London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2010-11--> All for 20100814
<-Page <-Team Sat 14 Aug 2010 Hearts 1 St Johnstone 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Scotsman ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Jim Jefferies 2nd <-auth Paul Forsyth auth-> Steve O'Reilly
[S Parkin 45] Steven James Stuart Anderson
5 of 009 Calum Elliot 44L SPL H

Jefferies' battle line is drawn

Published Date: 15 August 2010
By Paul Forsyth
at Tynecastle
HEARTS, it is safe to say, are pinning their hopes on Kevin Kyle. In the closing stages of this one, their new signing, who had been on the field for only ten minutes, was taken off with blood pouring from a wound above his eye.
As a doctor helped him up the tunnel, the club's assistant manager, Billy Brown, barked after them: "Wrap it up, and get him out here." Or words to that effect.

Sure enough, the big striker was out within seconds, a Butcher-style bandage applied to his skull. Before his brief absence, he had almost given his new team the win they deserved, but his looping header, after a cross to the back post by Arvydas Novikovas, was cleared off the line by Michael Duberry.

"It was a magnificent defensive header," said the Hearts manager, Jim Jefferies.

That, more than anything, stood between Hearts and the win. Having exchanged goals with St Johnstone just before half-time, they looked set to seize all three points when Steven Anderson was given a straight red card with 17 minutes left, but the visitors held out.

If that sounds suspiciously like the Hearts of last season, Jefferies was having none of it.

He pointed out that he was minus several key players. He is also sure that Kyle and Stephen Elliott will come good. Neither of Hearts' new signings were deemed fit enough to play from the start, and only made their debuts midway through the second half. Before that, it was another Elliot, Calum, who pleased the manager with the home team's only goal of the day.

"Considering the number of players we had out, there are a lot of positives," said Jefferies. "We went about it the right way. We had efforts on goal, crosses coming in ... I would say we were the more dominant side. And they were at their strongest. We weren't."

In the starting line-ups, most of the new faces were St Johnstone's. They had Marcus Haber and Sam Parkin up front, Peter Enckelman in goal, and within 21 minutes of the start, Cleveland Taylor on as a substitute.

That step had to be taken after Danny Grainger injured his right leg. The left-back had been clearing a cross, when his momentum led him to collide with the back post. The player was taken to hospital with a knee that his manager said had "blown up pretty dramatically".

Hearts started with just one debutant, Darren Barr. They relied on the familiar strengths of Lee Wallace, whose trademark charges down the left caused St Johnstone no end of trouble. The Scotland full-back endured an uncomfortable time of it in Stockholm on Wednesday night, but he was back to his attacking best here, frequently overlapping Chris Millar and picking out team-mates in the box.

With one of the better opportunities, Craig Thomson might have scored at the back post, but his half-volley rose over the bar.

Hearts were a while in exploiting their upper hand, but when they did go ahead, a minute before half-time, the source o f it was no surprise. Wallace ate up more territory down the left, flung in a cross to the near post, and saw Elliot steal in ahead of Enckelman with a glancing header.

Showing more appetite and adventure than they had for most of last season, Hearts deserved their lead, which made it all the more galling for Jefferies to see it squandered within seconds. Taylor found space for himself down by the corner flag and neatly picked out Parkin in the box. The former Walsall striker had plenty to do, but beat Marian Kello with a header from distance.

The setback seemed to unsettle Hearts, who made a sticky start to the second half before rediscovering their rhythm. Haber almost snatched St Johnstone the lead with a surging run to the byeline. When all were expecting a cutback, his Maicon-style shot almost caught out Kello at the near post. With the clock showing more than an hour gone, Jefferies could resist it no longer, and threw on both Kyle and Elliott in a double substitution. If nothing else, it lifted the crowd, who roared with anticipation every time Kyle rumbled into the box. By the time Anderson had been sent off, they were even more up for it.

Suso, who had been booked for diving in the first half, could not be accused of exaggerating the challenge that reduced his opponents to ten men. Anderson thundered into the back of his thighs with such an impact that it could be heard hard high in the stand. The referee, Stevie O'Reilly, was in such a rush to produce the red card that he didn't so much show it as fling it in the air. By the time he was picking it up several yards away, his face had turned a similar colour. The St Johnstone manager, Derek McInnes, whose two-match suspension forced him to watch from the stand, was furious with Anderson. "It changed everything," he said. "It was a really stupid challenge. I am not going to defend it. He put his team-mates up against it."

Taken from the Scotsman

<-Page <-Team Sat 14 Aug 2010 Hearts 1 St Johnstone 1 Team-> Page->
| Home | Contact Us | Credits | © |