By: Hibernian Media on 08 Dec, 2018 17:49
Oli Shaw’s second goal in the space of a week was enough to seal a return to winning ways for Hibernian.
The 20-year-old kept his cool when it counted to round off a performance full of grit.
Both teams were forced into late changes to their starting line-up, which resulted in kick-off being slightly delayed.
Ofir Marciano – who has had to bide his time since recovering from injury – was drafted in to take the place of Adam Bogdan, who injured himself in the pre-match warm-up.
Accies were in an identical position, with new signing Jan Mucha replaced by Garry Woods.
The hosts carved open the first real chance of the afternoon, with Mickel Miller slotting Rakish Bingham through to beat the offside trap, only to blaze his effort high and wide.
At the other end Stevie Mallan released Charalampos Mavrias, whose dangerous ball into the box just evaded the stretching Flo Kamberi.
James Keatings drew an early yellow card from referee Bobby Madden for a foul on Ryan Porteous after seven minutes.
Hibs were looking dangerous on the break and a teasing through-ball from Martin Boyle picked out Shaw, but Woods was sharp off his line to smother and take a sore one in the process.
Having already seen Woods deputise for Mucha there were sighs of relief in the home ranks when he was able to dust himself down and continue.
With 15 minutes on the clock Miquel Nelom was forced into a tremendous last-ditch tackle to deny Bingham, who had been played in by Keatings.
An open contest saw play switch again, with a trademark Mallan strike from distance – some 35 yards out – forcing Woods to scramble and parry with some of the travelling support already on the edge of their seat to celebrate.
Mallan looked in the mood and brought the best out of Woods again with a low near-post free-kick.
Boyle was sharp to the rebound but crowded out by a determined Accies defence.
Not to be upstaged, Marciano proved he’d lost none of his reflexes with an acrobatic stop to deny Bingham on the half-volley.
The Israeli international seemed unaware the assistant’s flag had rendered the rebound irrelevant – spring to his feet to save from Miller regardless.
On the stroke of half-time Keatings was presented with a great chance to snatch the lead for the hosts but he dragged his shot wide from a Miller cut-back.
Hibs suffered a blow when Boyle was clattered by Woods as he chased a long ball, with the Australian international eventually carried from the field of play on a stretcher.
He was replaced by the fit-again Emerson Hyndman.
A bad afternoon for the keepers worsened during the interval when Woods – a late addition himself – had to be replaced in the Hamilton goal by Jacob Marsden.
Marsden was called into action quickly to deal with a firm shot from Kamberi after some neat set-up play from Hyndman.
The on-loan Bournemouth midfielder had a go himself but was odd balance and couldn’t keep his shot down.
Kamberi warmed the palms of Marsden again as Hibs upped the ante.
Neil Lennon rolled the dice in search of the elusive opener, with Daryl Horgan introduced in place of Nelom.
On 64 minutes Kamberi linked well with Shaw, whose dipping volley was well held by Marsden.
Shaw – who found the net and looked sharp all round in Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with St Mirren – was not to be denied.
Within a minute the Hibernian Academy graduate and Scotland Under-21 cap tucked home in clinical fashion from Horgan’s teasing cross – the Republic of Ireland international winger making an instant impact to vindicate his introduction.
Shaw got his head to another Horgan cross but it was easily gathered by Marsden.
In difficult conditions Hibs showed no shortage of composure to retain possession and frustrate Hamilton in the closing stages, with Porteous marshalling the defence superbly to ensure the three points came back to Edinburgh.
Hamilton Academical: Woods (Marsden 46), McGowan, Gordon, Kilgallon, Sowah, Mackinnon, Taiwo (Boyd 77), Imrie, Keatings, Miller, Bingham (Bloomfield 72). Substitutes not used: McMann, Want, Martin, Brustad.
Hibernian: Marciano, Mavrias, Ambrose, Porteous, Nelom (Horgan 63), Slivka, Mallan, Stevenson, Boyle (Hyndman 45), Kamberi, Shaw. Substitutes not used: Whittaker, Maclaren, McGregor, Allan, Gullan.
Referee: Bobby Madden.