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Former players come back to haunt Tynecastle men


30 Oct 1995

Falkirk 2, Hearts 0

DEREK Ferguson and Maurice Johnston, two former Hearts players, were the chief architects in bringing more misery to the Tynecastle doorstep as Falkirk collected three points at Brockville on Saturday to send the Edinburgh club to the bottom of the premier division.

Johnston hammered the cruellest blow with the second goal almost on full time -- it was his 100th premier-division strike -- and that followed an afternoon in which he displayed a cool professionalism, leading his line superbly and giving Hearts a chasing they will not quickly forget.

But it was the majestic touches of Ferguson, who arrived from Sunderland in the summer, which had Falkirk in control for most of the time.

The lad, who was a teenage sensation for Rangers before drifting off to Hearts then south of the Border, is now a mature 28-year-old, who insists he intends to grab this chance of getting some fun out of the game.

Ferguson, who played on Saturday only after a last-minute decision, said: "I'm not fully fit, because of tendon trouble in my ankle, and it was virtually the last minute before it was decided I would play.

I decided to have the ankle strapped up and give it a go.

I'm glad I did that.

"When I first came to Falkirk I said I was going to enjoy myself and nothing has made me change my mind.

I know it's going to be a hard struggle and we will probably be fighting near the bottom end of the table rather than at the top, but I'm determined to enjoy my football.

"There isn't the same kind of pressure here as at the bigger clubs like Rangers and Sunderland, but that doesn't mean you take things any less seriously.

All the lads at Falkirk get on well with one another and we carry that kind of thing on to the pitch for matches, but I want to enjoy what I'm doing and that is happening at the moment."

Falkirk certainly took the game by the scruff of the neck from the start and were better than Hearts in every aspect, and that must been a shock to Tynecastle systems, especially since they hammered the Brockville club 4-1 in an earlier clash in Edinburgh.

Said Ferguson: "I was certainly a wee bit disappointed with Hearts.

They just didn't seem to have any spirit about them.

There's a big difference since they played us at the start of the season."

And Hearts manager Jim Jefferies, who was given a roasting by the Falkirk fans who felt that he had betrayed them when moving from Brockville, said: "Falkirk were the hungrier side right from the off.

I warned our players that this would be a battle, but they started badly and were second to every ball.

"We've got plenty of ability in our squad, but unfortunately that's not enough in this league.

You must have hunger and desire, and we didn't have those qualities today.

"I know what is wrong at this club and I know what I want to do.

But it would take cash and that isn't possible.

We are also missing injured players such as Craig Levein, Steven Frail, and Kevin Thomas, and it is all so frustrating, because the players coming in aren't taking their chances.

"It really hurts to see a club like Hearts go out and struggle as they did today, but it makes me all the more determined to turn things around."

Falkirk won with a bit of style, taking the lead after 24 minutes when Ferguson floated a free kick towards the back post and David Weir scored with a header.

Hearts rallied briefly in the second half, but Johnston and substitute Nicky Henderson combined in the last minute for the blond striker to score with another header.

Incidentally, Hearts must have created a premier-division record on Saturday when Gilles Rousset turned out in goal for them.

The big Frenchman is the fourth keeper they have used and the season isn't three months old.

Henry Smith, Craig Nelson, and Gary O'Connor have all been given a chance, but Rousset, currently on a short-term contract, looks like the man to hold down the place.

Taken from the Herald

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