London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Wed 22 Dec 1999 Rangers 1 Hearts 0 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Sporting Life ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Jim Jefferies <-auth None auth-> Stuart Dougal
[J Albertz 90]
1 of 002 ----- L SPL A

Rangers 1 Hearts 0

By Ken Gaunt, PA Sport

Rangers celebrated 100 years of football at Ibrox on Wednesday night by moving four points clear of Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premier League.

But their fans must have felt they had aged considerably themselves before the points were secured.

Jorg Albertz grabbed the winner with the last kick of the game, wrong-footing goalkeeper Antti Niemi after a shot by Barry Ferguson had been only partially cleared.

The crowd raised the roof at the timely victory with the Old Firm match to follow on Monday at Parkhead.

But the game was poor fare to put before a host of former greats who turned out for a birthday bash.

Some of those were hardly able to walk, but others were able to jog onto the pitch with the biggest cheer reserved for Brian Laudrup.

There was a carnival atmosphere around the ground with TV personality Andy Cameron leading the entertainment.

They all got the result they wanted if not a performance to match during a historic night at the famous old ground.

Rangers manager Dick Advocaat recalled goalkeeper Lionel Charbonnier after a knee injury.

He got the vote ahead of Thomas Myhre, who is due to return to Everton shortly when his loan spell finishes.

Hearts, beaten 3-0 by Hibs on Sunday, fielded four former Rangers players in their side - namely Niemi, Steven Pressley, Gordan Petric and Gary McSwegan.

Niemi, making only his second appearance for the club, was called into action after just nine minutes when he comfortably held a 25-yard shot from Albertz.

There was little excitement for the fans in the early stages, with Hearts sitting in and defending their corner.

Albertz was seeing plenty of the ball and tried a rasping free-kick in the 11th minute that went straight into the wall.

Rangers midfielder Andrei Kanchelskis then fired over the top after being released by Ferguson as the league leaders stepped up the pace.

Billy Dodds sent a header wide of the target, and Rod Wallace hooked his effort high into the crowd with Hearts forced to back-pedal.

But Rangers were playing without any real conviction and almost went behind in the 35th minute.

McSwegan cut the ball inside, and Stephane Adam's instinctive shot at the near post was superbly turned away by Charbonnier.

Neil McCann came on for Rangers at the start of the second half for Tony Vidmar, who took a heavy knock earlier in the game.

The match settled into a familiar pattern with the home side continuing to push forward.

Giovanni Van Bronckhorst's corner from the left was touched on by Arthur Numan, but Dodds was crowded out.

Kanchelskis, who scored twice for Rangers at the weekend, tried his luck from the edge of the area, only to see his effort turned away by Hearts goalkeeper Niemi.

Dodds then sent an 18-yard shot over the bar, after Albertz and Numan had cleverly linked up.

Hearts had another scare two minutes later when a fierce shot from Amoruso following a short free-kick by Van Bronckhorst whistled past the post.

However, the visitors looked dangerous on the counter-attack, and Petric ghosted into the box to get on the end of a free-kick from Locke.

Luckily for Rangers Charbonnier saved cleanly.

Dodds whipped in a cross from the right after 75 minutes, but Wallace steered his header wide of the target.

Rangers goalkeeper Charbonnier was left stranded two minutes later when he was beaten by Petric's header following a corner from Fitzroy Simpson only for his header to rattle the bar.

Then came that last-gasp winner from Albertz, leaving Hearts to reflect on only one win in their last 11 games.


Rangers: Charbonnier, Numan (Durie 67), Vidmar (McCann 45), Moore, Amoruso, Albertz, Van Bronckhorst, B. Ferguson, Kanchelskis, Dodds, Wallace.

Subs Not Used: Nicholson, I. Ferguson, Myhre.

Booked: Dodds, Numan.

Goals: Albertz 90.

Hearts: Niemi, Naysmith, Pressley, Petric, Simpson, Murray, Locke, Leclercq, Cameron, Adam (Kirk 76), McSwegan (Milne 76).

Subs Not Used: Rousset, Fulton, Severin.

Booked: Cameron, Leclercq, Adam.

Att: 50,063

Ref: Stuart Dougal (Scotland).

Taken from

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