On Boxing day, I travelled to the capital for my favourite away ground in the league by a mile which is Tynecastle. Hamilton do have a horrendous record In Edinburgh, with normally the result ending in defeat and unfortunately Wednesday was no different. The Jambo’s are on a really poor run of form at the moment Winning just one of their last eight games before the midweek encounter. I have travelled to every home and away game so far this season, including friendlies etc and we are absolutely brutal on the road and so easy to play against.
We are far to open and far to defensive every single game. Yesterday, one pass from either Christophe Berra or Michael Smith took all 3 of our midfielders out of the game, which meant our 5 at the back lost shape. Scott McMann was left himself against Morrison and Godinho every time. We need to strengthen our strike-force in January if we have any hope of surviving this season. Our strikers ( Bingham and Brustad) have scored 1 goal each this season. I think that says enough. A consistent creative midfielder is also required as we don’t create enough also. Miller is a good player as well as Keating’s but it doesn’t happen every week. I think we need to stick to four at the back also and if we do opt for five we need to have three centre-backs in there and not a left-back, like Sowah has done the last two weeks.
After doing my research, we have scored five away goals all season with three of them coming against St Mirren. We also scored against Motherwell on the first away game of the season, where we scored a fluke to be honest and I couldn’t believe we won that game. We have had 18 shot on target away from home this season in 10 games, which is an average of 1.8 shots a game.
Craig Levien made three changes from the defeat at Pittodrie on Saturday, where Aberdeen strolled to a 2-0 victory. Ollie Bozanic, Sean Clare and Demetri Mitchell dropped out and were replaced by Arnold Djoum, Callumn Morrison and Marcus Garrucio. Goalkeeper, Colin Doyle made his home debut for the Jambo’s after making his debut for the club last weekend.
The visitors also made 4 changes, which Martin Canning would have certainly not wanted to make but was forced to, due to injury. Matthew Kilgallon, Darian MacKinnon and James Keating’s all picked up knocks against Kilmarnock on Saturday so were replaced by Shaun Want, Delphin Tshiembe and Scott Martin. Lenny Sowah also dropped to the bench and Fredrik Brustad started up-front.
The game got underway at Tynecastle and I could tell after the first five minutes that we could be in for a long afternoon in the capital. The hosts should have been ahead after just two minutes on the clock. Callumn Morrison beat his man on the right before swinging in a wicked delivery which Steven Naismith headed into the side-netting from six yards out. Naismith will have been relieved to see the offside flag up. Delphin Tshiembe injured himself early so was replaced by Lenny Sowah as the Accies injury list continues to grow. Steven Maclean went close after nine minutes when the Scotsman headed wide a Marcus Garrucio cross.
The home side continued to knock on the door and were denied only by a vital Lenny Sowah block after 16 minutes. A lovely over the top ball by Arnold Djoum was flicked on by Naismith to Morrison, who waited for it to drop on his right but Sowah flung himself in-front of it to deny the opening goal. However, the home side deservedly broke the deadlock a minute later when a corner went back out to Garuccio, who played in Naismith. The striker had all the time in the world, in a crowded penalty area to spin and curl into the right-hand corner. The Jambo’s should have doubled their lead after 31 minutes when a quick free-kick caught Accies off-guard, allowing MacLean go through one-on-one, but he pulled his effort wide. Accies had their first shot and only shot of the afternoon when Dougie Imrie slid a pass into Scott Martin, who turned his man and had a shot at goal, however his effort was tame and was easily gathered by Colin Doyle. It was only a matter of time until the home side scored their second and they done exactly that just before the half-time whistle. Another fantastic cross by Morrison found Djoum at the back-post, before the Cameroonian took a touch and rifled it past Gary Woods from close-range.
Half time- Hearts 2-0 Hamilton
It was a slow start to the second half with the game near enough over. After 56 minutes a cross was nodded down to Djoum who’s fresh air swipe ended up going to Michael Smith, who fired over. Sean Clare came on to replace Steven MacLean and nearly provided an assist with his first touch when he was played through by Naismith. Clare bared down on goal before unselfishly trying to square it for Djoum to tap home but Ziggy Gordon got back to block the pass. The away side were reduced to 10 men on the 70th minute, summing up what was another awful Accies performance. Shaun Want made a mess of a pass which allowed Naismith to nick it off him and break free, leaving the centre-back with no choice to pull the Hearts strikers jersey. It also gave referee Don Robertson no choice other than to send him off. The home side were awarded probably the strangest and most harsh penalty I have seen in a long time. At the time nobody knew why. The video replay showed that Ziggy Gordon apparently handled the ball which was on the ground. Very harsh. Michael Smith stepped up and smashed his effort off the crossbar before the second attempt was cleared. The final action at Tynecastle was a unbelievable save by Woods. A long-range piledriver from around 25 yards by Olly Lee was tipped over by the Accies keeper.
Full Time- Hearts 2-0 Hamilton
Doyle, Godinho, Berra, Smith, Garuccio, Djoum(74), Haring(81), Lee, Morrison, Naismith, MacLean(60)
Subs- Zlamal, Hughes, Bozanic(81), Hickey, McDonald, Mulraney(74), Clare(60)
Woods, McGowan, Tshiembe(10), Want, Gordon, McMann, Taiwo, Martin, Imrie, Brustad(74), Miller(53)
Subs- Marsden, Sowah(10), Gogic, Monlouis, Boyd(74), Bloomfield, Bingham(53)
Referee- Don Robertson
Assistants- Graeme Stewart & Gary Hilland
Fourth Official- Barry Cook
Attendance- 16,475 (106 Away)
Goals- Naismith(17), Djoum(44)
Yellow Cards- Godinho(30), Want(56, 71), Garuccio(66)
Red Cards- Want(71)