Jambos gain revenge on Accies

The Jambos managed to avenge their defeat to the Accies in the

so-called ‘Battle of New Douglas Park’ earlier in the season.

Second-half goals from David Obua and substitute David Templeton –

courtesy of a horrible Brian Easton blunder – cemented the home

side’s place in the top six and moved them back to within four

points of Motherwell. Hamilton’s only clear-cut chance fell to

Flavio Paixao while it was still 0-0 and Sunday’s defeat left them

just a point clear of rock-bottom Falkirk. Hearts handed striker

Calum Elliot his first start of the season as well as recalling the

fit-again Jason Thomson, while Laryea Kingston looked set to make

his long-awaited comeback from the bench. Hamilton welcomed back

captain Alex Neil and fellow midfielder James Wesolowski after both

recovered from hamstring injuries. Five players and a masseur were

sent off in a game marred by a post-match tunnel brawl when Accies

beat Hearts 2-1 in early December. Today’s game was preceded by the

news the three Jambos stars fined by the club for their off-field

behaviour that day had been let off the hook by an administrative

blunder. A fifth-minute Arvydas Novikovas free-kick could have led

to an opening goal after Tomas Cerny failed to claim the winger’s

crossed effort. Hearts screamed in vain for a penalty in the 13th

minute when Elliot went down under pressure from Simon Mensing, who

was playing as a makeshift centre-half. At the other end, Flavio

Paixao tried an audacious angled volley which was not too far away.

Hamilton were flooding the midfield and Hearts were struggling to

create from anything other than set plays. Captain Marius Zaliukas

should have found the target from the latest on the half-hour, the

defender rising unchallenged to nod over Suso’s corner. There was

almost as much goalmouth action in the second minute of the second

half as there had been in the whole of the first. Elliot slipped

over trying to convert a ball that had broken to him in the box off

an Eggert Jonsson flick-on, and Lee Wallace blasted over on the

follow-up. Hearts then lost winger Suso, who hobbled off to be

replaced by the fit-again Templeton. Templeton took little time to

make an impact, forcing David Elebert into a challenge 25 yards out

which earned the defender the game’s first booking. And there was

almost an opening goal from both sides in the 58th minute. Hearts

were first to go agonisingly close, Thomson’s diving header

drifting wide after Obua flicked on Novikovas’ corner. Hamilton

burst upfield and Marco Paixao fed twin brother Flavio, whose low

drive was too close to Marian Kello. Wallace was getting forward

well and drove over again in the 62nd minute before namesake Ryan

came on for Elliot. The change paid off inside two minutes,

Stevenson getting himself free down the right before curling in a

left-foot cross Obua managed to nod into the far corner of Cerny’s

net. Marco Paixao sliced his finish wide after being fed by James

McArthur as the visitors tried to respond. Zaliukas joined Elebert

in the book for a late tackle on Flavio Paixao, the resultant

free-kick leading to a succession of dangerous Hamilton corners.

With 13 minutes remaining, Kingston replaced Novikovas to a mixture

of cheers and jeers from the Hearts fans, while Accies brought on

Brian McQueen for Wesolowski. Obua saw a shot on target blocked

before the home side were gifted a second goal by a horrible

blunder from Easton. The defender looked in control underneath

Stevenson’s long ball but he inexplicably lobbed the advancing

Cerny under pressure from Templeton, who won the race to the line

to poke home. Accies threw on Alister Crawford for Marco Paixao

before Easton almost atoned for his mistake with an exocet volley

that was unlucky to be straight at Kello. Kingston tried to win

over his critics in the final minute with an ambitious 30-yard

volley too close to Cerny, while Jonsson was booked for a foul on

Flavio Paixao. Kingston appealed for handball in the box in

stoppage-time before blasting another fine strike over the

crossbar.