Hanlon goal seals Hibees comeback over Hamilton
- Accies take early lead through Alex Gogic header
- Christian Doidge scores 9th goal in 12 games to level score, before Paul Hanlon heads in winner
- Result leaves Hibernian level on points with 5th-placed Livingston
Hibernian came from behind to beat Hamilton at Easter Road and stay in the Scottish Premiership’s top six.
Alex Gogic gave Accies the lead in the first half, but second-half goals from Christian Doidge and Paul Hanlon gave the Easter Road side victory.
Hibs made three changes from the side that drew 2-2 against Dundee United, while Hamilton made just one change from their 5-0 thrashing of Edinburgh City.
The Lanarkshire side made the better start with three goalscoring chances within the first five minutes, the third of which, a Markus Fjortoft header from a Scott McMann corner, was an opportunity that he should have done better from.
Hibs didn’t heed that warning as in the 18th minute, Accies took their chance from a corner. McMann again delivering to Alex Gogic, who this time made no mistake, heading in at the back post, his first goal since September 2017.
After that, Hamilton continued to be the better side, nullifying the Hibs attack and looking dangerous on the counter. It took until just before the half hour mark before the home side had a shot on goal, with Scott Allan firing over from 20 yards after neat build-up play from Florian Kamberi and Christian Doidge.
That was about as good as it got for the Hibees in the first half, leading to boos from the home support as the teams left the field at half time. The only two bright spots for home fans in the first half, the sight of returning hero Stephane Omeonga warming up and the fact that their side were only trailing by one.
The Belgian was introduced after the break alongside Joe Newell as Jack Ross looked to change his side’s fortunes. Hibs’ third change was made before the hour mark with Daryl Horgan replacing Scott Allan and Kamberi moving alongside Doidge up front.
His impact was almost immediate, with the Irishman racing down the left wing and finding Kamberi who forced a fine save from Owain Fon Williams from inside ten yards. In the scramble that ensued Doidge was also denied by the former Inverness goalkeeper.
The change of personnel and formation had changed the flow of the game into the home side’s favour. They pushed for an equaliser and it came when Kamberi played a through ball to Martin Boyle whose shot hit the post and fell kindly to Christian Doidge who couldn’t miss from a couple of yards. The Welshman’s eleven goal of the season, with eight coming in the league.
Hamilton had Doidge’s compatriot to thank for keeping them level. The ball found its way to Horgan in the middle of the park, who, from eight yards, looked destined to score after good interplay with Kamberi, but was thwarted a fantastic save by Fon Williams.
There was nothing the goalkeeper could do as Hibs finally struck the goal they had pushed for.. Following a corner, Joe Newell threaded a ball through to Martin Boyle whose cross was met by a towering header from Hanloninto the bottom right hand corner of the goal with just four minutes to play.
Jack Ross described his side’s first half performance as their worst under him but was delighted with the fightback shown.
Ross said, “Obviously, I was disappointed with the first half, we were poor in so many aspects of the game. I wasn’t happy. The response in the second half was excellent. I enjoyed the second half, I thought we played with a real intensity in our play, it was just much more like us.”
Hamilton manager Brian Rice felt his players were unlucky leave Easter Road empty handed.
He said, “We certainly deserved something out of that match today.”
The win sees Hibs stay in sixth place, closing the gap to fourth place Aberdeen to eight points. Hamilton stay in second bottom place, four points ahead of Hearts.