During our short break we had to endure the misery that was another Scotland World Cup qualifying campaign. Once again they briefly built up our hopes before the Dutch snatched a 1-0 win at Hampden to end our dreams for another 4 years. Jamie also had to endure the misery of a week's holiday caravanning in Wales (although he insists he had a good time!).
A short train journey took us to Hamilton and New Douglas Park for the Accies game against Hibernian. The stadium's façade resembles a retail park and inside the main stand's elevated position gives the crowd a strange sense of detachment from the action on the park. Hamilton's start to the season had been worryingly poor with 3 league defeats and a cup exit to Ross County. Hibs, despite a loss to Celtic the week before had shown signs of development in the early days of John Hughes' managerial stint.
Hamilton started on fire and were rewarded when Mensing converted a penalty after Nish's deliberate handball in the box, the big striker somehow escaped any further punishment. If that was bad for Hibs then disaster was to follow just three minutes later when debutant Mickael Antoine-Curier found himself unmarked in the box and he blasted home the second.
Hibs were two down in 15 minutes and never recovered. Their play was laboured, their passing wasteful and their creativity null and void as Hamilton sat in and protected their lead. In truth there was very little to get excited about after the opening 15 minutes but there was some more drama with around 10 minutes to go when Hibs won a penalty after another deliberate handball in the box (which yet again went unpunished) but Riordan's penalty was parried away by Cerny who also managed to tip away Nish's rebound effort. Nish's afternoon of misery was complete when he was sent off late on, by which time the sizeable Hibs crowd had drifted away.
It had been a mediocre match played in a quiet, half-built stadium and I also had the misfortune of sitting next to the local simple lad whose language was bluer than a Roy Chubby Brown concert. If nothing else it's another one ticked off on our epic journey.
Journey - 5/10
Pie - 6/10
Bovril - 7/10
Ground - 4/10
Game - 4/10