London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2008-09--> All for 20090131
<-Page <-Team Sat 31 Jan 2009 Hamilton Academical 2 Hearts 0 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Herald ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Csaba Laszlo <-auth Stephen Sullivan auth-> Eddie Smith
[S Mensing 11] ;[S Mensing pen 51]
24 of 039 ----- L SPL A

Hamilton 2 - 0 Hearts

STEPHEN SULLIVAN February 02 2009

This was the first Premier League game Vladimir Romanov had attended since November 2007. He will not have considered it worth the wait.

Hearts had arrived aiming to extend a winning run against Hamilton Academical that stretched back 19 matches and almost three decades, but left facing an uncertain and potentially perilous future.

The manner of their defeat underlined that an accomplished striker is desperately needed and that now, after Christophe Berra's move to Wolves, a dependable centre-half is required just as urgently. Csaba Laszlo says he has players in mind for both positions and, should Romanov back his manager's judgment, Hearts could yet prevail in the battle for third place.

Should he instead opt to consolidate the club's fragile finances by sanctioning further sales, the Edinburgh club will be going nowhere fast. Laszlo appeared to be bracing himself for disappointment. "The decision is for the board," he said. "If they don't take the players I want, I will respect their decision."

Romanov was non-committal on the question of players arriving and unambiguous that, if acceptable fees are agreed, Andrew Driver et al will leave.

Perhaps of even greater concern was the Lithuanian's unfathomable assessment that Hearts "will not be weakened" by the loss of players such as Berra. This was nonsense and it only took 11 minutes to underline the worth of the club's departed captain. Organisation was plainly lacking when Brian Easton and James McArthur were afforded time and space to work a short corner, and so, too, was aerial prowess when the former's inviting cross was glanced home by Simon Mensing. "Now you can see the importance of Christophe Berra to this team," Laszlo said.

Billy Reid's side were worthy winners, and as well as arresting a long losing sequence in this fixture, their performance ensured a fourth successive top-flight victory for the first time since the Second World War. "I said it would take time to adjust to the SPL but we've now adjusted," said Reid.

Reid's efforts in remodelling Hamilton into a more solid and pragmatic unit have undoubtedly paid off. No visiting player has scored at New Douglas Park since Paul Hartley snatched victory for Celtic on November 16, and on Saturday the sturdy defence was able to swat away Hearts' limp attacking attempts with ease.

With Easton subduing Driver and Alex Neil shadowing Bruno Aguiar's every move, the onus was on Christian Nade to lead the visitors' charge. But Hearts' lumbering and immobile lone striker is not fit for the purpose, and Hamilton's centre-halves are unlikely to enjoy a more comfortable afternoon all season. Laszlo waited until 10 minutes from the end to introduce Gary Glen, suggesting that he considers the youngster an unsatisfactory alternative.

By this stage, Hearts were facing a lost cause in any case. Hamilton's second goal had seen to that, Mensing doubling his tally from the penalty spot after the increasingly assured James McCarthy had outwitted Neilson and goaded the full-back into hauling him back.

The ensuing chant of "Same old Accies, always winning" emphasised the transformation in Hamilton's fortunes over recent months. With Reid also reaffirming that there is "no way" any star players will be sold before 5pm today, Hearts can only look on enviously.

Taken from the Herald

<-Page <-Team Sat 31 Jan 2009 Hamilton Academical 2 Hearts 0 Team-> Page->
| Home | Contact Us | Credits | © |