Scottish Premiership
HamiltonHamilton Academical1HeartsHeart of Midlothian0

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

By Jonathan SutherlandBBC Scotland at Hope CBD Stadium

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."



Formation 4-1-3-2

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


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


Formation 4-4-2

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


  • 7Bozanic
  • 13Doyle
  • 15Wighton
  • 19Ikpeazu
  • 20Cochrane
  • 28Dikamona
  • 35Keena
William Collum

Match Stats

Home TeamHamiltonAway TeamHearts
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

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

  2. Full Time

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

  3. Post update

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

  4. Post update

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

  5. Post update

    Foul by David McMillan (Hamilton Academical).

  6. Post update

    Hand ball by Sean Clare (Heart of Midlothian).

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Dougie Imrie replaces Scott Martin.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Djoum (Heart of Midlothian).

  9. Post update

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

  10. Post update

    Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Scott Martin.

  11. Post update

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

  12. Post update

    Foul by Mickel Miller (Hamilton Academical).

  13. Post update

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

  14. Post update

    Foul by David McMillan (Hamilton Academical).

  15. Post update

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

  16. Post update

    Foul by Alexander Gogic (Hamilton Academical).

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Delphin Tshiembe replaces Tony Andreu.

  18. Post update

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

  19. Post update

    Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Ziggy Gordon.

  20. Post update

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

As It Stood

9St Johnstone29115132939-1038
12St Mirren2945202156-3517
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