Scottish Premiership
Hamilton1Hearts0

Hamilton Academical 1-0 Heart of Midlothian: Accies six clear of bottom two with vital win

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Highlights: Hamilton Academical 1-0 Heart of Midlothian

Hamilton Academical moved six points clear of the Scottish Premiership's bottom two with a first win in 11 attempts over Hearts.

Aaron McGowan brilliantly volleyed in the only goal after 36 minutes, meeting a Mickel Miller cross at the back post.

Seven minutes later, Hearts' David Vanecek rattled the bar with Arnaud Djoum's follow-up hacked clear.

Uche Ikpeazu and Peter Haring came close after the break, but Hearts fall four points behind Kilmarnock in fifth.

The defeat was the first Craig Levein's side have suffered against Hamilton since August 2015, and leaves them only two points above sixth-placed Edinburgh rivals Hibernian.

Accies are six clear of Dundee, who host league leaders Celtic on Sunday, and seven above bottom side St Mirren, whose game against St Johnstone was postponed.

Hearts fail to find cutting edge

After a tepid start, two big chances arrived in quick succession. First, Miller should have done better with a ball dropped in behind the Hearts defence, beating Zdenek Zlamal to it before lobbed off-target. Moments later, Callumn Morrison powered to the edge of the box but his terrific left-foot shot curled narrowly wide.

McGowan came close with a free header from a corner that was comfortably dealt with by Zlamal, but he soon had his moment. Miller swung in a hanging cross and McGowan galloped into the box, met it in mid-air and fantastically side-footed into the net. It was his first goal for the club.

Hearts were offering very little in the final third but they would almost equalise right before half-time. After some pinball in the Hamilton box, the ball fell to Vanacek just eight yards out. It looked certain he would score but the Czech fired his shot off the crossbar and Djoum's header from the rebound was cleared.

With Hearts in need of an equaliser, Vanecek was hauled off at half-time with Levein thrusting the hulking Ikpeazu - rested after starting eight games in succession - into the fray. But it was Hamilton who almost doubled their lead, Alex Gogic heading over.

Hearts dominated the second period, enjoying a glut of possession and territory, but failed to create many chances. Ikpeazu just failed to connect with a cross from fellow substitute Aidan Keena on the slide, then powered a header high over the bar as Levein's men failed to muster the ruthlessness needed to level.

Ziggy Gordon of Hamilton Academical tackles Hearts' Callumn Morrison
Hearts were unable to cleave open a stout Hamilton defence

'Disciplined and resolute' Hamilton reap rewards - analysis

This was a huge win for Hamilton, particularly on the heels of last weekend's Lanarkshire derby drubbing. This was a disciplined and resolute performance from Brian Rice's side in which they created several decent chances.

Hearts end a highly productive week, in which they reached the Scottish Cup semi-finals, on a sour note. It was a particularly disappointing outing for Vanecek amid a toothless attacking display.

'Fantastic defensive performance' - reaction

Hamilton Academical head coach Brian Rice: "The performance was fantastic defensively after the escapades last week [in a 3-0 loss to Motherwell].

"We worked really hard, tried to make it right for the fans, and we did that today. We limited Hearts to long-range shots and crosses that we dealt with fantastically."

Hearts manager Craig Levein: "Hell of a frustrating, particularly in the first half, we started the game really poorly. We were much better in the second half but we just didn't provide the quality to score.

"I've got to credit Hamilton - they made things difficult for us. After the last couple of games I was hopeful we were back on track but we were lacking today in focus and aggression and I don't know why."

Line-ups

Hamilton

  • 1Woods
  • 2McGowan
  • 6Kilgallon
  • 4Gordon
  • 46Sowah
  • 13Gogic
  • 22AndreuSubstituted forTshiembeat 79'minutes
  • 18MacKinnon
  • 25MartinSubstituted forImrieat 90+1'minutes
  • 11Miller
  • 9OakleySubstituted forMcMillanat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Tshiembe
  • 7Imrie
  • 16McMillan
  • 23Fulton
  • 28Smith
  • 30Boyd
  • 33Mimnaugh

Hearts

  • 1Zlamal
  • 25BrandonSubstituted forWightonat 66'minutes
  • 4Souttar
  • 6Berra
  • 17Garuccio
  • 38Morrison
  • 5Haring
  • 10Sutchuin-Djoum
  • 23MulraneySubstituted forKeenaat 55'minutes
  • 32VanecekSubstituted forIkpeazuat 45'minutes
  • 9Clare

Substitutes

  • 7Bozanic
  • 13Doyle
  • 15Wighton
  • 19Ikpeazu
  • 20Cochrane
  • 28Dikamona
  • 35Keena
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
2,082

Match Stats

Home TeamHamiltonAway TeamHearts
Possession
Home42%
Away58%
Shots
Home11
Away8
Shots on Target
Home5
Away1
Corners
Home3
Away5
Fouls
Home15
Away18

Live Text

Match ends, Hamilton Academical 1, Heart of Midlothian 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Hamilton Academical 1, Heart of Midlothian 0.

Attempt missed. Christophe Berra (Heart of Midlothian) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

John Souttar (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by David McMillan (Hamilton Academical).

Hand ball by Sean Clare (Heart of Midlothian).

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Dougie Imrie replaces Scott Martin.

Foul by Djoum (Heart of Midlothian).

Lennard Sowah (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Scott Martin.

Callumn Morrison (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Mickel Miller (Hamilton Academical).

John Souttar (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by David McMillan (Hamilton Academical).

Uche Ikpeazu (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Alexander Gogic (Hamilton Academical).

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Delphin Tshiembe replaces Tony Andreu.

Attempt missed. Uche Ikpeazu (Heart of Midlothian) header from the left side of the six yard box is too high.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Ziggy Gordon.

Attempt blocked. Peter Haring (Heart of Midlothian) header from the centre of the box is blocked.

Foul by Callumn Morrison (Heart of Midlothian).

Scott Martin (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. David McMillan replaces George Oakley.

Attempt missed. Aidan Keena (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right.

Foul by Uche Ikpeazu (Heart of Midlothian).

Matthew Kilgallon (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Craig Wighton replaces Jamie Brandon.

Christophe Berra (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by George Oakley (Hamilton Academical).

Foul by Djoum (Heart of Midlothian).

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

Attempt missed. Tony Andreu (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Foul by Sean Clare (Heart of Midlothian).

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

Attempt missed. Alexander Gogic (Hamilton Academical) header from very close range is high and wide to the left following a set piece situation.

Foul by Christophe Berra (Heart of Midlothian).

Mickel Miller (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Aidan Keena replaces Jake Mulraney.

Foul by Djoum (Heart of Midlothian).

Scott Martin (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic29214466165067
2Rangers30179466224460
3Aberdeen30157846341252
4Kilmarnock30149739281151
5Hearts30145113535047
6Hibernian30129945321345
7Motherwell30124143341-840
8Livingston30108123231138
9St Johnstone29115132939-1038
10Hamilton3073202061-4124
11Dundee2946192461-3718
12St Mirren2945202156-3517
View full Scottish Premiership table

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