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Csaba Laszlo <-auth Bill Leckie auth-> Steve Conroy
Stewart Michael [D Cadamarteri pen 3] ;[D Cadamarteri 86]
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Dundee United (1) 2 Hearts (0) 0

BILL LECKIE at Tannadice

Published: 18 Aug 2009

YOU can hand a man more responsibility.

But you can't make him act more responsibly.

Hearts found that out the hard way as Michael Stewart let them down yet again.

The new club captain picked up the FOURTH red card of his Tynecastle career to turn a mountain into Everest for the men he was meant to be leading.

On the ground where he was once sent off for arguing with his own fans, the former Scotland midfielder committed two needless fouls in nothing areas to leave referee Steve Conroy with no option but to send him packing.

And his shameful exit killed any chance they had of taking anything from a side they want to rival for third spot come May.

Danny Cadamarteri's third-minute penalty after Eggert Jonsson hung a leg out to down Danny Swanson eased the nerves for a home team whose European dreams were done in by a nightmare start to last season.

It started with a Monday night humping at Hamilton - and one point from their first five league games haunted them till the death.

This time, they never looked like slipping up - and little Cadamarteri binned any nerves when he sprinted clear to slot his second as the Jambos threw the kitchen sink forward.

After 11 red cards last term, this was the last way Czaba Laszlo wanted to start a new one. But the truth is, their indiscipline was there to see from the moment they handed United the perfect start.

Suso Santana didn't track back to help Jonsson, who sent Swanson sprawling.

Keeper Marian Kello guessed right and got his hand on Cadamarteri's low shot, but it crept in and as he beat the turf with his fists he knew the night could only get harder.

The hot-headedness that seems to come for some just by pulling on a maroon jersey should have cost them a second penalty in 18 minutes.

Algerian stopper Ismael Bouzid wears his shirt collar up like Cantona, but that's where the similarity ends.


He's one of those centre-backs who wants to win everything - whether he has a chance of getting there or not - and proved it with a crazy slide in on Camadarteri. As the striker hit the turf, it seemed a stick-on that Conroy would point to the spot. Instead, he played advantage and Kello snatched the ball off David Goodwillie's toes.

It was a let-off Hearts couldn't cash in on. In fact, they just kept on putting more obstacles in their own path.

David Obua gave the ball away cheaply and went in the book for hauling down Morgaro Gomis.

Stewart followed soon after for a silly flick at Swanson when the winger was just yards inside the Jambos half.

The visiting fans were getting ratty - and it took a yellow card for their former player Andy Webster to give them anything to cheer about.

Just after the break they were rightly screaming for justice when new United keeper Nicky Weaver carried the ball outside the box as he made to clear, but linesman Gary Cheyne failed to spot it. Hearts could sniff a chance of getting something from this game, though.

It was a scent that would soon be replaced by the stench of Stewart's stupidity.

He was in exactly the same spot where he'd caught Swanson when he once again left in a foot for no reason.

This time, Scott Robertson hit the deck and once again Conroy was right there to do the needful.

As Stewart wheeled away and trotted up the tunnel, Tynecastle hopes went with him. Any game plan went out the window, replaced by desperation. It showed in little Ian Black, thrown in to fill the gap left by his captain.

Within minutes, his adrenaline boiled over with a late challenge on Swanson, whose angry reaction sparked mass handbags that ended with both of them plus Suso joining the growing list of bookings.Suso then had the one real Hearts chance, finding space behind Paul Dixon to get on to a Jose Goncalves cross only for his touch to betray him.

To be fair, the Jambos gave it their lot as they chased a leveller. But the danger was always going to be a second goal on the break - and it came with six minutes left.

As Hearts loaded the United box for a corner, Gomis smuggled the ball to Prince Buaben who opened up a threadbare defence and left poor Kello to rush from his box just in time to be beaten by a slide-rule low shot.

Levein took Cadamarteri off immediately to give him the ovation he richly deserved.

It had been a debut to remember for United's new striking hero.

And one to forget for the new Hearts captain.

The Sun

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