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<-Page <-Team Sat 30 Aug 2008 Hamilton Academical 1 Hearts 2 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Sunday Mail ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Csaba Laszlo <-auth Gordon Waddell auth-> Craig Thomson
[D Lyle 80]
13 of 027 Marius Zaliukas 18 ;Andrew Driver 58 L SPL A

Hamilton 1-0 Hearts

Aug 31 2008 Gordon Waddell At New Douglas Park

ANDY DRIVER last night urged Hearts to go out and land former Hibs bad boy Derek Riordan to solve their striking struggles. The Jambos kept the heat on at the top of the table with a gutsy win over Accies - just their second home defeat in 36 matches.

But Driver, who pounced on poor defending to bag Hearts' second after a first-half opener from defender Marius Zaliukas, insists the Jambos could use deadly Deek's finishing power in the box to polish off their play.

Csaba Laszlo's side ended up clinging on for the points after Derek Lyle's 80th minute counter sparked 10 minutes of panic.

They held on though and got the win they needed to recover from their midweek humbling at the hands of Airdrie. But Hearts striker Driver is convinced that with Celtic misfit Riordan on board his side would start killing off teams when they are in the ascendancy.

He said: "Riordan has proved he can score wherever he's been.

"He did it at Hibs, he's done it when he's had the chance at Celtic and even in the reserves he did well when I played him.

"No disrespect to any of the lads here but the problem we've had this season in a couple of games has been not scoring and he's certainly someone who could come in and do that.

"Still, we ground it out today and that's something we might not have done last year although the last 10 were a bit scary."

Accies will be annoyed they gave Hearts the security blanket of a two-goal start though - especially as they were the cheapest goals they're ever likely to toss away atNewDouglas Park.

And life won't get any easier for them with a growing injury list. They were already missing a presence here with centre-half Mark McLaughlin's knee injury sidelining him for two months.

And when defensive veteran Chris Swailes started signalling to the bench he was done after 15 minutes, it was a worry. One that was to prove well founded when you saw the way the home side defended the simplest set-piece in the book.

Driver's corner from the right wasn't exactly ripped in but David Elebert lost his man and Zaliukas (below left) rose unchallenged to head home from inside the six-yard box.

Billy Reid finally managed to sub his stopper, shuffling Simon Mensing backwards to plug the gap and ending James McCarthy's brief exile to the bench after only 19 minutes.

And the teenager had an instant impact, latching on to a deft through ball from Richard Offiong only to find Marian Kello had his measure with a great point-blank stop.

The rest of the half was turgid, though, a scatter of misplaced passes and rank-rotten shooting.

It was best summed up when Laryea Kingston fed Jamie Mole in the box only to see the striker slice a shot that would have ended in Sainsbury's car park but for the scaffolding behind Tomas Cerny's goal.

At least David Obua managed to make the Czech work just before the break with his header from Michael Stewart's ball forcing a great diving stop.

Accies came out itching to get on terms but despite having all the ball the quality of their play in the final third never looked like getting the job done despite the best efforts of McCarthy. Joel Thomas in particular was a oneman gift shop on his first start.

Even he wasn't as generous as Mensing at the Jambos' second though. The former St Johnstone man's concentration was woeful as Elebert slipped a bread and butter pass to him.

Driver pounced, drove into the box, rode Elebert's recovery challenge well then slipped his shot through Cerny to put Jambos on easy street. Until they took a wrong turn with 10 minutes left.

Thinking they had the job done, the central defence fell asleep and gave sub Lyle acres of space to glance a brilliant header home from James McAthur's cross.

But Hearts held on and Laszlo said: "We showed the right spirit.

Maybe we didn't match the team on Wednesday that way. But it's all about the points and we always had this game in hand."


CRAIG THOMSON didn't have the worst of games but blotted his copybook by repeatedly blowing for some truly soft stuff against Accies.

The whistler managed to at least keep his cards in his pockets for most of the game and he couldn't help the two yellows he did dish out. RATING: 6/10

Taken from the Sunday Mail

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