Ground #: 17
Ground: New Douglas Park
Competition: Scottish Premier League
Kick Off: 3pm
Cost: £11 (concession ticket)
Hamilton Accies 2
Mensing 12', 52' (pen)
Travelled up by car to watch Hearts take on newly promoted Hamilton Accies in the SPL. The Accies were promoted last season and had so far (except a 7-1 drubbing against Rangers) had acquitted themselves well in their first season back in the top flight since 1988. In fact they were currently enjoying 4 match winning run and 4 straight home wins. Hearts however were still reeling from the news that club captain Christophe Berra had travelled down to Wolves to sign for the Championship side.
I had Hamilton on my list as SPL teams I had no seen previously either at Tynecastle or away (the others now being Rangers and Dundee Utd) and so I took this opportunity to see Hearts and tick a team off my "must see" list.
New Douglas Park has only been open since 2001, and is still incomplete (although Hamilton currently do not get big enough crowds to justify the building of two permanent stands) as only the Main Stand which houses the homes fans and the 'Spice of Life' Stand which houses the away end. While there is a small East Stand, this is only open I was reliably informed when away fans fill the 'Spice of Life' Stand.
The ground itself is a strange one, being in-between a Morrison's and Sainsbury's Supermarket while Hamilton West rail station is behind it. After finally finding the away end entrance (you have to walk through an underground car park to get to it) I was in to watch the mighty Jambos!
It would be hard for me to give a match report without being bias, however currently match highlights can be found here on BBC Sport :
Referee Eddie Smith made some strange decisions to say the least as Hearts slumped to a 2-0 defeat and ended a 19 match winning run over Hamilton. With very few players from either side impressing, the notable exceptions were Hamilton's Simon Mensing and Hearts's Michael Stewart.
So while a defeat for Hearts takes my record of seeing them to 2 wins in 14 games. Hamilton have every reason to be proud of their current achievements and likely survival in the SPL.
- Match: 3/10 (never nice seeing your team lose)
- Value for Money: 6/10 (£11 in the SPL is very cheap)
- Ground: 5/10 (needs finishing really, tidy would be a word to describe it)
- Atmosphere: 3/10 (Eddie Smith got some abuse from Hearts fans, Hamilton very quiet)
- Food: 6/10 (cold pie that was strangely nice and a good bovril)
- Programme: 4/10 (only marginally better than Bury's, too many adverts)
- Referee: Erm.....