Hearts' Ross Callachan and Jamie Walker earn praise after win over Hamilton

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland at New Douglas Park
Hearts' Ross Callachan and Jamie Walker celebrate
Ross Callachan and Jamie Walker helped Hearts to defeat Hamilton 2-1

Hearts manager Craig Levein picked out Ross Callachan and Jamie Walker for their roles in his first win since taking the reins for a second time.

Recent signing Callachan, who grew up a Hearts fan, scored his maiden goal for the Tynecastle side in their 2-1 win away to Hamilton Academical.

"That's two matches and Ross has played two very good games," said Levein.

"Special mention to Jamie Walker today, I thought he was fantastic - his application and work rate."

It was Callachan's second outing since signing from Raith Rovers and Levein said: "He's obviously got a connection with the Hearts supporters as you can see - and he's got a connection with the rest of the players.

"They love his endeavour and his willingness to do the unselfish running.

"His role at times today was to arrive late in the box and the two strikers created space for him - it was perfect.

"It's brilliant for him to get on the scoresheet so early in his Hearts career."

Walker, who had been sidelined by previous head coach Ian Cathro amid failed transfer bids from Rangers, had a hand in setting up Callachan's third-minute strike and was generally a lively presence.

Hearts manager Craig Levein congratulates scorer Kyle Lafferty
Levein secured his first win, with Kyle Lafferty scoring a penalty

"These are things that Jamie's been criticised for in the past, but the way he stole the ball and pressed with the running he did was wonderful," Levein said about Walker's determined display.

"The last three weeks his attitude has been first class. You could see how much the Hearts supporters appreciated him today."

Hearts' second goal came from the penalty spot by Kyle Lafferty and, despite Hamilton pulling one back through Rakish Bingham, the visitors held on to move up to seventh in the Premiership.

"The win was very satisfying," Levein told BBC Scotland. "I'm really pleased with the result.

"It was typical of away matches in the Premiership. If we want to climb the table, we need to win these type of games, and we did."

Accies manager Martin Canning believed his men deserved to have taken something from the game despite a slow start.

"The first 15 minutes was unacceptable - we were sloppy and made mistakes," he said.

"If you give Hearts a 2-0 lead, you're going to find it difficult to get back in the game.

"That was a game for me, based on how it went, we should have won it or taken something."

Canning did not think Hearts should have been awarded a penalty when Giannis Skondras challenged Isma.

"When you look at it back, albeit our camera angle is quite zoomed out, it looks like the ball was there 50-50 and Giannis has got his body in and come away with the ball," he added.

"I don't think Goncalves is in control of the ball. Referee Bobby Madden was adamant there was a kick on the calf, so if that's the case, I'll put my hand up."

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