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Hibernian put four past Hamilton to move above Celtic

Heart of Midlothian v Hibernian – William Hill Scottish Cup – Semi Final – Hampden Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Hibernian leapfrogged Celtic into second place in the Scottish Premiership with an impressive 4-0 win at Hamilton.

Martin Boyle slammed in a penalty after 10 minutes and returning striker Christian Doidge doubled the visitors’ lead six minutes from the interval with a close-range header.

Defender Paul McGinn and striker Kevin Nisbet added further goals in the second half as Jack Ross’ in-form side ran out comfortable winners.

Hibs move one point ahead of the Hoops – who have three games in hand and play Kilmarnock at Parkhead on Sunday – and 12 behind leaders Rangers.

After a draw against Aberdeen and a win over Kilmarnock, Brian Rice’s men were looking to make it three homes games unbeaten but will return to the drawing board.

Charlie Trafford replaced suspended Hakeem Odoffin for Accies but his return saw him concede the penalty which allowed the visitors to take the early lead.

Referee Kevin Clancy judged the midfielder to have bundled defender Ryan Porteous to the ground at a Hibs corner.

There was little dissent from the home team and Boyle sent Accies goalkeeper Ryan Fulton the wrong way with a powerful penalty.

Hibs midfielder Melker Hallberg had earlier fired a shot over the Accies bar after breaching the home defence.

Doidge, in for injured Jamie Murphy, then had his first chance when he found himself racing on to a Paul Hanlon pass with only Fulton to beat. But the Accies number one charged out to make a good blocking tackle to prevent a second.

In their own tenacious way, Hamilton battled hard in response but Hibs were giving nothing away in defence while always carrying a threat at the other end.

The Leith side did doubled their lead in the 39th minute when Doidge rose at the back post to head in a Drey Wright cross with Fulton hesitant.

Tunde Owolabi replaced Callum Smith for the start of the second half which sparked some Accies pressure with the substitute testing Hibs keeper Ofir Marciano with a low 25-yard drive.

Trafford was then replaced by Nathan Thomas before Andy Winter took over from Lee Hodson as Rice looked for another route back into the match.

However, it was Hibs who had the next chance on the counter when Boyle sped on to a Nisbet pass and cut the ball back for Wright but he flashed his shot over the bar.

Then came two Hibs goals in quick succession.

In the 65th minute, after Boyle and Nisbet had combined at pace, McGinn latched on to the loose ball in the box to thunder in a third.

Three minutes later, with Hamilton still reeling, Nisbet was in hand to knock the ball over the line after Fulton had parried a cut-back from Boyle.

Fulton turned a shot from substitute Steven Bradley, making his Premiership debut, on to the bar and saved a header from Doidge in the closing minutes.