London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Sun 23 Nov 1997 Hearts 5 Kilmarnock 3 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Sporting Life ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Jim Jefferies <-auth Simon Buckland auth-> Alan Freeland
[P Nevin 5] ;[G Holt 62] ;[M Roberts pen 76]
1 of 004 Stephane Adam 10 ;Neil McCann 27 ;Stephane Adam 61 ;Stephane Adam 70 ;Jose Quitongo 88 L Premier H

Hearts 5 Kilmarnock 3
By Simon Buckland, PA Sport

Stephane Adam conjured up a magical hat-trick to inspire Hearts to a thrilling victory over Kilmarnock which lifts them four points clear at the top of the Scottish premier division.

But both sides deserve enormous credit for producing one of the season's most pulsating matches which will long live in the memory of a near-capacity Tynecastle crowd.

Adam scored his first after 10 minutes with a close-range header to cancel out Pat Nevin's fifth-minute opener as the game started with a goals flurry that was to set the trend.

Neil McCann capped a fluent Hearts move after 28 minutes with a neat finish to ensure the home side an interval lead, but there were several twists left in the plot.

Two goals in the space of a minute just after the hour mark - Adam's second and an immediate response from Gary Holt - kept the tempo high as both sides poured forward.

Frenchman Adam then notched his third after 70 minutes, but still Kilmarnock refused to cave in, Mark Roberts converting from the penalty spot.

But the last laugh belonged to Hearts, with substitute Jose Quitongo sealing a stunning victory in the 88th minute.

This time the vastly impressive Adam was the maker rather than the taker, squaring unselfishly for the Angolan to beat Dragoje Lekovic a fifth and last time to make the scoreline a remarkable 5-3.

Hearts veteran John Robertson was forced to make way for the return of Adam, as manager Jim Jefferies opted to change a winning team.

Robertson had to settle for a place on the bench, Adam lining up alongside in-form Austrian Thomas Flogel.

Neil Pointon failed a late fitness test on a groin problem, meaning Stephen Frail started at left-back for the home side.

Kilmarnock boss Bobby Williamson decided fit-again Paul Wright was still not quite ready to start after a long spell out with a knee problem, meaning another opportunity for Roberts.

Hearts were shaken after just five minutes when Nevin volleyed the visitors ahead. The former Chelsea winger found himself in space after Jerome Vareille's shot was blocked and Ally Mitchell acrobatically seized on the loose ball to pick out Nevin, who made no mistake.

Stefano Salvatori almost responded instantly for a shaken Hearts but he dragged his angled drive just wide of the upright from the edge of the area.

But Hearts did level another five minutes later when Salvatori's deep cross swung in from the right and found an unmarked Adam, who nodded the ball past Lekovic.

After 15 minutes, a low cross from Adam almost picked out Colin Cameron, but he was denied by a brave Holt header back to Lekovic.

But Kilmarnock were still an attacking force, and Mitchell's curling shot after 19 minutes clipped the top of the crossbar, with goalkeeper Gilles Rousset beaten.

After 25 minutes, Flogel's powerful effort went just over the bar after Adam's skill had created the space.

But McCann put Hearts ahead with a superbly worked goal just before the half-hour, instigated by Steve Fulton.

The midfielder exchanged passes with Cameron before putting McCann in to fire the ball into the roof of the net, for a stylish finish to an incisive move.

Vareille missed a fine chance to restore parity for Kilmarnock when his wayward drive soared over the crossbar after 40 minutes.

Rousset was forced into an early save after the break, getting down well to gather a low drive from Mitchell.

Kilmarnock looked to have reasonable claims for a penalty denied on the hour mark when Frail appeared to trip Vareille.

But Hearts' response was swift, with Adam heading his second of the game after David Weir met Fulton's free-kick after 61 minutes.

Then, though, within 60 seconds, Kilmarnock had pulled it back to 3-2 when Nevin fed Holt, who rifled a low shot past a stranded Rousset to keep a thrilling match alive.

But Adam was not finished and he secured his hat-trick after 70 minutes, sliding a Flogel through ball under Levokic.

Even then the visitors had a response, Roberts slotting in a controversial penalty after a seemingly innocuous Weir challenge - but Quitongo's goal finally ended their resistance.


Hearts: Rousset, Locke, Frail (Hamilton 67), Weir, Salvatori, Ritchie, McCann (Quitongo 87), Fulton, Adam, Cameron, Flogel (Robertson 79).

Goals: Adam 10, McCann 28, Adam 61, 70, Quitongo 88.

Kilmarnock: Lekovic, MacPherson, Baker, Lauchlan, McGowne, Reilly, Nevin, Holt, Roberts, Vareille, Mitchell.

Subs Not Used: Wright, Henry, Whitworth.

Booked: Baker, McGowne, Roberts.

Goals: Nevin 5, Holt 62, Roberts 76 pen.

Att: 15,500

Ref: A Freeland (Aberdeen).

Taken from

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