Hibs hit four at Accies to overtake Celtic

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Christian Doidge rises to head Hibs into a 2-0 lead
Christian Doidge rises to head Hibs into a 2-0 lead on a comfortable day for the visitors

Hibernian continued their excellent away form to brush Hamilton Accies aside and move up to second place in the Scottish Premiership.

Martin Boyle slammed in an early penalty after Ryan Porteous had been impeded at a corner in Lanarkshire.

Christian Doidge then atoned for messing up a one-on-one opportunity by heading home from a Drey Wright cross.

Paul McGinn crashed in a wonderful third goal and Kevin Nisbet finished from close range.

The Edinburgh side now have seven wins from 10 on the road in the league and move one point ahead of Celtic, who have played three games fewer.

Accies had given themselves a lift with four points from their last two home matches but were completely overwhelmed and drop down to second bottom.

Hibs were on the front foot right from the off, with Melker Hallberg shooting over the top before an early penalty came their way.

Charlie Trafford had his arms wrapped around Porteous from a corner and the visiting defender ended up in a heap near the front post, allowing Boyle to convert confidently from the spot-kick.

Doidge should have doubled the lead when a smart pass from Joe Newell split the Accies defence but the striker took a clumsy touch when trying to round Ryan Fulton at the edge of the box, allowing the keeper to get a vital touch.

Doidge has scored a lot of goals for Hibs but seldom looks comfortable in situations like those.

Where the big forward excels is in the air and in the six-yard box and he proved his credentials in that department when rising to power in a lofted delivery from Wright.

The home side had made three changes before the hour but the pattern of play did not change in the slightest. If anything, Hibs’ dominance became more pronounced as they punctured the bedraggled Accies defence time after time.

Wright blazed a golden chance too high before McGinn smashed a terrific first-time shot into the far top corner as the right-back raced on to a loose ball.

Nisbet was then on hand to knock the ball in from a few yards, with the hosts unable to repel a fierce, low cross from Boyle.

The chances kept coming and there was almost a Premiership debut goal for teenage substitute Steven Bradley but Fulton managed to push his shot up on to the crossbar.

Man of the match – Martin Boyle

Martin Boyle knocks in the opening goal from the penalty spot
Martin Boyle doesn’t always look comfortable on artificial turf but he knocked in a good penalty and was a constant menace in the second half, setting up the fourth goal for Nisbet

What did we learn?

This was a demolition job, with a huge gulf in quality. Hibs got a stranglehold on the game early and did not let go.

Newell and Hallberg kept the tempo up in central midfield and the front four were a blur of movement, dragging the home defence every which way.

Confidence is up, with seven goals scored and none conceded in their last two outings, and a look at the league table this evening will only strengthen belief in Jack Ross’ squad.

What did they say?

Hamilton Accies manager Brian Rice: “To concede a cheap penalty, when there’s no need to do it, it set us back and put Hibs on the front foot.

“I’ve got six first-team players, who would normally have started this game, missing. That’s massive for me. We don’t have the biggest of squads.”

Hibernian head coach Jack Ross: “It’s always encouraging when the goals are shared because you don’t want to be overly reliant on one or two sources. We’ve got a continued threat in forward areas and now goals are coming from other areas and that reflects the confidence within the group.”

What next?

Hibernian are back on the plastic on Tuesday as they visit Alloa Athletic, with a place in the semi-finals of the League Cup up for grabs.

Hamilton must wait until next Saturday to get this performance out of their system and it’s a big one since they visit Ross County, the only team below them in the table.

More to follow.

Player of the match

BoyleMartin Boyle

Hamilton Academical

  1. Squad number36Player nameOwolabi

  2. Squad number23Player nameFulton

  3. Squad number20Player nameMoyo

  4. Squad number4Player nameStirling

  5. Squad number27Player nameHodson

  6. Squad number8Player nameMartin

  7. Squad number16Player nameMartin

  8. Squad number6Player nameHamilton

  9. Squad number5Player nameEaston

  10. Squad number32Player nameSmith

  11. Squad number34Player nameCallachan

  12. Squad number14Player nameTrafford

  13. Squad number3Player nameMcMann

  14. Squad number19Player nameWinter

  15. Squad number24Player nameThomas

Hibernian

  1. Squad number10Player nameBoyle

  2. Squad number9Player nameDoidge

  3. Squad number15Player nameNisbet

  4. Squad number6Player nameMcGinn

  5. Squad number20Player nameHallberg

  6. Squad number16Player nameStevenson

  7. Squad number5Player namePorteous

  8. Squad number11Player nameNewell

  9. Squad number4Player nameHanlon

  10. Squad number1Player nameMarciano

  11. Squad number8Player nameWright

  12. Squad number22Player nameMcGinn

  13. Squad number19Player nameGullan

  14. Squad number43Player nameElder

  15. Squad number7Player nameMagennis

  16. Squad number14Player nameMallan

Line-ups

Hamilton

  • 23Fulton
  • 27HodsonSubstituted forWinterat 60′minutes
  • 4Stirling
  • 16MartinBooked at 75mins
  • 5Easton
  • 3McMann
  • 34CallachanBooked at 89mins
  • 8Martin
  • 14TraffordBooked at 10minsSubstituted forThomasat 55′minutes
  • 32SmithSubstituted forOwolabiat 45′minutes
  • 20MoyoSubstituted forHamiltonat 70′minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Hamilton
  • 15Hughes
  • 17Stanger
  • 18Mimnaugh
  • 19Winter
  • 21Munro
  • 22Gourlay
  • 24Thomas
  • 36Owolabi

Hibernian

  • 1Marciano
  • 6McGinn
  • 5Porteous
  • 4Hanlon
  • 16Stevenson
  • 10BoyleSubstituted forElderat 83′minutes
  • 20HallbergSubstituted forMagennisat 76′minutes
  • 11NewellSubstituted forMcGinnat 82′minutes
  • 8WrightSubstituted forMallanat 76′minutes
  • 15NisbetSubstituted forGullanat 70′minutes
  • 9Doidge

Substitutes

  • 2Gray
  • 7Magennis
  • 14Mallan
  • 19Gullan
  • 22McGinn
  • 24McGregor
  • 25Doig
  • 33Barnes
  • 43Elder

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