Accies web reporter Martin McConnell with Saturday’s details…
Hope Stadium, Hamilton
Saturday 8th December 2018 at 3pm.
Hamilton Academical 0 Hibernian 1
We fell to a second defeat in three days after going down to a second half strike from Oli Shaw. With St. Mirren also losing and Dundee not in action until Sunday afternoon when they face Rangers, Accies still remain tenth and four points clear of trouble.
Accies boss Martin Canning said afterwards, “You sometimes get days like that, even in the first half we missed some good opportunities as well to take the lead and put Hibs under pressure. We didn’t take them and second half Ziggy had a chance and headed just past the back post. From there we just fell out the game and allowed Hibs to come back in to it.
I thought we sat too deep and didn’t squeeze the game well enough. The goal typifies it, there’s a first ball up and there’s no contact, it goes wide there’s no contact, it goes across the box and no contact and there’s a finish and no contact. If you’re going to do that against good players you’re going to be in trouble.
At this minute we’re not being clinical enough at both ends of the pitch. It was the same on Wednesday night at Dundee, we could have gone ahead before we go behind. And it puts pressure on teams that are struggling themselves. At the minute we’re just not doing that we’ll enough.”
Hamilton were by far the more dominant side during the goalless first forty five minutes, with the midfield looking particularly strong, breaking up play and starting more than a few attacks on the Hibs goal. Rakish Bingham looked lively up front but couldn’t quite work Marciano from the half chances that fell his way, with the best chance struck wide by James Keatings.
The second half was a complete about face as Hibs took the game by the scruff of the neck and never let go. Woods was replaced byMarsden to make his debut, things looked ominous but the ‘keeper gave a great account of himself in the face of the ever present threat. However, Oli Shaw did find the back of the net to sneak the win when it could have been by far more.
Hamilton made four changes to the side that lost 4-0 at Dens Park midweek, with Kilgallon replacing Tshiembe, Taiwo for Martin, Sowah in for McMann and Brustad replaced by Bingham. Whilst Hibernian named two changes from the draw with the Buddies, were Horgan and Bartley were replaced by Slivka and Nelom.
There was drama even before the match started, with both ‘keepers replaced due to injuries suffered during the warm up. Jan Mucha being replaced by Gary Woods and Hibernian’s Adam Bogdan by Ofir Marciano.
Accies made their presence felt inside the first minute when McGowan won the ball in midfield and starting a move that eventually saw Miller slip the ball through for Bingham, who then ran towards the bye line before striking the ball over the crossbar.
With five played, a good Slivka cross from wide right was mere inches away from being turned in by Florian Kamberi. Again, with the same ball minutes later but this time from Mavrias was bravely saved at the feet of Kamberi by Gary Woods who took a sore one in the process.
Bingham was being busy up front and found himself with a half chance when Tom Taiwo won the ball inside the Hibernian half and passing inside for Keatings to play through for the striker. He was maybe a little slow in getting his shot off and this allowed Miquel Nelom time to get back and put in a last gasp challenge before the shot was unleashed.
Woods then saved from Mallan’s attempt from twenty five yards out, and found himself in the thick of it again when Hibs were awarded a free-kick to the left of the Accies box. Mallan unexpectedly struck the ball low to the near post, Woods saved, the rebound came back out for Mallan to have a second go from ten yards but struck a body before being cleared.
Hamilton were now on top and making Hibs look more like a fish out of water. Bingham had a strike saved and Miller then got an outstretched foot to the rebound but couldn’t make it count. Then almost on the stroke of half-time, Miller made a fantastic run down wing before cutting in and playing inside where Keatings nipped in at the front post to hit wide at the back.
A bit of action just inside the Hamilton penalty area ended with Martin Boyle receiving treatment after a collision with Gary Woods.The Australian winger was stretchered off the park, and Woods was replaced by Jacob Marsden prior to the start of the second half.
The second period started well for Hamilton when a now trademark James Keatings free kick was swung into the Hibernian box from wide, where Ziggy Gordon flashed a header just wide of the back post. From then on things only got worse as the visitors took control and seemed to be queuing up to try and get a goal.
But Marsden put in a fine performance between the sticks, making save after save to give his side a lifeline in such a one sided half. But the goal came nevertheless on 64 minutes when Oliver Shaw rifled a shot beyond Marsden’s reach from a delivery by Daryl Horgan.
Hamilton:Woods (Marsden 45), McGowan, Gordon, Kilgallon, Imrie, Bingham (Bloomfield 70), Keatings, Miller, Taiwo (Boyd 77), MacKinnon (c), Sowah. Subs Unused: McMann,Want, Martin, Brustad.
Cautions: Keatings, Gordon, Taiwo.
Hibernian: Marciano, Slivka, Boyle (Hyndman 45+7), Mallan, Stevenson, Nelom (Horgan 63), Kamberi, Mavrias, Ambrose, Shaw, Porteous. Subs Unused: Gullam, Whittaker, MacLaren, McGregor, Allan.
Referee: Bobby Madden. Assistants:Alastair Mather & Sean Carr. 4th Official: Steven McLean.