London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Sun 28 Apr 2002 Hearts 1 Celtic 4 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Sporting Life ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Craig Levein <-auth Chris Roberts auth-> John Rowbotham
[S Lynch 12] ;[S Lynch 41] ;[S Maloney 50] ;[S Maloney 66]
1 of 001 Ricardo Fuller 31 L SPL H

Hearts 1 Celtic 4

By Chris Roberts, PA Sport

Simon Lynch and Shaun Maloney showed Martin O'Neill they could save him a fortune in the transfer market by taking the club to 100 points with two goals apiece at Tynecastle.

The teenage duo made a big impact by notching impressive doubles to almost disguise the fact that Ricardo Fuller finally ended his goalscoring drought by netting his first since January 5, and Maloney missed a last-minute spot-kick.

Hearts looked lifeless after Livingston pipped them to the last UEFA Cup place before kick-off.

But the fact that a vastly inexperienced Celtic side including Lynch, Maloney, Jamie Smith, Colin Healy and John Kennedy out-played Hearts said a lot for the state of the Scottish game.

Celtic were without the likes of Henrik Larsson, Paul Lambert and Johan Mjallby, while Lubo Moravcik was on the bench.

But the performance of the youngsters, and in particularly Lynch and Maloney, gave the Celtic boss hope in these difficult financial times that they could save him millions as he prepares his side for another crack at the Champions League next season.

When the game got under way it was veterans Tom Boyd and Morten Wieghorst, starting his first Scottish Premier League game since contracting Guillain-Barre Syndrome, who looked vulnerable.

Despite the pre-match disappointment, Hearts in fact started brightly and almost took the lead in the very first minute.

Steve Fulton played a hopeful ball in the air which the bandaged Boyd misjudged to let Thomas Flogel in, but he failed to make a clean contact and screwed his effort wide of the post.

Celtic were fortunate not to concede a penalty four minutes later when a clumsy challenge from Wieghorst brought Fuller down in the box, but referee John Rowbotham turned away.

Reserve goalkeeper Jonathan Gould needed to be quick off his line in the seventh minute to punch clear with Fuller looking to get on the end of Kenny Milne's flick on.

But Celtic went ahead with their first decent move of the game through teenager Lynch in the 12th minute.

The youngster seized on Momo Sylla's pass to get away from Scott Severin and then clipped the ball over advancing goalkeeper Antti Niemi before making sure by heading into the empty net.

Hearts tried to hit back two minutes later when Fulton pulled a free-kick back into the path of Severin, but Boyd made a vital block in the area to stop the shot testing Gould.

The goal failed to settle the nerves of the makeshift Celtic defence, but despite causing problems Hearts could not capitalise.

Fuller was just unable to reach Stephane Mahe's left-wing cross while Alan Maybury blazed a right-foot drive over the bar.

But Maloney almost made them pay for their lack of conviction in front of goal in the 24th minute when he curled a right-foot free-kick just past the post from 25 yards.

Celtic again had the home side on the rack five minutes later when Smith got away from Robert Tomaschek and clipped an inviting cross into the centre which just evaded Maloney.

Jackie McNamara also went close on the half hour when he whistled in a powerful right-foot shot just after the Hearts defence had failed to properly clear Steve Guppy's cross.

But the home crowd finally had something to celebrate in the 33rd minute when they were on level terms.

The Celtic defence were caught ball watching as Fuller ran onto Severin's punt down field and held off the challenge of Wieghorst before firing low past Gould.

But the champions replied just three minutes before the break with Lynch scoring his second of the game and third senior goal.

Smith beat two men on the right and squared for the 19-year-old to tap the ball past Niemi from close range.

Just seconds after the restart Fulton almost got his side on level terms again when he seized upon a half clearance on the edge of the box, but his right-foot shot flew just over.

But the champions settled down quickly and increased their lead in glorious fashion in the 50th minute.

Despite being just to the left of the box, Maloney curled an unstoppable right-foot free-kick past the helpless Niemi and into the top corner of the net.

Smith almost got his name on the scoresheet five minutes later when his curling effort looked destined for the top corner, but Andrew Webster made a clearance off the line to deny him.

But Maloney scored his second in the 65th minute as Lynch pulled the ball back from the byline and the youngster hit a first-time shot past the flat-footed Niemi.

Sylla should have extended Celtic's lead further in the 70th minute when he headed Guppy's cross over before Niemi made a good save to deny Maloney his hat-trick.

But the youngster had an even better chance to grab his third in the final minute of the game when they were awarded a penalty.

Guppy was brought down by Maybury and, after arguing with Lynch over who was going to take the spot-kick and claim a hat-trick, Maloney fired his shot against the upright.

But neither player deserved to out-do the other and all the youngsters went off to a standing ovation from the Celtic fans, who might have just seen the stars of the future.


Hearts: Niemi, Maybury, Severin, Webster, Mahe, Flogel, Tomaschek (Hamill 58), Fulton (Wales 78), Simmons, Fuller, Milne (Kirk 63).

Subs Not Used: McKenzie, McCann.

Goals: Fuller 33.

Celtic: Gould, Kennedy, Boyd, Wieghorst, Smith, Sylla, Healy, McNamara, Guppy, Lynch, Maloney.

Subs Not Used: Douglas, Thompson, Petrov, Moravcik, McGovern.

Booked: Healy.

Goals: Lynch 12, 41, Maloney 50, 65.

Att: 12,391

Ref: J Rowbotham (Scotland).

Taken from

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