London Hearts Supporters Club

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Sandy Clark <-auth Ray Hepburn auth-> LW Mottram
[K Wright 42]
1 of 001 John Robertson 2 ;Wayne Foster 87 SC A

Hearts come out on top yet again. Hibs fail to end derby match jinx.


21 Feb 1994

Hibernian 1, Hearts 2

SUPPORTERS of Hibernian should spend no more time trying to analyse their club's difficulty in dealing with the local rivals.

Hearts' run of 21 derby matches without defeat is one of those football quirks that defy logic; attempts to apply reason are doomed to failure.

Anyone could have guessed that John Robertson, scourge of the Easter Road side, would score his twentieth goal against Hibs, but no-one would have been so bold as to wager very much on Wayne Foster's chances of hitting the winner.

However, he did, and that is precisely the kind of misfortune that has helped maintain Hibs suffering these past five years.

It has been that long since they won a derby game, and so far out of the Hearts picture was Foster that it seemed almost as long since he last scored.

Questioned soon after having struck his late winner -- his first-ever goal against Hibs -- he was unable to recall his last first-team goal; those possessing local knowledge suggested it was almost two seasons ago.

It all amounts to deeper misery for those who follow Hibs and who watched them come from a goal behind to take command of yesterday's Tennents Scottish Cup fourth-round tie.

Despite the pressure, they did not create enough real scoring chances, while two were plenty for Hearts.

Robertson displayed his predatory cunning after only two minutes when he read Tosh McKinlay's intentions as the full back ran on to John Colquhoun's deep cross from the right.

As McKinlay skipped around a leaden-footed Willie Miller before cutting the ball back, Robertson had already stolen half a yard and was waiting to prod the ball into the net from close range.

A sweetly-constructed goal, but further slick manoeuvres were scarce as the match descended into mediocrity and wild tackling.

Six players, three from each side, were booked, but there could have been more.

There also could have been serious injuries, as most of the players displayed a flagrant disregard for the wellbeing of others.

After he had lunged into Darren Jackson, the Hearts central defender Alan McLaren, being watched by several clubs, stopped to argue with the player he had fouled while Kevin McAllister sprinted into a depleted defence and shot against a post.

That incident took place just after Keith Wright had scored for Hibs three minutes from the break.

He was allowed an astonishing amount of space in which to rise and meet Michael O'Neill's cross.

"We were under pressure at that point, and it was a relief to hear the half-time whistle," Hearts manager Sandy Clark said later.

"During the break I told the players to play the ball long and over Hibs, but it took them 43 minutes to do it."

It was Gary Mackay who finally got it right when a long ball found Foster, who had replaced Robertson in 63 minutes.

His speed carried him away from Dave Beaumont, and from just inside the penalty box the substitute clipped the ball under Jim Leighton and into the net.

Foster kept running all the way to the Hearts fans behind the goal, climbed the barrier, and celebrated in some style with his adoring public.

When he returned to the pitch he became the sixth player to be cautioned, but he wasn't about to let that spoil his moment.

"Maybe I was a bit over the top," he said later, "but it was such an important goal for me and the club."

As Hearts began to look towards a quarter-final tie against Rangers at Ibrox, the beaten manager, Alex Miller, had dejection written across his face.

"We are out because of our inability to defend properly," he said.

"The two goals came from nothing." Nevertheless, nothing amounted to more than some Hibs fans could handle.

Just after Foster's goal, fighting broke out between Hibs fans and police in the enclosure opposite the main stand.

Perhaps the police were getting revenge after one of their own was downed in the second half when Hibs huge defensive barrier, Steven Tweed, who couldn't brake in time, bowled over a member of the constabulary.

The fighting provided a distasteful end to an ugly match.

As he made his way out, one Hibs fan said to no-one in particular: "One day this war will end." Hope among the mayhem, that's the ticket.

Hibernian -- Leighton, Miller, Beaumont, Farrell, Tweed, Lennon, McAllister, Hamilton, Wright, Jackson, O'Neil.

Substitutes -- Evans, Findlay.

Hearts -- Smith, McLaren, McKinlay, Levein, Berry, Millar, Colquhoun, Mackay, Robertson, Johnston, Leitch.

Substitutes -- Foster, Weir.

Referee -- L Mottram (Forth).

Scorers: Hibernian -- Wright (42).

Hearts -- Robertson (2) Foster (87).

Red cards -- None.

Yellow cards -- Farrell, McAllister, Jackson (all Hibs).

McLaren, Millar, Foster (all Hearts).

Attendance -- 20,953.

Man of the match -- McAllister (Hibs).

Taken from the Herald

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