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<-Page <-Team Sat 26 Sep 2009 Hearts 2 Hamilton Academical 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Scotsman ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Csaba Laszlo <-auth Barry Anderson auth-> Alan Muir
[M Paixao 62]
3 of 006 Michael Stewart pen 55 ;Suso Santana 57 L SPL H

Hearts 2 - 1 Hamilton Academical

Published Date: 26 September 2009
A SPIRITED second half performance was sufficient for Hearts to procure three points from a resilient Hamilton at Tynecastle.
Hearts: Stewart 55 pen, Suso 57
Hamilton: Paixao 62

Two quick goals, a Michael Stewart penalty and an impromptu finish from Suso, shortly after the interval accorded the hosts a comfortable looking 2-0 lead. However Marco Paixao replied for the visitors who, with a little more attacking presence, might have posed greater threat in their search for an equaliser.

Minor injuries denied Hearts the services of Lee Wallace and Gary Glen, while illness forced Ruben Palazuelos home from Tynecastle an hour before kick-off. That allowed Ian Black to start alongside David Witteveen, a surprise inclusion whom manager Csaba Laszlo had verbally chastised in the media. There was also a return for
Andy Driver after his precautionary exclusion from midweek Co-operative Cup duty.

Witteveen's opening was conspicuously unimpressive as he continually failed to retain possession in the opposition half. Coupled with Hamilton's harrying tactics this had an unsettling effect around Tynecastle. Palazuelos' calming influence and ball retention were being sorely missed as the hosts sought to add a touch of cohesion to their play.

With Hamilton stifling the midfield area, Hearts' most effective attacking option was Craig Thomson venturing forward from right-back. Several of his deliveries into the penalty box were yearning to be converted but Witteveen and David obua found themselves closely policed in the air. From the teenager's 33rd minute corner, Jose Goncalves nodded the ball against the crossbar.

Richard Hastings' arced a free-kick only millimetres wide on 37 minutes but Hamilton's attempts on goal were primarily wayward and from distance during an unremarkable first half. In the closing minutes Suso set off on a penetrating run from his own half but was guilty of not releasing the ball to Driver in space on the edge of the visitors' penalty area. He was eventually dispossessed.

The second half opened with Hearts in the ascendency and looking infinitely more purposeful. Tomas Cerny, the Hamilton goalkeeper, held Suso's curling 20-yard attempt, and on 54 minutes Witteveen won a penalty when he was impeded going past Martin Canning. Stewart confidently thumped the ball to Cerny's right from 12 yards but visiting manager Billy Reid protested over an alleged hand ball during the build-up.

Witteveen, looking a far more effective player than the indecisive figure of the first period, was also the catalyst for the second goal moments later. He fastened on to a through ball and achieved a corner from which the advantage was doubled. Thomson's delivery was nodded downwards and Suso insolently flicked the ball beyond Cerny from close range, improvising superbly with his back to goal. The 2-0 scoreline appeared to decree the contest over but Hamilton halved the deficit shortly after the hour mark through Paixao. He gathered substitute Grant Evans' through ball by getting his body in front of Thomson and sprinted clear to finish low to Janos Balogh's left.

Witteveen might have secured victory four minutes from time when he fastened on to a through pass, however the attentions of three visiting defenders saw the Austrian drag his shot wide on the turn.

At the opposite end Hamilton rarely looked capable of penetrating their hosts, and as such the closing stages passed without too much consternation for Marius Zaliukas and his defenders. It was a tight victory, but considering the possession they enjoyed throughout the second half it was one Hearts definitely deserved. The only concern at full-time was Zaliukas having to restrain Balogh from confronting Goncalves, who had criticised the Hungarian for some unconvincing late goalkeeping.

Hearts (4-2-3-1): Balogh; C Thomson, Bouzid, Zaliukas, Goncalves; Black, M Stewart; Obua, Suso, Driver; Witteveen. Subs: MacDonald, Kucharski, Novikovas 78 (for Suso), J Thomson, J Stewart 90 (for Black), Mulrooney, Robinson 90 (for Witteveen).

Hamiilton (4-1-4-1): Cerny; McClenahan, Canning, McLaughlin, Hastings; Wesolowski; Mensing, McArthur, Mason, Paixao; Antoine-Curier. Subs: Murdoch, Evans 46 (for Mensing), Louhoungou 73 (for Wesolowski), Gillespie, Kissock, Elebert, Knight 82 (for Antoine-Curier).

Referee: Alan Muir.

Attendance: 13,025.

Taken from the Scotsman

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