London Hearts Supporters Club

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John Robertson <-auth Rob Robertson auth-> John Rowbotham
[G O'Connor 68] ;[D Shiels 73]
7 of 018 Lee Miller 39 L SPL H

Hearts 1 - 2 Hibernian

ROB ROBERTSON at Tynecastle April 14 2005

HIBERNIAN recorded their first win at Tynecastle for five years after a spectacular second-half fightback. They had looked dead and buried after a Lee Miller header was misjudged by their goalkeeper, Simon Brown, and the ball ended up in the back of the net.

However second-half goals from Garry O'Connor and Dean Shiels gave them a vital victory to put Tony Mowbray's side eight points ahead of Hearts in the race for third spot in the Bank of Scotland Premierleague.

The win eases the pressure on Mowbray in his first season as manager at Easter Road. His team were like a breath of fresh air when he first took over but looked to have lost their way in recent weeks. Their much-vaunted front pair of Derek Riordan and O'Connor have been struggling badly. Riordan was taken off after an hour and was clearly angry at the decision. He swore in the direction of the dug-out when the substitutes' board went up and stomped off the pitch in a huff.

The frustration was showing on the touchline too with Mark Venus, the Hibernian assistant manager, in trouble with the referee, John Rowbotham, who gave him a warning for his touchline antics.

Miller's goal seemed to have helped Hearts to victory but it was more down to a shocking error from Brown than good finishing. A free-kick from Jamie McAllister was met in the air by Hearts' on-loan striker who headed weakly towards goal.

Brown assumed the ball was going wide and made no effort to save it, but to his horror it floated on and dropped into the corner of the net. There was a stunned silence even among the Hearts supporters who couldn't believe the incompetence of the Hibs goalkeeper.

However, the Hibernian goals were equally scrappy.

A speculative cross from the substitute, Amadou Konté, caused havoc between Hearts' teenage full-back, Jason Thomson and the goalkeeper, Craig Gordon.

The confusion between the pair resulted in Thomson knocking the ball into the path of O'Connor who had the simplest of finishes. Konté was also involved in the second goal; his fierce shot coming off the post into the path of Dean Shiels who stroked the ball home.

The visitors had the ball in the net again when Riordan plucked the ball out of the air as Gordon threw it up before he kicked it out. However, Rowbotham deemed it to be foul play and cancelled the goal out.

Picture what George Best did to Gordon Banks for Northern Ireland against England at Windsor Park in the 1970s and you get the picture.

It was a match which was fast and furious in the extreme with the ball going from back to front like a rocket. You had to feel sorry for midfield ball players like Paul Hartley as the ball hurtled from one end of the pitch to the other.

Only Deividas Cesnauskis seemed to enjoy the frantic pace. The Lithuanian winger teased and harried Ian Murray to the extent that the latter was booked for persistent fouling. The Hibs captain was lucky to stay on the park after a dreadful tackle on Steven Pressley went unpunished. Mowbray obviously feared he was about to get sent off and as a precaution substituted him with half an hour to play.

Hearts had the majority of chances with Pressley holding his head in his hands after missing a first-half sitter after Miller's header had been stopped on the line by Antonio Murray. The ball broke to the Hearts captain who scooped over the bar from close range.

Hibs relied on hopeful efforts with O'Connor trying his luck to no avail on several occasions. Gordon pulled off an excellent save from Ian Murray in the second half and the visitors enjoyed much of the second-half possession. Still, it remained scrappy with Hearts playing the better football but Hibs the more direct. In the final analysis this result all but ends any hopes Hearts had of European next season.

Hibs will have taken great succour from the result: a win at the home of their bitter rivals is a real shot in the arm.

Hearts (4-4-2) Gordon; Thomson, Pressley, Webster, Wallace; Cesnauskis, MacFarlane, Hartley (Kizys, 67), McAllister; Burchill, Miller. Subs: Moilanen, Kizys, McKenna, Wyness, Hamill, Berra, Stewart

Hibernian (4-4-2) Simon Brown; Whittaker, Caldwell, Smith, Ian Murray (Thomson 61); Scott Brown, Antonio Murray, Glass, Shiels; Riordan (Konte 61), O'Connor. Subs: Alister Brown, Fletcher, Hogg, Konte, Morrow, Sproule, Thomson

Referee John Rowbotham

Taken from the Herald

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