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<-Page <-Team Sat 24 Aug 2002 Hearts 2 Dunfermline Athletic 0 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Sporting Life ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Craig Levein <-auth Lisa Gray auth-> Kevin Toner
1 of 001 Graham Weir 53 ;Mark de Vries 57 L SPL H

Hearts 2 Dunfermline 0

By Lisa Gray, PA Sport

Hearts striker Mark de Vries continued his excellent goalscoring record as the Jambos cruised to a 2-0 win over Dunfermline at Tynecastle.

The Dutchman claimed his sixth goal of the season when he doubled the Tynecastle side's advantage in the 57th minute after Graham Weir had opened the scoring just four minutes earlier.

Like Dunfermline, Hearts had started the new campaign well and were just one point behind the Pars ahead of the game.

But no-one could deny the importance of goalkeeper Antti Niemi for the Tynecastle side in recent seasons and they faced a huge test against Jimmy Calderwood's side without him.

With Niemi awaiting only the results of a medical to complete his £2million move to Southampton, he was replaced between the sticks by Roddy McKenzie, who was handed the task of showing he was capable of replacing the influential Finn.

Ironically, it was Dunfermline goalkeeper Marco Ruitenbeek who was forced to display his own qualities less than a minute after the game kicked-off.

Alan Maybury surprised everyone when he raced through the middle of the park before unleashing a shot from 20 yards and only a superb one-handed save from the Dutch goalkeeper kept the scoreline level.

Dunfermline had enjoyed a lot of posession without actually creating much in front of goal but they burst into life after 19 minutes when Jason Dair tried his luck with a 25-yard drive which flew wide of the post.

Four minutes later, the Pars were threatening again. Stevie Crawford produced a long, low effort but the ball was easily held by McKenzie.

Dunfermline had a great opportunity to take the lead after 25 minutes.

Gus MacPherson supplied the cross from the right wing only for Crawford's glancing header to fall across the face of goal and harmlessly past the post.

The East End Park side were still looking like they could grab the opener and they came close again after 32 minutes.

Barry Nicholson flighted a free-kick into the box from just a few yards in front of the corner flag and the ball was met by Scott Thomson but he watched in agony as his header from right in front of goal fell just over the crossbar.

De Vries had already netted five times this season and he looked destined to claim his sixth for Hearts when he took the ball round two Dunfermline defenders before bursting into the area.

He unleashed the shot but a quick reaction from Thomson on the line meant the Dutchman was denied the opener.

The home side had an opportunity to open the scoring after the break when Valois tried to pick out Steven Pressley with a corner after 51 minutes.

The ball was intercepted by Ruitenbeek before Pressley could connect and the Dutchman was left requiring treatment for his efforts, although he was quickly able to continue.

But the Pars goalkeeper was left helpless after 53 minutes when Hearts opened the scoring.

Valois had looked manacing throughout the game and it was he who provided the cross for Weir to nod home the opener from six yards out.

Before Dunfermline had the chance to recover from Weir's goal, they found themselves two goals behind.

This time Paul McMullan flighted the cross from the left flank, picking out De Vries on the edge of the area and the towering striker made no mistake when he bulleted the header past Ruitenbeek after 57 minutes.

The Tynecastle side were still hungry for goals and could have added a third after 66 minutes.

Valois tried to pick out de Vries for his second of the day but the cross was intercepted by Lee Bullen who managed to clear for a corner.

Sean Kilgannon almost pulled a goal back for the Pars in injury time when his free-kick on the corner of the 18-yard box was just blocked by McKenzie.


Hearts: McKenzie, Maybury, McKenna, Pressley, McMullan, Boyack, Simmons (Twaddle 47), Severin, Valois, de Vries, Weir.

Subs Not Used: Gordon, Wales, Webster, Janczyk.

Booked: Twaddle.

Goals: Weir 53, de Vries 57.

Dunfermline: Ruitenbeek, Dempsey (Kilgannon 47), Skerla, Scott Thomson, MacPherson (McGroarty 32), Nicholson, Mason, Bullen, Dair (Hampshire 58), Crawford, Brewster.

Subs Not Used: Stillie, Walker.

Booked: Brewster, Mason, McGroarty.

Att: 11,367

Ref: K Toner (Scotland).

Taken from

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