It was a crucial tie for both sides as victory for either of them would sent their opponent bottom. It’s a situation that Brian Rice and Daniel Stendel were looking to take their teams away from.
Accies had the first big chance of the match, with George Oakley missing a header at the front post from just yards out before another was well saved by Joel Pereira. The biggest chance of the half though came a minute before the break as a Craig Halkett’s strike came crashing off the bar.
From a fast start to a midfield war, the game was a hard fought battle by both outfits. It was Hamilton though who would eventually break the deadlock after Miller fired the ball into the top corner after some good link-up play with Oakley. Will Collar sealed the match with a low effort that trundled under Pereira.
Oliver Bozanic got a goal for Hearts but it wasn’t enough. Accies are three clear of the Tynecastle side in 11th now. It’s doom and gloom again for Hearts as they suffered their sixth defeat in seven games. Here are three things we learned.
Attack seemed to be the plan for both Hamilton and Hearts
When looking at the teamsheet prior to kick off, it looked set to be a plan of attack for Accies and Hearts. They both had three recognised strikers on the park as aggressive approaches were implemented.
Early on it was the home attack getting the most joy with some good chances from Oakley before Steven Naismith missed a big chance. On both sides there was physicality brought to the fore by Steve Davies and Uche Ikpeazu.
In the end though Miller got a goal for the home side, a just reward after his endeavour during the game. It was enough to tip the tie Hamilton’s way as they went on to win the match.
Scrappy affair won by moment of quality
Both sides struggled to piece together much rhythm in this match. The opening 25 minutes were played at a high intensity but it soon turned into a scrap filled with tough tackles and niggly fouls.
It wasn’t a particularly eye-catching affair but both sides put in workmanlike shifts. It was just that final link in the final third that was escaping this clash.
One big moment of Accies quality was all it took though. Oakley and Miller did superbly well to work their way through the Hearts defence and open the scoring. It gave their side confidence and momentum which propelled them into control and just about over the finishing line.
Hearts’ struggles in front of goal
It’s evident that Stendel’s going to have to bring in a few forwards in January. Steven Naismith provided impetus in the first half but after he failed to appear for the second, Hearts created very little.
In their last seven games Hearts have scored two goals and have the joint-third-worst attack in the league. Their inability to grab that vital strike when they had control allowed Hamilton to get into a two goal lead before Bozanic’s header.
On another day of bleakness, Stendel will have been left with more questions than answers. Some of those questions are surely going to be asked of the strikers.