FORMER Hearts youth player Danny Galbraith came back to haunt his former club with the assist for Grant Gillespie’s winning goal at New Douglas Park last night.
Scorer: Hamilton Accies - Gillespie (90)
The Hamilton trialist, who also spent four years at Hibernian, supplied the cross for Gillespie to head past young shot-stopper Jack Hamilton in injury time as the visitors suffered their second pre-season defeat.
It was perhaps cruel on the young Hearts side who finished the match, though the masses of substitutions in this friendly ruined any chance of fluidity in the game.
After a 2-0 loss to Bulgarian Champions Ludogorets Razgrad last week, Robbie Neilson was looking to build on a superb 2-1 victory against Dinamo Bucharest on Sunday.
The Jambos head coach gave newly signed striker James Keatings a first start against his former club and he partnered Dale Carrick in attack. Fellow recruits, Dutch defender Alim Ozturk, goalkeeper Neil Alexander and former Dundee United midfielder Morgaro Gomis also made the starting XI, with trialist Prince Buaben on the bench.
Scott Robinson shrugged off a nasty shin injury suffered in the weekend win to join Buaben among the substitutes.
Accies included three of their four summer signings in the squad, though only goalkeeper Michael McGovern started. Dougie Imrie and Kieran MacDonald were among the subs but ex-Wigan midfielder Danny Redmond sat this one out.
After a quite opening, Accies hitman Jason Scotland almost capitalised on a Sam Nicholson mistake in the 20th minute but the former Trinidad and Tobago internationalist blasted over.
Hearts could have gone in front just before the half-hour mark when, firstly, they broke up the park after Ryan spurned a chance, and Jamie Walker unleashed a 20-yard effort which curved off the underside of the bar, with McGovern well beaten.
Moments later, Carrick connected with a Nicholson free-kick from the left, but his diving header was a foot over.
The Tynecastle outfit then survived a scare when Callum Paterson went down clutching his knee, but thankfully the youngster shook the knock off to continue on.
One final break before the interval saw Keatings find the back of the net after some fine build-up play by the visitors; however, he was ruled offside and the first-half ended goalless.
Hearts took advantage of a flurry of substitutions made by the home side at the interval and made a lively start to the second period. Walker looked dangerous in front of goal and tested McGovern with a fine shot seven minutes after the break.
Nicholson then found Keatings in space but a poor first touch let him down and the chance was gone.
Neilson made substitutions to give a run out to several youngsters and also Buaben, with the Ghanaian midfielder given another half an hour to impress. Also on as a trialist last night was 20-year-old Polish shot-stopper Dawid Smug, who has joined Hamilton for a week from Serie A giants Inter Milan.
It looked like a goalless draw was certain until Gillespie popped up eight yards out to bury his header a minute into stoppage time.
Hamilton: McGovern (Smug 56), Gordon (Watson 46), Hendrie (Trialist 46), Devlin (Trialist 62), Garcia Tena (MacDonald 46), Ryan (Lyon 46), Mackinnon (Trialist 62), Crawford (Galbraith 46), Scotland (Antoine-Curier 46), Neil (Gillespie 33), Longridge (Imrie 46).
Hearts: Alexander (Hamilton 73), Paterson (L Smith 70), McHattie, Wilson (McGhee 70), Ozturk (McKay 70), Gomis (Beith 62), Walker (Robinson 62), Holt (Buaben 62), Keatings (Oliver 62), Carrick (King 70), Nicholson (D Smith 70).