Hearts not breaking sweat

By TwoTonTed
Last updated : 12 February 2011
Stephen Elliott scored twice to keep the Hearts bandwagon going and keep Hamilton on the bottom of the table. The New Douglas Park  visitors dominated from the first whistle and there was no surprise when the Irishman headed the Gorgie side into the lead in the 22nd minute from a Lee Wallace cross. The first 45 minutes showed why Accies had not won a home league game this season and when, a minute after the break, Elliott deflected in a Marius Zaliukas header from a Rudi Skacel corner that record was kept intact. Billy Reid's men were completely outplayed and, although they improved after the interval, in the end it proved to be one of Hearts' easiest wins of the season. Much had been made of Andy Webster's second debut for Hearts. The big defender replaced Ismael Bouzid while Wallace came in for Adrian Mrowiec. While Webster was underemployed in the first half back, such was the lack of threat from Hamilton, Wallace was key to the Jambos' superiority. The Scotland left-back helped the visitors dominate possession as Accies shaped up in a defensive formation which hinted at a long afternoon for the suffering Hamilton fans.

Mickael Antoine-Curier was once again Accies' lone striker and he had virtually no support in the opening stages as Hearts kept the ball albeit without threatening New Douglas Park goalkeeper Tomas Cerny. In the 16th minute Jim McAlister dispossessed Wallace as he raced down the left but the home side's promising break, their first of the game, ended with the Accies midfielder overplaying his cross to the back post. Moments later, at the other end, Tynecastle midfielder Eggert Jonsson headed over from a Skacel corner. There was almost an inevitability about Elliott's opening goal after 22 minutes. Jonsson fed Wallace down the left and when another great cross from the defender came into the box the Irishman dipped his head to flick the ball past Cerny from 12 yards. It was just reward for Hearts superiority and a sorry looking Accies side seemed incapable of responding. Just after the half-hour mark, as Hearts swarmed around the Hamilton box again, defender Craig Thomson drilled a low shot just past the far post. Then, Jonsson was at the back to post to meet a lofted Thomson corner from the left but volleyed high over.

Hearts did grab a second in the opening moments of the second half to secure all three point with Elliott deflecting in a Zaliukas header from Skacel's corner. In the 73rd minute McAlister had another left-footed effort from the edge of the box but Marian Kello confidently smothered. Hearts clearly thought the points were in the bag as the game entered its closing stages - to the annoyance of their bench, who urged an increase in energy. Accies huffed and puffed but the goal did not arrive.

Hamilton: Cerny, Buchanan, Canning, Elebert, McLaughlin, Gordon, Imrie, Routledge, Skelton, McAlister, Antoine-Curier
Subs: Murdoch, Graham, Casalinuovo, Carrington, Flavio Paixao, Marco Paixao, Elliott

Hearts: Kello, Craig Thomson, Webster, Zaliukas, Wallace, Santana, Black, Palazuelos, Jonsson, Elliott, Skacel
Subs: MacDonald, Driver, Templeton, Stevenson, Bouzid, Glen, Mrowiec.

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