Heart of Midlothian 2-2 Hamilton Academical
Saturday 15th February 2020, KO 15:00 | Ladbrokes Premiership | Tynecastle Park
Hearts were held by Hamilton Accies in today’s Scottish Premiership clash at Tynecastle.
In stormy conditions, Accies took a two goal lead early in the first half, before seeing Jamie Hamilton sent off for handball. In the second half, Hearts roared back through Jamie Walker and Craig Halkett but couldn’t get across the finish line to win a crucial three points.
Daniel Stendel had made three changes to the side that lost at Celtic Park on Wednesday evening, with returns to the side for Uche Ikpeazu, Aaron Hickey and Bobby Zlamal in goals.
The Jambos had begun brightly with Hickey and Walker combining, but Hearts were caught out by a sucker punch, when Scott Martin somehow found space in behind, and he squared for Marios Ogkmpoe to tap in.
It got worse ten minutes later, when John Souttar lost possession at the edge of the box, and Sean Clare clattered into Ogkmpoe inside the area. A penalty was awarded and the striker sent Zlamal the wrong way.
Hearts were then awarded a lifeline, after a long ball from Craig Halkett caught out Jamie Hamilton at the back, as the ball got caught in the wind, and the young defender stuck out a hand to divert it away from danger. Referee Kevin Clancy dismissed the defender, and Hearts had some wind in their sails.
From that stage, Hearts dominated possession, but didn’t create many chances in the first half. Ikpeazu did get his head onto a Hickey cross, which keeper Luke Southwood saved, before he blazed the rebound over.
Walker then had two efforts on target, first from a header from a Clare cross, before hitting a low shot that Southwood saved. Just prior to the interval, Clare ran onto a long ball but was dragged down, however, before a free kick could be awarded, Walker saw a shot blocked and then Ikpeazu’s shot was deflected over.
The Jambos got back into it three minutes into the second half. Hickey did well to keep the ball in play, slid it into Steven Naismith and threaded the ball through to Walker who composed himself and slotted it away into the bottom corner.
After this, though, the tempo seemed to slow again as Hearts struggled to break down the Accies defence. Naismith and Walker both drew simple saves from Southwood as the weather started to turn biblical. Walker was then played into the box and fired a shot across goal that just narrowly missed the sliding Donis Avdijaj at the back post.
With ten minutes to go, Walker met a Michael Smith cross at the back post and drew a top save from Southwood, before Liam Boyce headed the rebound onto the crossbar. Naismith and Boyce then had attempts, but both shots were deflected to safety.
With three minutes to go, the pressure finally told, as sub Conor Washington whipped a pinpoint cross into the area where it was bulleted home by Halkett. The Jambos’ hopes were lifted but in the three minutes of added time, the ball never dropped in the right place as time ran out.
Hearts: Zlamal, Smith, Souttar, Clare (Washington, 67'), Walker, Naismith, Ikpeazu (Avdijaj, 46'), Halkett, Boyce, Irving, Hickey (Garuccio, 75'). Subs: Pereira, Bozanic, Moore, Dikamona.
Hamilton Accies: Southwood, McGowan (Alston, 12'), McMann, Hunt, Collar, Gogic, Moyo (Templeton, 68'), Want, Martin, Hamilton, Ogkmpoe (Davies, 74'). Subs: Gourlay, Woods, Winter, Smith.
Referee: Kevin Clancy