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Csaba Laszlo <-auth Hearts Media auth-> David Somers
Stewart Michael Bouzid Ismael Mickael [J McArthur 5] ;[S Mensing 24] Leon Knight
2 of 007 Eggert Jonsson 39L SPL A

Remarkable afternoon at Hamilton but only defeat

From Hearts News at New Douglas Park

Nine-man Hearts went down 2-1 to Hamilton today at New Douglas Park on an afternoon when nothing went the way of the visitors.

Goals from James McArthur and Simon Mensing gave Hamilton an early advantage that Hearts couldn't overcome despite Eggert Jonsson pulling a goal back before half time. The away side also had Michael Stewart sent off just after half time for violent conduct while Ismael Bouzid saw red late on for two yellow cards.

After the match Suso and Ian Black joined their team-mates in receiving retrospective red cards.

Laszlo was forced into a couple of changes as Ruben Palazuelos missed out due to the birth of his baby girl while Lee Wallace and Jason Thomson missed out through injury. That meant Craig Thomson dropped back into the back four with a return from suspension for Jose Goncalves at left back. And there was the surprise inclusion of Suso Satanta returning from his lengthy injury absence to join Kingston and Nade in attack.

Hearts have quite possibly never endured a worst half an hour of football under Csaba Laszlo than they did at New Douglas Park today. And the damage began quickly.

After four minutes a routine ball through the middle left the Hearts defence in tatters, as Michael Antoine-Curier raced through one-on-one with Janos Balogh. The floundering defenders were given the briefest of respite's when Curier's shot came back off the post but when the ball bounced back off the frame of the goal the quickest player to react was James McArthur to smash the ball into the roof of the net to give the Accies a fourth minute lead.

Things did not improve and James Wesolowski was allowed far too much space on the edge of the box and Hearts were fortunate that his deflected effort fell wide of the right hand post.

A couple of minutes later Antoine-Curier and McArthur worked the ball effortlessly through the Hearts' half until the latter was brought down on the edge of the penalty area. But the former Hibs striker's attempt from the free-kick was high and wide of goal.

With 23 minutes on the clock and a one-goal advantage you maybe could have thought that the Hamilton players could have been forgiven for keeping possession and knocking the ball around. The home crowd did not agree as they began to jeer their players for not continuing to take the game to a Hearts' side clearly there for the taking.

This criticism must have filtered through to the home players because three minutes later they doubled their advantage. Richie Hastings cross from the left found Simon Mensing, who couldn't have been more alone if he was Tiger Woods at a First Wives' Club meeting, and the midfielder bundled the ball past Balogh for a 2-0 lead.

Hearts were in desperate need of a change and that moment arrived as the number 18 shirt of Arvydas Novikovas rose from the dugout to get ready to take the field. At first glance Arvy appeared to have taken on a very different taller and more African complexion before closer inspection revealed that David Obua had donned the wrong shirt and had to be hurried back into the dugout for a quick change. With the Ugandan fully aware of his own identity he took to the field and set about getting Hearts back into the match by introducing directness to his game that has been badly missing in recent weeks.

Five minutes of the half was remaining when Obua drove the ball down the left wing and found Eggert Jonsson with a low cross which the Icelander duly dispatched. It was pretty much the away side's first legitimate attempt at goal but a welcomed lifeline for a startlingly lifeless team.

Any momentum that may have been taken from that goal from Jonsson were killed off five minutes into the second half as captain Michael Stewart was sent off for the second time this season. Referee David Somers was of the opinion that the midfielder had reacted angrily to a late challenge from Alex Neil.

Hamilton saw the opportunity to kill the game off and secure the points but six minutes later Jamie MacDonald produced a brilliant low save to deny Antonie-Curier after the striker found himself free in the penalty area.

The keeper was at it again on 60 minutes when he produced a strong two handed save to stop Marco Paixao's free kick from nestling in the top left corner of the net.

Hearts' most attacking threat this season has been the consistently excellent delivery of Craig Thomson since the youngster burst onto the scene against Dinamo Zagreb in September. And playing with a one-man disadvantage the away side were becoming increasingly reliant on their right back to produce something to get them back on level terms.

On 61 minutes Thomson found the head of Suso from eight yards out but the Spaniard couldn't produce enough power in the effort to knock it past Cerny. Then on 73 minutes a Thomson free-kick from the left evaded everybody and just about crept in at the back post.

While another goal didn't come, Hearts route back into the match officially ended on 83 minutes when Ismael Bouzid was sent off for a second bookable offence.

If the away fans weren't distraught enough with the referee then they were downright irate four minutes into injury time when Calum Elliot had an appeal for a penalty turned down by David Somers. The striker was certainly livid at the decision. Replays appeared to show he had been hard done by.

It was one of those days.

Hamilton: Cerny; McClenahan, McLaughlin, Canning, Hastings; Wesolowski (Elebert 90), McArthur, Mensing, Beuzelin (Paixao 51), Neil; Antoine-Curier. Subs Not Used: Murdoch, Evans, Knight, Kirkpatrick, Crawford.

Hearts: Balogh (MacDonald 45); C Thomson, Bouzid, Kucharski (Obua 28), Goncalves; M Stewart, Black, Jonsson; Kingston, Suso (Elliot 63), Nade. Subs Not Used: Wallace, J Stewart, Novikovas, Mole. Booked: Suso, C Thomson, Bouzid. Sent Off: M Stewart, Bouzid

Referee: David Sommers

Top man: Jamie McDonald

Hearts World

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