Paul Hanlon’s header helped Hibernian come from behind to beat Hamilton on Wednesday evening.
Accies deservedly took a first half lead through Alex Gogic, but spurned opportunities to extend their advantage and were made to pay the price.
A tactical change by Jack Ross at half-time seen Hibs put in a much better second half performance and they were soon level when Chris Doidge poked home from close range.
With four minutes remaining, Hibs found a winner through Paul Hanlon as he headed home Martin Boyle’s cross
A win would have been a big one for either side last night, with both clubs having difficult weeks.
It was the first public appearance for Hamilton boss Brian Rice since his admission of breaking the SFA betting rules earlier this week while Hibernian pair Jason Naismith and Ryan Porteous are set for lengthy spells on the sidelines having both suffered from knee injuries.
Hamilton made just the one change from their comfortable 5-0 Scottish Cup win against Edinburgh City on Saturday with the injured Aaron McGowan being replaced by Will Collar.
Jack Ross made three changes from their 2-2 draw against Dundee United, with injured duo Ryan Porteous and Jason Naismith being replaced by Andrew Jackson and David Gray while Steven Whittaker was replaced by Vykintas Slivka.
There is absolutely no doubt that Hamilton started the much better side and had a vulnerable Hibs back four under pressure right from kick-off.
The first chance of the evening arrived on the fourth minute. A corner from Scott McMann found the head of George Oakley inside the six-yard box, but he could only head over.
Hamilton deservedly look the lead on the 17th minute, when another brilliantly placed corner from McMann found Alex Gogic at the back-post and his towering header beat Ofir Marciano.
Coincidentally, just before the corner was swung in, I was asking when the last time was, we scored a header from a corner. Couldn’t have timed it any better.
Everyone was expecting the home side to come into life following the opener, but if anything, they got worse and Accies nearly doubled their lead when Blair Alston’s strike had Marciano scrambling across his line.
The 14,000 Hibees inside Easter Road were understandably getting restless with their side and there was a sarcastic cheer as the home side managed to have their first shot of the evening through Scott Allan, but it went miles over the bar.
Credit must go to Jack Ross, who changed the formation at half-time and that probably won them the game. Melker Hallberg and Slivka came off with Joe Newell and Stephane Omeonga replacing them.
However, the most effective substitute arrived nine minutes after the restart when Daryl Horgan replaced Scott Allan.
The substitutes made a huge difference, with Martin Boyle and Horgan causing Accies all sorts of problems. It only looked a matter of time until the home side got an equaliser.
On the 55th minute Hibs created their best chance of the evening. A cross from Horgan wasn’t dealt with by the Hamilton defence and the loose ball fell to Florian Kamberi, whose powerful effort was fantastically saved by Owain Fon-Williams.
However, minutes later the pressure finally paid off. Kamberi pass split open the Accies defence as Boyle raced on to it. His angled effort came back off the post, but Christian Doidge was on hand to tap home his 11th goal of the season from point-blank range.
Fon-Williams came to Hamilton’s rescue ten minutes later when he somehow managed to tip Horgan’s effort wide of the post following some nice-link up play on the left between Kamberi and Stevenson.
The Welshman stood no chance with Hibernians winner which came four minutes from time. A cross from Boyle found Paul Hanlon and his bullet header flew past Fon-Williams.
A sore one for Hamilton, who probably deserved a point in the end.
Full Time- Hibernian 2-1 Hamilton
Marciano, Gray, Jackson, Hanlon, Stevenson, Hallberg(46), Slivka(46), Allan(54), Kamberi, Boyle, Doidge
Subs- Bogdan, James, McGregor, Omeonga(46), Newell(46), Gullan, Horgan(54)
Fon-Williams, Gogic, Fjortoft, Easton, McMann, Collar, Martin, Miller, Alston(87), Dales(58), Oakley(26)
Subs- Gourlay, Want, Hunt, Smith(58), Winter, Davies(87), Ogkmpoe(26)
Referee- Andrew Dallas
Assistants- David Doig & Joseph Lawson
Fourth Official- Bobby Madden
Attendance- 14,464 (roughly 80 away)
Goals- Gogic(17), Doidge(64), Hanlon(86)
Yellow Cards- Fjortoft(53), Fon-Williams(81), McMann(82)
Red Cards- N/A