London Hearts Supporters Club

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Craig Levein <-auth Mark Bonthrone auth-> Mike McCurry
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Webster admits to sorry Hearts over missed opportunity


HEARTS defender Andy Webster today admitted that the Tynecastle club had passed up a golden opportunity to book their first cup final place for five years.

The Jambos matched Alex McLeish’s men for long spells of the encounter and limited the Glasgow side to very few goalscoring opportunities throughout the 90 minutes.

In the end, a single defensive lapse that allowed Fernando Ricksen to head a Neil McCann pass across goal for Ronald de Boer to net from close range was to prove the undoing of Craig Levein’s side.

The Gorgie men ran Rangers as close as they have done for a number of matches and Webster, along with the 7000 or so supporters who made the trip along the M8, was left to rue a slow start to the game that eventually cost them their chance of another Hampden day out.

"I think we let ourselves down in the first half and were maybe a bit wary of Rangers," said the centre-half.

"We are obviously disappointed to have gone out at this stage. We really didn’t do ourselves any favours to start with and basically gave Rangers a goal of a start.

"Usually when you play Rangers you can expect them to have four or five clear-cut chances but I don’t really remember them creating that many, so it’s all the more disappointing that we didn’t start the game a little better and make the most of that.

"When they aren’t creating as much as usual we would obviously be looking to make something at the other end but we weren’t really able to do that so perhaps missed a chance. We gave the ball away a lot in the first half and the sort of side Rangers are they can keep it and punish you when you give it to them, which is what happened."

While conceding that they had let Rangers off the hook, Webster did insist that the Tynecastle outfit could take positives out of the way they had performed, particularly in the second 45 minutes of the match.

"We do wish we had played the first half in the same manner that we did the second," he added.

"We did put them under pressure and picked up the pace a little and had we got a wee break then we could have taken something out of the game.

"Unfortunately, it just wasn’t to be.

"We now just have to make sure we take the way we played in the closing 15 minutes into future games as we showed that we can trouble them."

And Webster also had special praise for the Hearts support who, despite being heavily outnumbered by the opposing fans, braved the freezing conditions to give the Jambos their backing right up until the final whistle.

"The fans were great," he said. "They were absolutely brilliant and the players really do appreciate it as it gives you a lift to know that the crowd is behind you.

"It is actually true what they say about the fans acting like a 12th man and they certainly made themselves heard.

"It’s just as shame that we didn’t get a result for them."

Taken from the Scotsman

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