London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2009-10--> All for 20090830
<-Page <-Team Sun 30 Aug 2009 St Johnstone 2 Hearts 2 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Herald ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Csaba Laszlo <-auth None auth-> Mike Tumilty
[M Davidson 23] ;[M Hardie 93]
8 of 008 Jose Goncalves 59 ;David Obua 86 L SPL A

St Johnstone 2 - 2 Hearts

things just aren't getting any better for Csaba Laszlo. The Hearts manager appears embroiled in conflict with Vladimir Romanov after the club's owner questioned his judgement over several of his summer striking targets but, after the Tynecastle side slipped out of continental competition last week, three points yesterday would have salved some of the wounds.

It was not to be, despite his side leading as the match lapsed into injury-time. Martin Hardie, the St Johnstone substitute, emerged to convert a glorious last-minute equaliser to snatch a draw from the jaws of certain defeat, after David Obua had seemingly volleyed Hearts to the points just four minutes earlier.

It was a fitting end to an enthralling spectacle, and a just reward for St Johnstone, who had been in control for vast swathes of the game against allegedly more illustrious opponents. For Hearts, though, there were moments when their much-documented deficiencies made for painful viewing.

Laszlo opted to start with the lumbering Christian Nade and untested youngster Gary Glen up front and, once more, the Edinburgh side looked insipid going forward. It is becoming an unerring habit and, if it remains unchecked, threatens to curtail the ultimate target of challenging for third spot in the league.

Hearts had to rely on defender Jose Goncalves and midfielder Obua for their goals and Laszlo, who was uncharacteristically dormant in his dug-out, admitted that his team is lightweight in the forward areas.

"If you ask me about the strikers, I have the midfield and the defence players who try to score," he said in his now infamous rambling style. "I hope they do in the next game. We did it against Dynamo Zagreb and we did it today. I work with what I have and I try to get the best out of them."

One player who Laszlo will have to pay special attention to this week is Suso Santana. The fiery little Mediterranean may lack stature but he was embroiled in an unsavoury spitting incident with Danny Grainger of St Johnstone. And, although Laszlo's comments suggested that he had been made aware of Suso's actions, he was coy over how he would react.

"I must protect the player and I must also protect the face of the club," he said. "We have a massive responsibility and we must react. I saw in his face that it could not be helpful for Suso to play to the end. But he will learn."

What Hearts lacked in penetration, St Johnstone had in plentiful supply. The pairing of Kenny Deuchar and Collin Samuel paid dividends, particularly during the first half when Hearts were regularly exposed by Deuchar's headed flicks and Samuel's trickery and willingness to run.

It was a tactic that led to their opening goal when the two combined to feed Dave Mackay out wide. The former Livingston player swung in a tantalising cross for midfielder Murray Davidson to nod in with aplomb. It was one of a number of headed chances for the young midfielder and Derek McInnes, the Perth manager, was disappointed he had only managed to score one.

"His goal is his hardest chance," he said with a telling sigh. "He's got a lot to do with the header. Their keeper pulled off a couple of good saves but he's so powerful going into the box. His timing of the runs was great and we had a right few chances. We certainly know how to score goals and make chances. We just have to make sure that we can make our dominance tell."

Taken from the Herald

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