By Ben McNicol
Hibs made it four wins on the bounce after defeating an in-form Hamilton side 2-0 at Easter Road.
Accies started excellently, having four attempts at goal within the first 10 minutes and came closest through Marios Ogkmpoe who’s strike cannoned back off Ofir Marciano’s left-hand post.
However, within a matter of two minutes things went from bad to worse the visitors. Jamie Hamilton was handed a straight red card from referee Craig Napier for a reckless challenge on Martin Boyle before the winger put the Hibees ahead with a tremendous curling effort into the top corner.
It could have gotten worse in the 33rd minute Hibs were awarded a penalty after Christian Doidge tumbled inside the box following a challenge from David Moyo. Ryan Fulton pulled off an excellent save from 12-yards to give the visitors a fighting chance going into the second-half.
The second-half started off lively, as Bruce Anderson’s snapshot from the edge of the box was saved while up the other end Chris Cadden’s powerful strike pulled another fine save out of Fulton.
The home side doubled their advantage with 20 minutes remaining as the game became more open. Boyle made a great run along the right side and chipped the ball towards the back-post for Josh Doig, who headed home his first Hibs goal.
Doig’s goal ultimately killed the contest as a whole and there was next to nothing to report on for the last quarter of an hour apart from both sides making a whole host of changes with the game out of reach. Here are three things we learned.
Boyle was excellent for Hibs and was instrumental in the first-half especially. He showed an excellent turn of pace down the wing, inviting a challenge from Hamilton before then picking himself off the floor and producing a moment of pure brilliance with a tremendous curling effort into the top corner.
There’s no doubt he’ll be disappointed to have missed from 12-yards, but that’s five goals in four game for the Aussie and his importance to this Hibs side is second to none.
Red card turning point
18-year-old Hamilton’s red card was undoubtedly a game changer at Easter Road. The visitors started promisingly and were unlucky not to be ahead after Ogkmpoe’s strike rattled the post.
The teenager looked to have his foot raised very high and that gave referee Napier a decision to make. He’ll be a huge miss for their next fixture against St Johnstone and Accies fans will be hopeful that Aaron Martin will be available after missing this match due to injury.
In recent seasons, games like this could’ve got ugly very quickly for Hamilton, but they deserve a huge amount of credit for digging in and making a decent Hibs side work right until the final whistle for their three points. But eventually the Easter Road side were too good.