Web reporter Mark Gillespie comments on Saturday’s impressive win at Easter Road
Easter Road, Edinburgh.
Saturday 19th August 2017 at 3pm.
Hibernian 1 Hamilton Academical 3
Easter Road remains a happy hunting ground for Accies supporters, after moving up to fourth in the table with their third consecutive win against Hibs at Easter Road. An outstanding second half display, including another early contender for goal of the season secured us another three valuable points.
Martin Canning was delighted with his side, saying, “I thought that in the first half we were good and said to the boys at half time that I thought we could win the game, and in the second half we were excellent. The third goal in particular was a great goal, a great team goal. I’m really pleased with the effort, the togetherness and work rate from everyone.”
After such a positive result against Dundee, Martin Canning made only one change to his side, with Xavier Tomas returning from suspension in place of Massimo Donati in defence. Counterpart Neil Lennon meanwhile made just one change from the win at Ibrox, with Danny Swanson replacing Slivka in midfield,
It was a cagey opening half hour but Accies looked comfortable for the most part. Neither goalkeeper had seen much of the ball, with in form Simon Murray having the first real glimpse of goal on 22 minutes. The striker will have been disappointed to head a free header wide of Woods’ post from Swanson’s corner. Three minutes later and it was Swanson who had the first effort on target for the hosts, but Gary Woods was well positioned to tip his long-range effort around the post.
Despite Hibs shading early possession Accies had largely subdued the hosts, their best effort a looping Bingham shot over the cross bar in the first minute. Greg Docherty forced Marciano into action on the half hour though, as he ran onto a ball in space on the edge of the box. With time to set himself, his powerful drive was tipped over by the Hibs keeper.
The game began to spark to life in the run up to half time, with Murray having the best chance of the game, sent clean through on goal by McGinn’s through ball, but Woods was quick off his line to block the effort on 34 minutes.
After weathering some Hibs pressure, Accies seized a grip of the game in the second half, winning a succession of early corners and a couple of Dougie Imrie efforts going just wide. They went on to break the deadlock on 51 minutes with Greg Docherty adjudged to have been fouled just inside the penalty area, Rakish Bingham stepped up to put Accies in front from the penalty spot.
It seemed to deflate the home side and support and Hamilton continued to look the more purposeful side. It could have been number two on 64 minutes after a driving run by Docherty into the box set up substitute Louis Longridge, with his powerful shot striking the bar and over.
Shortly after Longridge had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down, but went onto extend the Accies lead soon afterwards. A long Accies ball deflected of Ambrose into the path of Crawford, who looked up to play in Longridge, and a low composed finish gave Accies a decisive grip of the game.
Gaps began to appear in the home defence as Hibs chased the game and Accies started to cut through the Hibs back line on the counter. It paid off for Hamilton when they duly took advantage on 87 minutes to add goal number three, when a superb passing move ended with Longridge looking up on the edge of the box to tee up for Bingham to shoot low into Marciano’s corner.
A late strike in added on time by Stokes was the only blemish on the record as he fired past Woods from close range in injury time. This, though was a fully deserved three points for a confident looking Accies side, who move onto Rugby Park next week with nothing to fear.
Hibernian: Marciano, Whittaker, Hanlon, McGinn, McGeouch (Matulevicius 75), Swanson (Barker 55), Murray, Stevenson, McGregor (Slivka 61), Ambrose, Stokes. Subs Unused: Laidlaw, Gray,Fontaine, Matulevicius, Murray.
Goals: Stokes 90+2.
Accies: Woods, Skondras, McMann, Tomas, Imrie (c), Docherty, Bingham (Gillespie 89), A Crawford(Redmond 80) MacKinnon, S Boyd (longridge 62), Sarris. Subs Unused: Gogic, Templeton, Lyon, Jamieson
Goals: Bingham 51 pen, 87, Longridge 68.
Cautions: Imrie, Redmond.
Referee:Steven McLean. Assistants: Mark McLean & Paul O’Neill. 4th Official: Colin Steven.
Attendance: 16,633 (242 Accies).