London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2010-11--> All for 20100921
<-Page <-Team Tue 21 Sep 2010 Falkirk 4 Hearts 3 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Herald ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Jim Jefferies 2nd <-auth Richard Wilson auth-> Brian Winter
Thomson Craig [M Stewart 13] ;[C Finnigan 41] ;[R Flynn 80] ;[M Stewart 93]
8 of 008 Kevin Kyle pen 67 ;Suso Santana 74 ;Kevin Kyle 78LC A

Hearts fight back but Stewart has final say

Richard Wilson at Falkirk Stadium

22 Sep 2010

The drama, in all its raging intensity, was sustained until the final moment.

A game that had seethed and flourished, gathering bookings and goals with abandon, could only be settled at the death. After Mark Stewart had turned in his second goal from close range, there was barely enough time for the restart.

This Co-operative Insurance tie was a constant agitation, with eight players booked, Hearts’ Craig Thomson sent off, the visitors recovering from two goals down to lead 3-2, then the winning goal, that arrived in the last, heavy gasp of exertion.

“What a game of football,” said Steven Pressley, the Falkirk manager. “My word. You won’t see a more intriguing or exciting cup tie. All credit to Hearts, they showed spirit to come back, but then so did we.”

Nothing was spared, as if any concession might be a sign of vulnerability. It was often fraught, so that when Tom McManus was helped from the field having suffered an injury in a tangle with Suso Santana in the opening minutes, the away fans mercilessly chanted, “You Hibs b*****d”. McManus already looked disconsolate as he sadly shook his head, and Jim Jefferies patted the striker on the back.

There was a fierce edge, something hard and uncompromising, and a vicious moment seemed inevitable. When Carl Finnigan and Thomson clashed on the ground, the Hearts full-back kicked out at his opponent, and after Brian Winter, the referee, consulted his assistant and the fourth official, Thomson was sent off and the Falkirk striker booked. “I didn’t see it, only the fourth official did,” said Jefferies. “Craig said he slipped as he got up, but if it was deliberate then he cost his team-mates.”

The dismissal contributed to a sense of forlorn dismay. Stewart had replaced the injured McManus and there was a liveliness to the small, darting striker, who seemed to drive into the gaps of a Hearts defence exposed by a careless disregard.

The home side were regularly able to slide passes through wide spaces of negligence, and Stewart eventually took advantage. Jack Compton saw the striker’s run and exploited the lapse in defence to steer the ball into the path of Stewart, who hit a firm shot that bobbled under Marian Kello and in. A goal and a man down, Hearts were in a grim place.

Jefferies fumed on the touchline, with that aggressive, unforgiving air when he snarls instructions at his players. But, still the defence was reckless and Kallum Higginbotham played in Stewart, whose cross was stabbed beyond Kello by Finnigan’s left foot. Hearts, aghast, could only treat the interval as an opportunity to regroup.

There was a bold sense of purpose to Jefferies’ team in the second half, as though the manager’s fury had galvanised the players. The aggression was a little more subdued – although Billy Brown received a lengthy talking to from Winter – and Hearts were instead generating a telling momentum. Suso was at the centre of much of their doggedness and the winger’s sidestep past Burton O’Brien in the penalty area prompted a foul. Kevin Kyle drilled the spot-kick into the net.

Falkirk looked alarmed, as though their composure had suddenly been diminished, and they could not withstand the visitors’ roused ambition. When Ryan Stevenson sent a corner into the area, the ball fell to Suso, who eventually cracked a shot past Robert Olejnik.

It took only three minutes for Hearts to complete a comeback remarkable in its scope and turmoil. From Stevenson’s free-kick, Kyle rose to head in off the bar, before setting off to the corner, where he lifted out the flag, hooked his jersey on it and wafted it imperiously.

The sense then was that Falkirk, deflated by their collapse, would be too dejected to recover, but then they could rely on the Hearts defence to be compliant. Flynn received the ball on the edge of the 18-yard box and was unchallenged as he shaped a shot into the far corner.

The equaliser set up a rampaging finale.

Taken from the Herald

<-Page <-Team Tue 21 Sep 2010 Falkirk 4 Hearts 3 Team-> Page->
| Home | Contact Us | Credits | © |