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<-Page <-Team Sat 03 May 2003 Kilmarnock 1 Hearts 0 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Sporting Life ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Craig Levein <-auth Lisa Gray auth-> Douglas McDonald
Webster Andy McCann Austin [G McSwegan 31]
1 of 005 ----- L SPL A

Kilmarnock 1 Hearts 0

By Lisa Gray, PA Sport

Kilmarnock kept their hopes of European qualification alive by taking all three points from nearest rivals Hearts, who finished the game with just nine men.

Tynecastle duo Andy Webster and Austin McCann were both sent-off in a fiery encounter which saw referee Dougie McDonald also issue 10 yellow cards.

Former Hearts man Gary McSwegan grabbed the only goal of the game to slash his old club's lead in third place in the table to just four points.

With a UEFA Cup place at stake, the game proved to be scrappy from the outset with late challenges flying in from both sides and it was not long before McDonald was forced to reach for the book.

McSwegan was first to be cautioned for a challenge on Scott Severin before Phil Stamp was booked for lashing out at Garry Hay and the ex-Middlesbrough midfielder was lucky the card was not red.

Killie enjoyed the best of the chances in the first half and they could have opened the scoring when Andy McLaren released McSwegan down the right flank and he forced Tepi Moilanen into a good block at the near post to stop his thunderous shot.

Kilmarnock's hard work paid off when they took the lead after 28 minutes. McLaren did well to beat two Hearts defenders before picking out McSwegan in the box and he nodded the ball low into the back of the net.

The home side could have added another after 32 minutes when Alan Mahood played the ball through to James Fowler but Moilanen was quick to pounce off his line and clear before Fowler could pull the trigger.

Kilmarnock squandered a great opportunity to double their lead just a minute after the restart.

McSwegan played the ball into the box, picking out Hay, and he set up McLaren for the shot only for the former Reading man to fire wide from just outside the six-yard area.

He had a chance to make amends a few minutes later and McSwegan was once again on hand to start the move. He played the ball to McLaren who tried to stab home from close range but, this time, Moilanen was able to hold the ball.

Hearts had the chance to pull a goal back when Jean Louis Valois was fouled on the edge of the area by Chris Innes, who was booked for the challenge. Stamp took the resulting free-kick but Gordon Marshall managed to block despite the shot taking a deflection.

Hearts were now creating more chances and Steven Boyack could have netted just seconds after replacing Valois.

Kirk tried to set up Stamp for the goal but he could not connect properly and played the ball wide to Boyack, who was denied the leveller by a great save from Marshall.

Hearts continued to pile the pressure on and Marshall was called into action again to block a Boyack volley with 15 minutes remaining.

Killie claimed a penalty a couple of minutes later when Garry McDonald fell in the box under pressure from Steven Pressley but their pleas were ignored.

Andy Webster was booked earlier in the game and that caution proved costly when he was sent off for a challenge on McSwegan and that left Hearts with just 10 men for the last 12 minutes of the game.

The Tynecastle side switched to a 4-2-3 formation after that when Levein replaced Neil McFarlane with Gary Wales.

They came close to netting the equaliser when Austin McCann tried his luck at goal only to smash the ball into the side netting instead.

But Hearts suffered a further blow in the last minute of the game when McCann was shown a straight red card.


Kilmarnock: Marshall, Fowler, Innes, Dindeleux, Canero, McLaren (Boyd 88), Mahood, Fulton, Hay, McDonald, McSwegan (Di Giacomo 88).

Subs Not Used: Stewart, McLaughlin, Murray.

Booked: McLaren, McSwegan, Innes, Fulton, Canero, Fowler.

Goals: McSwegan 29.

Hearts: Moilanen, Maybury, McCann, Pressley, Webster, Severin, MacFarlane (Wales 82), Stamp, Valois (Boyack 60), Weir (Kirk 45), McKenna.

Subs Not Used: McKenzie, Neilson.

Sent Off: Webster (78), McCann (90).

Booked: Stamp, Maybury, Webster, Pressley.

Att: 9,091

Ref: D McDonald (Scotland).

Taken from

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