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[D Riordan 22]
24 of 025 Paul Hartley 55 L SPL A


Jan 3 2005

Paul strikes back for Jambos as capital rivals kick off 2005 with thriller Hibs 1 Hearts 1

By Gary Ralston

THEY say revenge is a dish best served cold - and Paul Hartley struck at sub-zero Easter Road to keep the honours even in the Edinburgh derby.

The Hearts midfielder took his frustration out on his former club in the freezing cold early in the second half after being the victim of an apalling miscarriage of justice just minutes earlier.

Referee Dougie MacDonald failed to spot a clip on the heels of the Jambos midfielder by Hibs full-back Dave Murphy as he raced through on goal from a pass by Phil Stamp.

Hartley was sent sprawling at the edge of the box by a New Year First Foot of the unwanted variety but MacDonald waved play on and Hearts were denied the goal- scoring chance - and the opportunity to play 43 minutes of the second half against 10 men.

However, the Jambos star struck eight minutes later as he latched on to a hooked cross from Graham Weir to poke his side an equaliser they so deserved.

Hibs had snatched a first-half lead in 24 minutes when Derek Riordan struck from12yards after a game of pinball in the Hearts defence. And he could have snatched the win late on as Hibs passed up a catalogue of chances.

Tony Mowbray will rue those golden opportunities this morning as he reflects on a point that keeps his side nine points ahead of their bitter rivals, knowing it might have been 12.

It has been seven years since Hibs entertained their neighbours at New Year but the officials at the SPL who arrange the fixture lists must make these January derbies annual events again.

It swayed one way then the other, with players such as Riordan, Ian Murray and Murphy for Hibs and Hartley, Stamp and Craig Gordon for Hearts giving outstanding value to the 17,500 at Easter Road, including former Scotland star Gordon Strachan.

Pies were thrown at Riordan when he struck for his 11th goal of the season and a smoke bomb was set off at the back of the Hearts end when they equalised but the idiots were in the minority, thankfully, as the game grabbed all the headlines.

After starting brightest, Hibs scored against the run of play in an evenly-contested first half.

The early part of the second half, with Stamp moved into the centre of midfield from wide left to counter the threat of Craig Rocastle, belonged to Hearts.

Stamp looked disconsolate when he was subbed in 75 minutes but his legs were going as the young Hibs side stormed back into the game.

In the closing 20 minutes they created seven clear-cut chances to win the match but found their strikers off target and Gordon in brilliant form.

Hearts made four changes to the team that lost 2-0 to Celtic seven days earlier with Andy Webster, Neil MacFarlane, Graham Weir and Joe Hamill replacing Kevin McKenna, Michael Stewart, Dennis Wyness and Jamie McAllister.

Hibs midfielder Guillaume Beuzelin failed to shake off his ankle injury but Mowbray's side was still unchanged from the one that triumphed 4-1 at Dundee United the previous week.

Hearts fans openly feared the slick,passing game Mowbray has encouraged in his team since taking over in the summer and which has elevated them to third place in the SPL. Early on their worries appeared justified.

Hibs started on top, forcing their first corner after only two minutes and their first genuine chance after only five.

Alen Orman took on Alan Maybury down the right and when the full-back was short with a pass, not the last time he would face that accusation in90minutes, Dean Shiels brought out a save from Gordon at his left-hand post.

The Scotland keeper was on his feet within a second as the rebound fell to Stephen Glass but his effort was blocked by the keeper before the ball was booted clear.

Hibs were trying to stretch Hearts wide through Steven Whittaker on the right and Murphy on the left.

Twice in the opening stages it needed crucial clearances from Webster and Steven Pressley to clear the danger after Murphy darted behind the opposition defence looking for a pay day with crosses along the six-yard box.

Nevertheless, Hearts were hardly camped at the edge of their box and with Stamp and Joe Hamill an outlet in wide midfield areas and Hartley beginning to win his share of possession in the centre against Rocastle they began to threaten.

However, just when it looked as if a goal was more likely to be scored by the visitors, Hibs took the lead on24minutes and Hearts only had themselves to blame.

Maybury brilliantly turned Orman in the left full-back area but opted to play a weak pass inside to Hartley, rather than down the line, and the Jambos midfielder quickly found himself out of possession.

The ball fell to Garry O'Connor whose shot was heading well wide before it was deflected into the path of Riordan by Shiels and he made no mistake by drilling a low shot past Gordon from 12 yards.

Hearts attempted to hit back and Stamp went close with a drive well held by keeper Simon Brown, who had an eccentric afternoon and looked unsettled by the physical presence of Mark de Vries.

Hibs had a penalty claim waved aside by MacDonald when MacFarlane climbed above Riordan to clear an O'Connor cross but the whistler was spot on in waving aside the appeals.

However, he erred after the restart when Hartley scampered behind Murphy to meet a Stamp pass only be be sent sprawling two yards outside the box by a clip of the heels.

Stamp was booked for protesting as Hearts won the yellow card crime count 3-2 but Hartley came up with the perfect response minutes later when Weir's cross from Pressley's throw-in down the right was knocked into the net.

Webster came close moments later with a header from a Hamill free-kick that bounced off the base of the post and Weir and Hartley passes up great opportunities to hand Hearts a lead they would have deserved at that stage.

However, the more the game progressed the more it looked as if Hibs would snatch the winner.

Sub Sam Morrow brought out a brilliant stop from Gordon with a header from four yards he really should have buried and also sclaffed a shot wide from six yards.

Whittaker also fired a shot over from close range, as did O'Connor when they really should have hit the target.

Gordon also blocked an O'Connor effort and turned a Riordan free-kick over the top in injury time.

MAN OF THE MATCH Paul Hartley (Hearts) Hibs - Simon Brown, Whittaker, Caldwell, Murray, Murphy, Orman (Morrow 45), Rocastle, Shiels, Glass, Riordan, O'Connor. Subs not used: Alistair Brown, Smith, Dobbie, Fletcher, McCluskey, Shields.

Hearts - Gordon, Neilson, Pressley (Berra 90), Webster, Maybury, Stamp (McAllister 76), Hartley, MacFarlane, Hamill, Weir, de Vries (McKenna 79). Subs not used: Moilanen, Wyness, Pereira, Janczyk.

Referee - D McDonald.


Murphy's foul on Paul Hartley early in the second half seemed to motivate the Jambos all the more to claim a priceless point.

Taken from the Scotsman

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