London Hearts Supporters Club

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[S Robertson 24]
15 of 030 -----L SPL A

Players earn sympathy but not points at Tannadice

By Moria Gordon at Tannadice
Published on Monday 21 November 2011 12:25

HEARTS players may not be getting wages these days and they may not be having much luck but they are receiving plenty of sympathy.

At Tannadice on Saturday they extended their run of games without a win and without a goal to four. The side haven’t won since the news of last month’s wage delay broke and then the club revealed that the funds were currently unavailable to honour this month’s salaries as well. But they haven’t given up earning their dues.

On the day that board member Sergjus Fedotovas confirmed on the club website that the club would be offloading a significant number of senior players in the next two transfer windows, signalling even more uncertainty in the squad, they only lost out to a rare Scott Robertson goal. It was an important win for the home side but they had to dig deep to keep the men from the capital at bay, showing few chinks in their often-criticised defence as Hearts piled forward, enjoying greater possession but all too few clear cut chances.

But the fact that they were able or willing to put up any fight at all won them praise from their opponents. Speculation had linked Willo Flood with a move to Tynecastle in the summer but at the weekend he was thanking his lucky stars for the three points as well as the fact he had opted for a return to Tayside.

If the victory added to the misery being endured by Hearts players and fans, it was a boost for United who, only a few weeks ago, were under threat of seeing their manager sacked. A win against Dunfermline was a pick-me-up, while the performance at Ibrox, if not the result, offered some more encouragement. On Saturday, they got the three points and Flood believes they have now rebuilt some of their belief and turned a corner.

“They are a really good team. The manager spoke about them before and after the game and they are a really decent team. They play decent football and they have some good players. Templeton is a decent player and they have big Webby [Andy Webster] at the back who is a decent centre-half, but we showed a bit of grit today. It wasn’t the best game of football but the three points are what matters. We went to Ibrox and played really well and didn’t get anything so we will take this one over the Ibrox one because this time we got the three points.

“Everybody was saying we had tough games coming up and we were not going to win them but we have shown a bit of determination and that gives us a lot of confidence going to Motherwell next week.”

Manager Peter Houston has been demanding goals from all areas of the team, arguing that it couldn’t be left to the strikers and, on Saturday, Robertson obliged. It was only his sixth goal for the club and his first since December 2008, but the 24th-minute diving header rounded off a wonderful move. Starting the move by winning the ball in midfield, he found Jon Daly down the right channel and then raced into the box to receive an exquisite ball from the United captain and head a powerfully beyond Hearts keeper Marian Kello. “He put in a ball like Becks [David Beckham] and I didn’t know he had that in his locker,” said Flood. “It was a great ball in and the skip showed good attributes and Scotty obviously got his goal.”

It was enough to give them their second win of the season over Hearts. It was a cruel outcome for the visitors who had again put in the effort and piled on the pressure but they lacked a cutting edge in the final third, with their final ball often letting them down.

Hearts’ inability to fight back from going a goal down and get the better of opponents has blighted them thus far this season and they ended the day sixth in the league, St Mirren’s victory over Dunfermline allowing them to leapfrog the capital club.

Manager Paulo Sergio, starting a five-game touchline ban, watched helplessly from the stand. His frustrations finally got the better of him as time ebbed away and he charged down to the front of the stand to bellow instructions to his dug-out.Hearts tried a switch in personnel but even that couldn’t help and as one fan departed soon after his scarf was pitched on to the turf.

Times are tough for the club these days but at least they are still getting sympathy from those outwith.

Taken from the Scotsman

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