Hamilton Academical 0-3 Heart of Midlothian
Rejuvenated Hearts took their time before eventually overcoming Hamilton 3-0 at a sodden SuperSeal stadium.
A dull Ladbrokes Premiership match was drifting nowhere until midfielder Ross Callachan broke the deadlock in the 66th minute before substitute David Milinkovic, on for Lewis Moore, added a second seven minutes later.
Another Gorgie replacement, Dario Zanatta, on for Don Cowie, fired in a third with two minutes remaining to leave Craig Levein’s side unbeaten in 11 matches with the Tynecastle side also extending their club clean sheet record to eight games.
There was plenty of activity before the game, if not in the first hour or so.
Marios Ogkmpoe, the 23-year-old Greek striker signed from OFI Crete, made his Hamilton debut and again there was no Greg Docherty, the midfielder expected to sign for Rangers on Thursday morning after a fee was agreed with the Lanarkshire outfit.
Hamilton also confirmed before the game that they had accepted an offer from Preston for club captain Michael Devlin, still working his way back from a cruciate ligament injury.
Attacking midfielder Andrew Irving, 17, made his debut for Hearts after spending the first half of the season on loan at Berwick Rangers.
There was little in the way of finesse in a dire first 45 minutes.
The first real chance came in the 15th minute when Hamilton midfielder Danny Redmond burst into the Gorgie penalty area but his low drive was saved by Hearts keeper Jon McLaughlin.
In the 34th minute, former Hearts forward David Templeton tried his luck from distance but was well wide of target, the Accies playmaker doing better with a volley just before the break which was saved down at his right-hand post by McLaughlin.
Swirling rain continued to cascade at the start of the second half which did little to help the players on Hamilton’s artificial surface.
Hearts were certainly sprightlier and Accies defender Alex Gogic did well to block a Demetri Mitchell drive during a Jambos attack.
The Tynecastle side broke the deadlock when a mistake by Gogic allowed Steven Naismith possession and when he cut the ball back, Callachan was able to slide into an empty net.
The second goal was all too simple, Irving sending Milinkovic clear down the left channel and he stroked the ball past Accies keeper Gary Woods before Zanatta, following good work by Naismith on the breakaway, volleyed in a Milinkovic cross from 12 yards to put a generous scoreline on the victory.