London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 1995-96--> All for 19950819
<-Page <-Team Sat 19 Aug 1995 Hearts 3 Alloa Athletic 0 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Herald ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Jim Jefferies <-auth None auth-> JDK Smith
1 of 001 Brian Hamilton 10 ;Dave McPherson 48 ;Scott Leitch 82 LC H

Player rejects Airdrie offer and will stay at Hearts. Leitch magic casts a spell

21 Aug 1995

Hearts 3, Alloa 0

AN inspirational performance from Scott Leitch in Hearts' victory over Alloa could result in he and Alan Lawrence teaming up at Tynecastle instead of crossing in opposite directions.

Just 24-hours before the home Coca-Cola Cup second-round tie at Tynecastle, the midfield player had been invited to join Airdrie, as replacement for Lawrence.

However, he rejected the chance to drop down a division and signed a one month contract on Saturday morning, with a two-year agreement likely to ensue.

Airdrie want #80,000 for the former Dundee and Meadowbank striker, and that overstretches Jim Jefferies' budget, but Leitch may have a solution for this.

His composure and incisive use of the ball from midfield, not to mention an eighty-fourth minute goal, was rewarded with a home third-round tie against Dunfermline next week.

That has all the potential of producing a capacity 16,000 crowd, which could raise sufficient funds to allow the Edinburgh club to embark on the first stage of the tribunal procedure.

Against gritty but outclassed opponents, Jefferies was looking for a leader, and Leitch's happiness to take responsibility was rewarded with a warm reception when he departed three minutes after his goal.

''It was tremendous to hear the reaction of the supporters after what had been a crazy 48-hours before the game,'' he reflected.

''It was flattering to have another club express an interest in me, but I've been two seasons at Hearts and want to continue playing at this level.

''There's been a lot of upheaval at the club while I've been here, but I feel the team deserves credit for holding together well.

''We've had a good pre-season and on Saturday should have had a few more goals to show for our efforts.

''I certainly didn't have a conventional or welcome preparation for the game, but I had a professional job to do and it's always great when the fans appreciate your efforts.''

Brian Hamilton led the way with a fierce 25-yard drive after only ten minutes, and Dave McPherson turned in an Alan Johnston cross five minutes after the interval.

The Leitch goal, which brought the home supporters to a crescendo, saw him bewilder the Alloa defence before nipping round keeper Paul Graham to find the empty net.

Hearts' well-documented troubles off the field persist, but they can now be eased to one side, if not repaired, by Jefferies and his rejuvenated team.

The former club skipper and centre half has swiftly produced a team spirit that has been Hearts' hallmark for decades, and Saturday's victory follows the 5-1 friendly defeat of Manchester City.

The sequence of fixtures has also fallen kindly for them, for they face Motherwell and Falkirk at home on either side of Dunfermline's visit in the next two weeks.

That offers the possibility of a confidence-giving run of matches and much needed turnstyle income to ease the pressure of day to day cash flow problems.

Taken from the Herald

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