Hamilton 0-2 Hearts: Humphrys on target again
Stephen Humphrys followed up his goal-of-the-season certainty with an opener at Hamilton as Hearts moved into the Scottish Cup quarter-finals with a 2-0 victory.
With top goalscorer Lawrence Shankland suspended following his red card at Easter Road in the previous round, Humphrys again took centre-stage, six days after scoring from his own half against Dundee United.
The striker fired home from a tight angle with the help of some suspect goalkeeping to put Hearts in front in the 29th minute of a one-sided first half.
Accies made a game of it in the second half but substitute Cammy Devlin put the game beyond doubt with 11 minutes remaining to the delight of 3,727 Hearts fans in the 4,731 crowd, a record away attendance at New Douglas Park.
Cinch Championship bottom club Hamilton had been unbeaten in six matches and reached the SPFL Trust Trophy final on Tuesday. But they were taken to extra-time by Queen of the South in midweek and they started slowly.
Humphrys hooked the ball wide as Hearts created several half-chances in a dominant opening spell.
The on-loan Wigan striker scored from inside his own half with his weaker, left foot against United but could not hit the target with his right foot from 10 yards after a deep corner fell invitingly for him.
He soon sent a free header straight at Ryan Fulton before scoring from the most difficult of a trio of quickfire opportunities. The forward collected a lay-off from Josh Ginnelly and fired a left-footed shot inside Fulton’s near post.
Humphrys soon volleyed well over from another decent chance before Stephen Kingsley steered the ball just past the post as Hearts continued to dominate.
Hamilton struggled to get the ball anywhere near the Hearts box in the first half and Jean-Pierre Tiehi curled an effort wide after receiving a pass with his back to goal in their only effort before the break.
The home side were much improved after the interval. Lewis Smith shot wide from a half chance and Accies began getting more men forward and pressing Hearts inside their own half.
Matthew Shiels shot straight at Zander Clark after dispossessing Barrie McKay and the goalkeeper soon saved a first-time effort from Lucas De Bolle.
Hearts regained control and Yutaro Oda fired wide, not long before the clincher. Devlin ran on to Alan Forrest’s cross from the left and stabbed home from six yards after getting the break of the ball following a challenge.
The hosts appealed for a stoppage-time penalty when Kingsley raised his boot to thwart Dario Zanatta’s diving header but referee Kevin Clancy was unmoved.