HAMILTON fans were celebrating a return to the SPL after their team beat Hibernian in a penalty shoot out at Easter Road.

Hibs lost 2-0 following extra time and a round of spot kicks at yesterday's game, condemning Terry Butcher's side to a life in the Scottish Championship next season alongside city rivals Hearts.

It means Scotland's capital will have no team in the country's top division next season.

Rangers will also be playing in the second tier next season after earning promotion.

While Hamilton players celebrated on the pitch, Hibs fans staged a protest outside the stadium.

South Lanarkshire Council leader Eddie McAvoy, said: "I am delighted that Hamilton Accies are once again back in the top flight of Scottish Football.

"After narrowly missing automatic promotion earlier in the season it will be a relief for all the players and supporters that the Accies have returned to the Scottish Premier League, especially after the tightest of finishes.

"I am sure everyone in South Lanarkshire is very proud of their success and they will, I am sure, bring credit to the area next season."

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