London Hearts Supporters Club

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Alex MacDonald 2nd <-auth Ian Paul auth-> KJ Hope
[E May 13]
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May's strikes early and Hibs battle on for derby glory

ian paul

5 Jan 1989

Hibernain 1, Hearts 0

HIBS, who have rediscovered the route to success in these macho Edinburgh gatherings, collected their second victory in three derbies so far this season -- they also drew the third -- after a splendid display, especially in the first half.

They were worth more than the single-goal lead they set up then and they had to live dangerously as Hearts found some willing legs after the break.

The speed of Evans and the strength of their midfield always gave Hibs the edge and indeed it was one of the midfielders, Eddie May, who scored the goal that separated the teams.

His strike in 13 minutes means that Hibs go nine points clear of their city rivals in the premier division, a gap they can scarcely have enjoyed often.

Certainly their goalkeeper, Andy Goram, must have had something to do with their revival.

He has not been on a losing side in six capital clashes.

If there was as much sophistication about the play as a Bernard Manning joke there was also a thrilling fascination which kept the packed house concentrating all the way.

Before the first quarter had passed there had been more excitement than we've enjoyed in this confrontation for a long time.

And if Hibs were one up by then they were entitled to it.

In that opening phase they had set the pace, ferocious, and used their top speed-merchant, Gareth Evans, to great effect.

He had an eventful time, being booked for a body-check on Colquhoun as well as upsetting Hearts in more legitimate fashion.

The fair-haired winger sprung into action immediately with a run down the right, leaving a couple of defenders in his wake before shooting just over the bar.

However, the scorer of the opening goal, May, was the Hibs man who might have done serious damage earlier than he did.

He came sliding in after another of those high speed Hibs moves which ended with a low Mitchell cross that would have needed only a touch had May been on the scene a second earlier.

The midfield man was right on schedule in 13 minutes, however, when he scored from a similar position.

This time Archibald sent Evans off down the left and when his cutback came over, May gave Henry Smith no chance.

Archibald, who was very much at the centre of things, as a centre forward should, had a fine turn and shot soon afterwards and a lesser keeper than Smith could have been deceived by the pace of the shot.

Kane became the second Hibs man to have his name taken when he came in high on Berry but the Hibs player made more profitable use of his talents when he nearly scored a second goal.

Evans had beaten Smith with a low shot across goal and Kane seemed certain to score if his outstretched leg got a touch.

Unfortunately he did reach ball but suffered dreadful luck to see it come off the post.

In all this time Hearts had been by no means passive opponents, Colquhoun in particular prising open the Hibs defence on a number of occasions but Hibs in the first half carried the bigger threat as a consequence of greater possession.

Kenny Black was the first Hearts player to be booked after a foul on Evans but as the Tynecastle man immediately before that had failed in a glaring attempt to trip May he could consider himself let off lightly.

Archibald missed an excellent chance after Smith had to come out of his area to head the ball clear.

Evans quickly returned the ball to Archibald but the former international striker shot weakly at the keeper.

Hearts best effort of the half came from another of Colquhoun's dangerous dashes down the right.

This time his cross was headed by Robertson who, like Kane, had to endure the painful sight of the ball coming off woodwork, on this occasion the bar.

Hearts made a switch soon after the interval, Foster replacing McKinlay and then Goram had a fine save from Robertson.

The Tynecastle team then gained some control but much of Colquhoun's good play, not to mention his precise crosses, were being wasted.

Galloway did reach one high centre but mistimed his header.

Hibs were always liable to break dangerously and in one such charge upfield a Tortolano cross was deflected, albeit unwillingly, by Kidd who was relieved to see the ball slide past a post.

In the late stages Hearts, as you might imagine discovered hidden energies and it took one fine diving save by Goram to halt a low threatening cross by Foster.

But Whittaker's booking after he fouled Archibald was an apt conclusion to a disappointing night for the last of our European candidates.

HIBERNIAN: Goram, Hunter, McIntyre, May, Rae, Mitchell, Evans, Archibald, Kane, Orr, Tortolano.

Substitutes: Collins, Weir.

HEARTS: Smith, Kidd, McKinlay, Berry, Whittaker, McPherson, Galloway, Mackay, Colquhoun, Black, Robertson.

Substitutes: Foster, Sandison.

Referee: K J Hope, Clarkston.

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