London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 1991-92--> All for 19911102
<-Page <-Team Sat 02 Nov 1991 Hibernian 1 Hearts 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Herald ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Joe Jordan <-auth Jim Reynolds auth-> AW Waddell
[K Wright 26]
2 of 002 John Robertson 4 L Premier A

Capital fare from Hibs and Hearts.

Jordan happy to lead championship after a tough programme

Jim Reynolds

4 Nov 1991

WHAT a week it has been for the capital's premier-division clubs.

It began with Hibernian beating Dunfermline at Hampden to win the Skol Cup and ended with Hearts sitting at the top of the league, making a nonsense of those predictions that Rangers would win everything in sight and have the championship all but sewn up by Christmas.

As if in celebration of the double event, Edinburgh's finest provided an enthralling derby before a full house at Easter Road, and if there were any complaints at the end of it then it certainly wasn't about the 1-1 scoreline.

It was the complete opposite of their first meeting of the season, when the fare at Tynecastle was as dreadful as the 0-0 scoreline suggested.

Both sides have grown somewhat in stature and confidence since those early days.

In a carnival atmosphere, we saw a derby match which lived up to expectations.

It had plenty of bite without going over the top -- the only one who did go over the top was fussy referee Andrew Waddell, who booked six players -- and there were enough expressive players on the field to provide much of the finer things in football.

Hearts manager Joe Jordan said: "I'll settle for that after the kind of week we have had -- two difficult away matches and one at home.

I'm happy to be sitting at the top of the league.

"It's always difficult to come to Easter Road, but even more so this time.

They had just won a cup, they were on a high and at home in a derby match.

It was all there for them.

"But looking on a broader front, the whole league situation is in a better state.

Today we were looking at three matches and at the end of the day the league leaders could have come from any of those games.

That's what this competition should be all about.

"Last year, especially with no relegation, the league was dead apart from two teams, although our interest was kept going until near the end because we had an outside chance of a place in Europe.

Now, at this stage, you are talking about six teams who have a chance of winning the championship."

Those sentiments were echoed by Hearts' captain, Dave McPherson, who said: "The last thing we wanted was for Rangers to create a gap by this stage.

We were a bit apprehensive about that, but it hasn't happened, and I think when we beat them early in the season at Tynecastle that it was crucial.

"If we can keep clear of injuries and suspensions we can keep the challenge going, but it will be a long, long season and a big factor could be which team gets the most breaks in those respects."

McPherson felt Hearts, who were missing two key players in Craig Levein and Tosh McKinlay, handled Saturday's occasion well and pointed out that Hibs had probably missed their best chance of winning an Edinburgh derby.

The Easter Road side, however, have proved to be the most improved team in the country this season and feel that there is even better to come, although they may find things difficult if they are suddenly hit by any kind of crisis regarding absenteeism.

Indeed, with defender Gordon Hunter failing a late fitness test, they got a hint of what could happen in such circumstances.

Dave Beaumont, recently signed from Luton, made his debut beside Tom McIntyre in the centre of the defence, and that move came unstuck after just four minutes.

Derek Ferguson took a corner on the right, Graeme Hogg headed the ball down, and John Robertson was given all the time and space needed to put Hearts in front with a shot on the turn from just a few yards.

Hibs manager Alex Miller said: "As late as five minutes to three we talked about who should mark who in that area, so it was very disappointing to find Robertson totally unmarked when he scored.

Our defence hardly won a header in the first half and they allowed Hearts to unsettle them.

"It was different in the second half, however.

Our two lads in the centre of the defence were dominant and we managed to create the better chances.

In fact, I thought Keith Wright had scored the winner just before the final whistle."

That was when Hearts' keeper, Henry Smith, dropped a ball at the striker's feet and he struck it inches wide of an open goal.

Earlier, in 26 minutes, Wright provided the equaliser when his namesake, George, of Hearts, made a hash of a passback when under pressure from Mickey Weir.

The big striker got to the ball first, controlled it and turned round Smith in one movement and slotted it into the empty goal for his eighth strike of the season.

On a dark, wet Saturday evening Easter Road is not the prettiest area in the city, nor would it be in any other city, come to think of it, but Hibs and Hearts brought a certain glow to the place at the weekend.

Taken from the Herald

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