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<-Page <-Team Sun 06 Dec 2009 Hamilton Academical 2 Hearts 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Scotsman ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Csaba Laszlo <-auth auth-> David Somers
Stewart Michael Bouzid Ismael Mickael [J McArthur 5] ;[S Mensing 24] Leon Knight
4 of 007 Eggert Jonsson 39L SPL A

Hamilton 2 - 1 Hearts: Off-day for the visitors as McArthur and Mensing give Accies precious victory

Published Date: 07 December 2009
By Stephen Halliday
HEARTS lost their captain, lost a match and then completely lost the plot yesterday as they provided another sorry entry to Scottish football's worst case file of indiscipline.
An afternoon which began with Csaba Laszlo's team in disarray on the pitch ended in mayhem in the New Douglas Park tunnel as a mass brawl erupted. While Hearts had just cause to be upset by referee David Somers' failure to award them a penalty kick in stoppage time, there was no excuse for their failure to control themselves following a match they ended with nine men following the second-half dismissals of captain Michael Stewart and Ismael Bouzid.

Ian Black was sent off at full-time for foul and abusive language and Suso Santana took Hearts' red card tally to four for his part in the tunnel bust-up with Hamilton's unused substitute Leon Knight also sent off. Alan Robson, the Hearts masseur, was also given the equivalent of a red card.

The post-match controversy obscured a shocking start to the match which saw goals from James McArthur and Simon Mensing give Hamilton Accies a 2-0 lead inside 24 minutes, provoking a tactical shake-up by Laszlo. Eggert Jonsson pulled one back for Hearts before half-time but their cause was undermined by Stewart's dismissal for a petulant swipe at Alex Neil three minutes into the second half.

When Bouzid joined him for a second bookable offence, their task appeared impossible but they might have grabbed a point in stoppage time had David Elebert's foul on Callum Elliot inside the penalty area been spotted by the match officials.

McArthur began the move which led to his fifth-minute opener for Accies, threading a pass through the static Hearts defence to leave Mickael Antoine-Curier in the clear. The French striker smacked his right foot shot against Janos Balogh's left-hand post, but McArthur reacted quickest to the rebound, driving the ball high into the net from about 14 yards.

Hearts were nothing less than shambolic at the back during the opening spell with Dawid Kucharski especially wretched. Hamilton were utterly dominant, sharper in possession and quicker to every loose ball.

There was a sense of inevitability about their second goal and it came as a consequence of more limp defending by Hearts. James Wesolowski swung over a cross from the left, finding Mensing unmarked near the penalty spot. The midfielder required two attempts to find the target, eventually stabbing the ball beyond Balogh for his fourth goal of the season.

It was already threatening to become a humiliation for Hearts and Laszlo responded by making changes in both personnel and formation after just 28 minutes. Unsurprisingly, Kucharski was the player withdrawn as David Obua entered the fray. Jonsson dropped back to partner Bouzid in central defence while Obua joined Laryea Kingston in trying to offer greater support to lone striker Christian Nade.

The alterations had an immediate effect and Obua should have done better than direct a free header wide of the target from Craig Thomson's cross just a minute after coming on. It at least placed Hearts on the front foot where they remained for the rest of the first half, fully meriting Jonsson's 39th-minute goal which pulled them back into the contest.

It was Jonsson's willingness to break forward from his new defensive beat which sparked the decisive attack as he fed the ball to Obua on the left and then embarked on a 50-yard supporting run into the penalty area. Obua skipped beyond Trent McClenahan's challenge and delivered a low cross which Jonsson slid beyond Tomas Cerny from about eight yards.

Hearts were forced into another change at the start of the second half, Jamie MacDonald replaced Balogh in goal after the Hungarian complained of a hamstring injury. Before they could try to pick up the momentum they had gathered before the interval, Stewart's moment of madness saw them reduced to ten men. His action was needless, having been awarded a free-kick for Neil's challenge on him.

MacDonald made a fine diving save to prevent Hamilton substitute Marco Paixao restoring the home team's two goal lead with a sweetly struck free-kick but the short-handed visitors still managed to create decent opportunities for an equaliser. Santana sent a free header from Thomson's cross straight at Cerny then Elliot, who had replaced the Spaniard, was unable to get on the end of a Thomson free-kick in the six-yard box.

Hearts effectively saw any prospect of completing a comeback ended by Bouzid's dismissal with nine minutes remaining. The Algerian, who had been booked earlier for a trip on McArthur, picked up his second yellow card for a foul on Wesolowski. While Bouzid had certainly committed an offence, it was debatable whether it merited another caution.

MacDonald produced a terrific stop to keep out McArthur's long range shot, then Paixao curled an effort narrowly over the crossbar as Hamilton exploited the extra space against nine men and looked to make sure of the victory.

Their failure to get a third goal racked up the tension in five minutes of stoppage time. In the fourth of them, Hearts should have been given the opportunity to snatch an unlikely point. Elebert, who had been sent on for Wesolowski as Hamilton tried to run down the clock, clearly bundled Elliot over inside the penalty area. But Somers, poorly positioned, waved play on and was not helped out by linesman Steven Craven who should have spotted the offence.

Hamilton: Cerny, McClenahan, Canning, McLauglin, Hastings; Mensing, Neil, McArthur, Wesolowski (Elebert 90), Beuzelin (M.Paixao 52); Antoine-Curier. Subs not used: Murdoch, Evans, Knight, Kirkpatrick, Crawford.

Hearts: Balogh (MacDonald 46), C Thomson, Bouzid, Kucharski (Obua 28), Goncalves; Jonsson; Kingston, M Stewart, Black, Santana (Elliot 63); Nade. Subs not used: Wallace, Novikovas, Mole, J Stewart.

Taken from the Scotsman

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