Derek Riordan's wretched time at Celtic is a salutary tale that the grass is not always greener but yesterday he re-opened his goals account at the club that is more about love than money to him. The striker came off the bench here to inscribe a sublime matchwinner upon the occasion for his first goal since returning to Hibernian last month.
Only Hamilton's goalkeeper, Tomas Cerny, prevented Riordan from netting a second with a fine save late in the match, but the Edinburgh club still overtook their hosts in the top half of the SPL. The promoted side's fine start to the season had drawn further attention to their skilful teenager James McCarthy, while 20-year-old James McArthur won the SPL Young Player of the Month award for August.
Hibernian themselves have banked £12 million by selling a sequence of talents over the last three years and the next departure is likely to be Steven Fletcher, but the man who made his Scotland debut this year at the age of 20 had to succumb to a rib injury after 38 minutes. That prompted the introduction of Riordan and it took him less than 60 seconds to make an impact.
Riordan gathered a pass from John Rankin on the left wing and skipped inside Simon Mensing before measuring an audacious right-foot shot that curled into the roof of the net. In the second half, Hamilton kept up a frenetic pursuit of an equaliser and a trio of substitutes, Stephen Ettien, Mark Corcoran and Joel Thomas all came close, with Thomas's curling shot drawing the most spectacular response as keeper Yves Makalambay leapt to paw it away.
Hamilton thought they had restored parity when Corcoran's fierce shot was parried by Makalambay into the path of McArthur but the midfielder could not turn in the rebound.Reuse content