London Hearts Supporters Club

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Paulo Sergio <-auth GARETH LAW auth-> Robert Malek
[D Böde 89]
12 of 014 Ryan Stevenson 34 ;Ryan Stevenson 45 ;Andrew Driver 50 ;Rudi Skacel 76E H

Hearts 4 Paksi SE 1

From GARETH LAW at Tynecastle (Hearts win 5-2 on Agg)

HE was the first arrival of the old era - but he kicked the new one off in real style.

Ryan Stevenson was the man brought in by Jim Jefferies shortly after taking charge at Tynecastle for the second time.

With Jefferies long gone it was the tattooed star who got successor Paulo Sergio off to the perfect start.

The ex-Ayr midfielder had bagged a brilliant double by the break last night as part of a FOUR-MAN attack - then teed up the fit-again Andrew Driver for No3 early in the second half.

Rudi Skacel wrapped things up after signing on until January on a night when the only thing the new man did wrong was wait until the 85th minute to answer the fans' pleas for a wave.

Sergio promised Vladimir Romanov the style Jefferies couldn't - and delivered it in devastating fashion.

The owner, who had strapped on the flippers and snorkel just hours earlier to swim in Loch Ness, punched his firsts in delight in the directors' box at the end of a pulsating 90 minutes.

Sergio had insisted the fans should never forget axed Jefferies - but they could struggle with a few more displays like this.

Danny Grainger was the only one of the former manager's four summer signings to start but everything went to plan as Stevenson nodded the Jambos in front after 35 minutes before netting from a narrow angle in first-half injury time.

Paksi didn't have any answers and Stevenson broke down the right flank before then squaring for Driver to net.

Skacel replaced to Driver on the hour and was first to latch on to the ball when Paksi keeper Norbert Csernyanszky could only weakly push out David Templeton's deflected shot.

There had been no grand entrance from Sergio as the teams ran out. Instead he quietly marched to the dugout decked out in grey suit and open-necked black shirt.

A 4-2-4 setup wasn't the only major change with Driver in for his first start since the last game of last season after emerging from a groin injury that had again seen him sidelined.

David Obua was nowhere to be seen after his passport nightmare to make the first leg in Hungary.

If Romanov had feared how home fans would react after giving Jefferies the bullet, he need not have worried. Even before the goals went in a packed Tynecastle was soon chanting for Sergio to give them a wave - but it didn't come.

Jefferies had masterminded a 1-1 draw in Hungary in the first leg yet Paksi grabbed a shock 3-0 second leg win in Tromso in the previous round after the same scoreline.

It was the Hungarians who threatened first as Jozsef Magasfoldi squared to Daniel Bode but with the Hearts defence sitting off he could only pull his shot wide.

Stevenson had suffered a hand injury in Hungary and was in the wars again when he took a boot in the face.

Grainger found Marius Zaliukas who teed up Stephen Elliott but the ball got stuck under his feet and couldn't get his shot away.

Then Grainger's corner found its way through to Eggert Jonsson at the back post but he could only nod wide. Elliott had been given the nod but was taken out by Laszlo Eger after just ten minutes and had to be replaced by John Sutton following a failed attempt to run off his knock.

Laszlo Bartha went into ref Robert Malek's book after diving in the box when a first-time shot would have tested Marian Kello.

Seconds later the Jambos took a deserved lead when Stevenson powered Grainger's corner goalwards and Paksi's cock-up keeper Csernyanszky let it slip through his fingers and in.

As two beach balls floated on to the park from the home support there was no celebrating from Sergio, who instead stood on the touchline, arms folded.

It was the same reaction when the Jambos doubled their lead as Malek prepared to blow for the break.

Sutton broke into the box and showed good awareness as Paksi defenders crowded him out. A quick flick to the left sent Stevenson towards the bye-line and from what looked an impossible angle he drove home a low shot.

Jamie Hamill was sent on for the second half for the crocked Zaliukas and the rejigged defence nearly conceded in the first seconds as Bode danced all the way into the box but could only spoon his shot wide.

Tynecastle erupted five minutes later when Stevenson broke forward then squared for Driver to score.

It was nearly 4-0 soon after as Templeton broke clear but saw his shot pushed on to the post when feeding Stevenson for his hat-trick attempt might have been a better bet.

Bode wasn't to be denied, after Sergio acknowledged chants, nodding home with just seconds left.

HEARTS: Kello 8, McGowan 7, Jonsson 7, Zaliukas 5 (Hamill 5), Grainger 8, Driver 7 (Skacel 5), Black 6, Mrowiec 6, Templeton 6, Stevenson 9, Elliott 2 (Sutton 6).

The Sun

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