boyd
  • 33Mimnaugh
Referee:
Alan Muir
Attendance:
16,265

Match Stats

Home TeamHibernianAway TeamHamilton
Possession
Home58%
Away42%
Shots
Home13
Away6
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home8
Away4
Fouls
Home15
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Hibernian 2, Hamilton Academical 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Hibernian 2, Hamilton Academical 0.

Mark Milligan (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by George Oakley (Hamilton Academical).

Foul by Stephane Omeonga (Hibernian).

Mickel Miller (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Stephane Omeonga (Hibernian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Stephane Omeonga (Hibernian) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the right side of the box.

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Lewis Allan replaces Florian Kamberi.

Stephane Omeonga (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lennard Sowah (Hamilton Academical).

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Paul Hanlon.

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by David Gray.

Mark Milligan (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Matthew Kilgallon (Hamilton Academical).

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Oli Shaw replaces Marc McNulty.

Attempt blocked. Florian Kamberi (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Florian Kamberi (Hibernian).

Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Lewis Smith replaces Tony Andreu.

Booking

Lennard Sowah (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Stephane Omeonga (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Lennard Sowah (Hamilton Academical).

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Stephane Omeonga replaces Daryl Horgan.

Attempt saved. Marc McNulty (Hibernian) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Matthew Kilgallon.

Booking

Stephen Mallan (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Stephen Mallan (Hibernian).

Aaron McGowan (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the left wing.

David Gray (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Lennard Sowah (Hamilton Academical).

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Reegan Mimnaugh replaces Alexander Gogic.

Booking

Darren McGregor (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Darren McGregor (Hibernian).

George Oakley (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

George Oakley (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Paul Hanlon (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by George Oakley (Hamilton Academical).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match David Gray (Hibernian) because of an injury.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic25183459144557
2Rangers26157455203552
3Aberdeen26145743311247
4Kilmarnock25137537251246
5Hearts2513483129243
6St Johnstone26115102732-538
7Hibernian269893628835
8Motherwell25103122734-733
9Livingston2687112728-131
10Dundee2646162252-3018
11Hamilton2653181753-3618
12St Mirren2634191954-3513
View full Scottish Premiership table

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