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Jim Jefferies 2nd <-auth auth-> William Collum
[D Riordan 79]
4 of 007 Andrew Driver 22 ;Gary Glen 26L SPL H

Hearts 2 - 1 Hibs: Jambos close gap on Hibs after well-deserved win

Published Date: 20 March 2010
By Colleen Strachan
TWO goals inside the space of two minutes gave Hearts all three points in the Edinburgh derby, closing the gap on their rivals in the SPL table to seven points.

First-half goals from Andrew Driver and Gary Glen fired the Tynecastle side into a oommanding lead and both Suso Santana and Eggert Jonsson could have added to their advantage.

Hibs pulled one back through Derek Riordan will 11 minutes remaining but Jim Jefferies men held on for a vital victory.

Jefferies made four changes to the side which started against Motherwell last week, with Jose Goncalves, Calum Elliot, Ryan Stevenson and Paul Mulrooney dropping out of the starting line-up.

Andrew Driver made his first appearance since the first derby of the season, back in November, after tendinitis of the knee and he was joined in the first 11 by Ian Black, Ruben Palazuelos and Gary Glen.

Hibs manager John Hughes was missing Chris Hogg, who was suffering with a back problem and Paul Hanlon dropped to the bench following last weekend's 2-2 Active Nation Scottish CUp tie against Ross County.

Frenchman Stevn Thicot was installed at right-back with David Wotherspoon on the right side of midfield and Lewis Stevenson was at left-back.

Ian Black caused concern when he took a heavy head knock after colliding with team-mate Larry Kingston but the little midfielder was able to come back onto the pitch after a couple of minutes' treatment.

However Hearts were forced to make a change with less than 20 minutes of the game gone when Dawid Kucharski was forced off injured, to be replaced by Suso Santana.

Hearts opened the scoring with 26 minutes gone when a ball in from Suso caused all sorts of problems, Hibs keeper Graham Stack seemingly deciding to leave the ball, but it came back of the bar and out to Driver, who lashed it into the net.

Amid the bedlam as Hearts celebrated their goal, Black had to admit defeat to that earlier head knock and come off, Ryan Stevenson being brought on to replace him.

They made it two just a couple of minutes later, this time when a brialliant corner from Driver found Eggert Jonsson and the Icelander's bullet header was diverted into the net by Gary Glen.

Hearts could have had three frm another Driver corner just a few minutes after that, Driver at the centre of things again, his corner reaching Eggert Jonsson, but this time John Rankin managing to head off the line.

Hibs tried to hit back, a long kick-out from Stack being headed on by Anthony Stokes, but Derek Riordan's shot on the angle from the corner of the box went well wide of Janos Balogh's left-hand post.

Hearts could have wrapped the game up just seconds after the restart when Sol Bamba slipped, allowing David bua to steal possession and fire the ball across goal for Suso, but the little Spaniard somehow managed to fire high over the bar from a matter of six yards out.

Obua released Glen on a surging run that looked certain to end in another goal in 53 minutes, only for a combination of Stack and Stevenson did enough to put the Hearts striker off and he fired wide of the target.

Hibs had enjoyed the bulk of possession after the restart but could have fallen even further behin when Driver lifted the ball over the head of Ian Murray on the edge of the box and turned away from the Easter Road defender to get a shot in. It looked as though the home side had bagged their third of the game, only for Stevenson to get back, chest the ball down and then spin round to boot it clear.

Hibs pulled one back with 11 minutes remaining when David Wotherspoon cut down the right and whipped the ball across goal. It was missed by a host of Hearts legs and eventually reached Derek Riordan at the far post and he rattled it into the back of the net from eight yards out.

* = booking
Hearts: Balogh, Kucharski (Suso 18), Wallace, Jonsson, Palazuelos, Black (Stevenson 24), Kingston (Kingston 81), Driver, Obua, J Thomson, *Glen. Unused subs: MacDonald, Nade, Templeton, Robinson.

Hibs: Stack, Bamba, Thicot, Murray, McBride, Rankin (Benjelloun 54), Wotherspoon, Stevenson, Stokes, Riordan, Miller. Unused Smith, Cregg, Galbraith, Hanlon, Byrne, McCormack

Taken from the Scotsman

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