Date: 13th February 2011 at 12:04pm
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Hearts got back to winning ways in the SPL yesterday with a comprehensive second win of the season at New Douglas Park.

This was the first time I had visited the New Douglas Park and I have to say I enjoyed going there. It’s certainly a far cry from the old ground despite it (allegedly?!) being on the site of the decrepit old terracings we used to frequent the last time Hamilton were SPL regulars in the late ’80s. It now reminds me a little of the Falkirk Stadium when it was first built, with two sides of the stadium open, although to be fair to the Bairns their home support is ever so slightly larger. But it’s a pleasant enough venue to go along to for a game and pretty easy to find as well, which isn’t always the case!

It was important that Jim Jefferies’ men got their season going again as soon as possible after the disappointment of losing recently at the homes of both Old Firm clubs, and from pretty much the first whistle yesterday, I would have to say that the outcome of this match was never in doubt.

Rarely have a I seen a home team as listless and devoid of self-belief as Hamilton were yesterday. I suppose that is what happens when you have as poor a record as they do this season on their own turf, but it was still pleasing to see Hearts taking advantage of this in a very professional manner.

The one guy that everyone was keen to see was the returning Andy Webster, and although he will rarely have as gentle a time of it as he had yesterday, he looks as though he’s going to be a great signing. He strolled through the match hardly breaking sweat, and already the Hearts defence has more of an air of relaxed authority about it with him in the side. Very encouraging.

Hearts took a grip on the midfield from the word go and the amount of possession they had at times would have been embarrassing even in a home match. The only real problem they had was that old chestnut of not being able to turn territorial superiority into the creation of clear-cut chances. The guys that Hearts normally rely on for this sort of thing were either not firing or not available for selection: Driver and the recently off-form Templeton started on the bench, whereas Rudi Skacel had one of his least effective afternoons since his return to the club. And added to that, Kevin Kyle was of course absent due to the injury he picked up last month.

However on the positive side when it came to the final third, Stephen Elliott was looking very sharp indeed, while Suso and Craig Thomson continued to look dangerous attacking down the Hearts right. The majority of things Hearts created in the first half did tend to come from the right hand side, although when the opening goal did arrive it came via a great move down the left involving Lee Wallace, whose driven cross was met brilliantly by Elliott, who got in front of his marker to direct an great header across the ‘keeper and into the far corner of the net. It was just rewards after a typically tireless performance up front by the Irishman.

Hearts continued to press for the rest of the half, and came within a whisker of making it 2-0 just before the interval when Palazuelos’ right foot shot was deflected inches wide. Incidentally the Spaniard had one of the best games I’ve seen him have in a Hearts jersey – very composed indeed, although perhaps the time and space he was afforded had something to do with that. Credit where it is due, though.

The second half was largely a non-event in a competitive sense, as Hearts made it 2-0 shortly after the re-start to be sure of the points. It came via a corner from Rudi Skacel: Zaliukas met it with his head and from this point onwards it was very difficult for us to see what actually happened from our position at the opposite end of the stadium! It looked as though the ‘keeper spilled the header and it went behind him into the net, but I’m told that Elliott got the final touch with his head, so either he nipped in front of the ‘keeper or he took advantage of the mistake to claim the goal. Either way, it was Elliott’s goal and the game was over at this stage.

Hearts professionally closed out the game with minimal fuss, and allowed themselves to give the likes of Driver and Templeton and nice little run-out for the last 20 minutes or so. It was very important that they got the points to cement their place in third, and with Kilmarnock losing at Hibs it looks as though Dundee United may be their only real challenger for that position this season, although they could eliminate them as early as next week when the two teams clash at Tynecastle.

All in all a good afternoon for Hearts and a relatively painless journey west for the fans, which makes a nice change!


One Reply to “Hearts Brush Aside Sorry Accies”

  • nice to see a good win and performance, even if against a very poor Hamilton side. disappointed that driver didn’t do better when he came on, but hope that means he’s saving it for more important games. Thompson/Wallace seem to be keeping up the good form, long may it continue – and I’ll have a few more like that Rubens! :o)

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