Kilmarnock’s woes under Angelo Alessio continued as they were shocked by a resurgent Hamilton in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Goals from Lewis Smith and George Oakley gave the hosts a 2-0 win, although they had Brian Easton dismissed nine minutes into the second half.
Both sides suffered damaging opening day defeats, with Kilmarnock losing to a last-minute Rangers winner whilst the Accies were thrashed by new boys Ross County in Dingwall.
Accies were visibly fired up for the fixture and Aaron McGowan made an early crunching tackle on Greg Taylor that inadvertently left unhappy team-mate Oakley flattened on the ground.
Hamilton are renowned for their excellent youth system and it was another product of that academy, Smith, who fired them ahead after 20 minutes.
The 19-year-old collected McGowan’s excellent header on the edge of the box and weaved past his marker before curling a beautiful left-footed shot beyond Laurentiu Branescu for his first league goal for Hamilton.
Kilmarnock kicked into life after falling behind and within minutes, Owain Fon Williams made a diving save to keep out Eamonn Brophy’s powerful effort from 25 yards out.
From the resulting corner, Kirk Broadfoot rose highest to meet Chris Burke’s delivery – but his downward header drifted agonisingly wide.
Smith grew in confidence and he stung the hands of Branescu on the half hour before arrowing a fierce half-volley wide on 40 minutes.
Accies deserved their lead at the break but Williams had to be alert to divert Stephen O’Donnell’s left-footed strike away on 44 minutes.
The hosts remained on the front foot after the break and doubled their lead on 49 minutes through Oakley. Smith battled past two weak challenges before crossing for Oakley to sweep past an unconvincing Branescu.
The hosts were dominant but the hosts were down to 10 men nine minutes into the second half. Hamilton’s frustration at not being awarded a penalty for Stuart Findlay’s shove on Oakley turned into fury when Easton was shown a straight red for fouling Brophy as he broke upfield.
The visitors struggled to capitalised on their man advantage as they failed to breakdown a resolute Hamilton rearguard.
Youngster Ian Cameron almost made an immediate impact for the visitors after his introduction on 69 minutes when he met Chris Burke’s floated cross but Williams clawed the effort away to safety.
Killie dominated possession in the last 15 minutes but lacked the creativity to threaten, with their best opportunity a speculative drive from Alan Power that Williams comfortably tipped over.
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