Hearts ease pressure on Ian Cathro with victory over Hamilton
Hearts picked up their first win in six matches to ease the pressure on head coach Ian Cathro after seeing off Ladbrokes Premiership strugglers Hamilton with an emphatic 4-0 victory.
Arnaud Djoum, Esmael Goncalves, Jamie Walker and Malaury Martin got on the scoresheet in a game the hosts controlled from start to finish.
The result was much needed for Cathro following five winless matches, including a painful William Hill Scottish Cup defeat to city rivals Hibernian.
Hamilton, who still have not won away from home in the league this season, are now one point clear of bottom-placed Inverness.
Hearts made a lively start to the game and forced visiting goalkeeper Gary Woods into four saves inside the first 10 minutes.
The first came after five minutes when Alexandros Tziolis picked out Walker with a cross to the back post but his header back across goal was parried by the Accies shot-stopper.
Woods then came out on top in his duel with Goncalves as the Hearts frontman wasted a good chance to put the hosts in front.
Tziolis' through ball was missed by Scott McMann, giving the Portuguese a clear run at goal, but Woods spread himself to make the block.
Hearts winger Sam Nicholson was next up with a stinging left-footed drive from outside the area that Woods did well to push behind for a corner.
A sustained period of Hearts possession saw Lennard Sowah dig out a cross from the left but Woods again came out on top, getting down to his right to repel Goncalves' header.
After being the creator, midfielder Tziolis came close to giving Hearts the lead in the 29th minute with what would have been a spectacular goal.
The Greek volleyed Don Cowie's corner from the edge of the box but again Woods was able to make the save.
Four minutes later Walker found himself in space inside the area after cushioning a pass from Sowah but his low drive was pushed behind by Woods.
There was still time for Woods to make another save as he raced from his line to block Goncalves' effort after the forward chested down Tziolis' cross.
But Hearts finally made their dominance count in first-half injury-time when Djoum slammed the ball into the net.
Tziolis' low drive was blocked in a congested box but the Cameroonian pounced on the rebound to score from close range.
Hearts moved out of sight within 13 minutes of the restart with two more goals.
Goncalves added a second in the 56th minute when he lashed Cowie's lay-off high into the net after Accies keeper Woods was penalised for picking up a pass back.
Walker then won a free-kick outside the area following a foul by Ioannis Skondras and the player curled a superb free-kick into the top corner.
Substitute Martin added a fourth in the 89th minute when his low free-kick caught out Woods at his near post.