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<-Page <-Team Sat 23 Jan 2010 Rangers 1 Hearts 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Hearts World ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Csaba Laszlo <-auth Hearts Media auth-> Calum Murray
Nade Christian [A Little 91]
2 of 006 Scott Robinson 75L SPL A

Little breaks ten-man Hearts

From Hearts News at Ibrox Stadium

An injury time equaliser from the home-side denied ten-man Hearts from taking all three points in a defensive encounter at Ibrox.

Hearts took the lead through Scott Robinson just over a minute after Christian Nade had been sent off for two bookable offences but the men from Gorgie Road couldn't hold on as Andrew Little snatched a late goal to ensure a share of the spoils.

Csaba Laszlo was forced into two changes from the side that defeated St. Mirren last week as David Templeton dropped out through injury while Ruben Palazuelos missed out through suspension. In their place came the fit-again Lee Wallace and Ian Black playing wide right of the midfield four. The home sides' recent striking 'crisis' was eased as Kyle Lafferty returned from illness to lead the attack.

Five minutes into the match the first opportunity fell to the away side as Michael Stewart battled for the ball twenty yards from goal before finding Christian Nade on the edge of the penalty area. The big Frenchman did well to spin away from his marker but his off-balance shot from 12 yards flew over the crossbar.

Rangers shook off that early scare and began to pressurise the Hearts defence but had to wait until the 22nd minute to have their first chance. John Fleck beat two players running through the middle and was brought down by Ian Black 25 yards from goal. Steven Davis curled the free-kick over the wall and towards the bottom corner but found himself denied by a terrific one handed save from Marian Kello.

Four minutes later it was Kirk Broadfoot who went close to putting Rangers in front as his header from a Thomson free-kick looped just over the bar.

Despite mounting pressure from the home side they failed to break through a Hearts rearguard that has deserved their plaudits in recent weeks for helping to turn the club's season around. They held firm for the rest of the first half before Hearts nearly nicked a goal four minutes into the second.

A looping long ball from Stewart was chased down by David Obua out on the left wing. Obua cut the ball back to Nade on the corner of the penalty area and his cross-cum-shot almost sneaked it at the far post as Allan McGregor had to touch the ball round the post having hesitated momentarily thanks to the presence of Ian Black.

Rangers then went down the other end of the park and would have taken the lead but for a last ditch tackle from Marius Zaliukas to deny Lafferty after the Northern Irishman was set up by a John Fleck cut-back. Five minutes later Fleck went close himself when his curling shot from 25 yards shaved the outside of Kello's right hand post.

On 65 minutes Rangers wasted a glorious opportunity to open the scoring, much to the dismay of an increasingly frustrated Ibrox crowd. John Fleck broke down the centre of the park with Kyle Lafferty and Steven Davis in support going up against only two Hearts defenders. Fleck flicked the ball to left for Lafferty rushing in on goal but the striker's effort was denied by a stop from the onrushing Kello. Had the striker squared the ball across goal to an unmarked Davis then the midfielder would have required just a tap-in to give Rangers the lead.

Keeping a clean sheet at Ibrox is tough enough without your centre forward completely losing his mind and earning himself a ridiculously foolish red card. Christian Nade had already been booked for a foul on David Weir when he decided to kick the ball into the crowd after being caught offside. The striker was given a second yellow for time wasting and left his teammates with a massive uphill battle.

Hearts then gave themselves every chance of winning that battle when, against the run of play and all logical probability, they took the lead. David Obua playing through the centre in place of Nade battled to win possession before being aided by Lee Wallace streaking up the park from left back. Wallace's low shot was saved by McGregor but the Rangers keeper couldn't stop Scott Robinson from slamming the rebound into the net for his first ever goal in first team football.

Watching Hearts defend a lead in Glasgow is bad enough with eleven men on the park but that tension was almost eased on 87 minutes when Ryan Wallace almost doubled Hearts advantage after he turned Weir in the box before forcing McGregor into blocking his powerful shot.

On 89 minutes Rangers wasted a glorious chance to level the match after Marian Kello failed to collect a corner from the right but Sasa Papac could only smash his effort high over the crossbar.

Losing a last minute goal at Ibrox is something to be expected but that doesn't make the heartbreak any easier to take as the Hearts defence finally wilted after being so solid for 90 minutes. Lee McCulloch was allowed a free shot from 25 yards that Kello could only parry and youngster Andrew Little was on hand to rescue a point for the league leaders.

In the end Hearts will console themselves with a point from the toughest ground in Scotland and with the knowledge that deserve a massive amount of respect for their efforts.

Rangers: McGregor; Broadfoot (Little 78), Weir, Wilson, Papac; McCulloch, Davis, Thomson, Whittaker; Fleck (Wylde 86), Lafferty. Subs not used: Alexander, Mendes, Smith, Loy, Ness.

Hearts: Kello; J Thomson, Bouzid, Zaliukas, L Wallace; Black, Stewart, Jonsson, Obua; Robinson (R Wallace 80), Nade. Subs not used: Balogh, Cinikas, Visconte, Mulrooney, Balatoni, Smith. Booked: Bouzid, Nade. Sent Off: Nade

Referee: Calum Murray

Top man: Lee Wallace

Hearts World

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