London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2003-04--> All for 20040124
<-Page <-Team Sat 24 Jan 2004 Hearts 2 Partick Thistle 0 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Scotsman ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Craig Levein <-auth Gary Sutherland auth-> Mike McCurry
----- James McGilbray Mitchell
2 of 006 Dennis Wyness 41 ;Dennis Wyness 78 L SPL H

Mitchell swears he's had his fill rough justice


HEARTS 2 Wyness 41, 78

JAMIE Mitchell declares he is "fed up with the hard luck stories" which accompany each Partick Thistle defeat but he still punted a tale of misfortune after being dismissed by referee Mike McCurry during the Firhill side’s latest capitulation to Hearts.

At 1-0 early in the second-half, with Dennis Wyness having given Hearts the lead with a little assistance from hapless Thistle defender Adrian Madaschi, Mitchell went down in the Hearts penalty area after a challenge from Alan Maybury.

The Partick midfielder’s subsequent complaining that it was a penalty resulted in his second yellow card for dissent and the visitors were reduced to ten men as their hope of retrieving the deficit waned. Afterwards Mitchell was insistent that he had said nothing untoward to merit the dismissal.

Hearts, with their ongoing ground issue, ground out the win while Thistle again felt they have grounds for considering themselves cursed.

"I thought it was a penalty and I certainly never swore at the referee," said Mitchell later. "All I did was appeal against his decision. If this is what happens when you complain there won’t be many players left on the park. I think it’s a scandal."

His co-manager, Gerry Britton, was more cautious, in retrospect deciding that it was hard to tell if injustice had been perpetrated or not one week after Thistle felt hard done by in their dramatic defeat to Dundee in Glasgow.

"If the ref said it was for dissent then he has taken offence at something Jamie said. Some of the men are saying that it was a penalty and it was the same thing last week but I’d like to think these things even themselves out eventually. It was obviously a deciding factor in the game as I felt we played well today."

Wyness was the indirect recipient of more kindness from the Australian Madaschi after the sending-off when a second crucial error by the centre-half, who ironically had an otherwise decent match, let deadly Dennis back in for his brace.

"A long time coming," said Wyness of his matchwinning performance. "I wasn’t even sure if I would play so I’m delighted I did. Andy Kirk took his chance and went on a run of goals so hopefully I can do the same."

Hearts manager Craig Levein conceded that "it wasn’t a vintage performance" from his side and was keen to highlight how difficult Partick had made life for a Hearts team who are still trying to re-discover their early season form.

Both clubs had been hogging the sports pages this week. Elbowgate, as one newspaper called it, rumbled on in a football version of the old Reeves & Mortimer sketch: "You wouldn’t let it lie." Mercifully there came word of a moratorium on the debate though Hearts and Celtic meeting in the Scottish Cup next weekend might scupper that idea.

Meanwhile Thistle belatedly saw some sense and agreed to pay the remaining five months of Kevin Budinauckas’ contract after making the goalkeeper redundant. The negotiations between the club, the SPFA and the player’s agent have at least meant a more palatable conclusion to the surprising affair.

The Premierleague’s bottom team coming to Tynecastle allowed Levein to welcome Britton and Derek Whyte into the Management Club. "I hope they enjoy their sleepless nights," said the Hearts boss wryly.

A poor first-half looked like a panacea for insomnia, as the only leaflets held aloft at Tynecastle yesterday were the red ones brandished by the players before kick-off as they showed racism the door. The chanting from Hearts fans at Chris Robinson, the club’s chief executive, during the game was of the sporadic variety.

The action on the pitch was sporadic too, with neither team really excelling. Robert Sloan, the Hearts youngster, was first to test the water with an easy free kick into the arms of Jamie Langfield as two Thistle players reached the referee’s book early, Ian Ross for a foul on Robbie Neilson and Mitchell for a bad tackle on Alan Maybury.

Mitchell’s caution would have further consequences later but in the meantime he had two goes at Craig Gordon’s goal, one drive scooting over the crossbar, another with him off-balance skewing wide after a forceful run into the danger area.

It was a pity that Madaschi should gift Hearts their opener because he had been coping well with the threat of Mark De Vries. But when Phil Stamp fired his cross in from the left Madaschi got into a terrible fankle and the ball fell to the lurking Wyness, who swept it into the net past Langfield.

After Mitchell had walked early in the second period, Stamp got himself booked and the match looked a little tousy. Wyness nearly netted when a Langfield clearance struck the striker and pinged back but flew beyond the upright.

Yet Wyness had not to wait long for his brace as Groundhog Day set in. Madaschi again culpable, Wyness once more capitalising. The defender was short with his pass back and as Kevin McKenna, on for De Vries, chased it with Langfield, the ball plopped to Wyness who nonchalantly chipped into an unguarded net. The home support’s celebratory chants duly segued into one of those Sack the Board numbers.

Taken from the Scotsman

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