London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 1997-98--> All for 19980411
<-Page <-Team Sat 11 Apr 1998 Hibernian 2 Hearts 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Sporting Life ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Jim Jefferies <-auth Simon Buckland auth-> Willie Young
[B Lavety 56] ;[K Harper 80]
1 of 001 John Robertson 71 L Premier A
Hibernian 2 Hearts 1
By Simon Buckland, PA Sport

Hearts' title flame was all but extinguished at Easter Road as Hibernian kept their flickering survival hopes alive at the expense of their Edinburgh rivals.

After a goalless first 45 minutes best forgotten, the two capital clubs produced a stirring second half sparked by Barry Lavety's 56th-minute opener.

Staring relegation in the face adrift at the bottom, the strike lifted Hibernian to levels they have struggled to even approach all season.

Hearts had the character to respond by finding the right man for the occasion from the bench - substitute John Robertson's 62nd minute free-kick, his first touch, levelling for the visitors.

It was the veteran's 27th derby goal and if this is to prove his last it was some way to finish, but a by now pulsating contest was far from over.

Another substitute, Kevin Harper, left out of the starting line-up because he lacked match fitness was to prove the match winner in dramatic fashion after 80 minutes.

A magnificent solo effort, the game's third and last, ensured Hibernian travel to Dunfermline next week still with an outside chance of staying up.

As for Hearts, it is too soon to write off their title hopes, but the script went badly wrong for them in a fixture they have dominated in recent times.

An opening as bleak as the conditions saw few opportunities for either side, though home keeper Bryan Gunn was left standing by a fierce drive just wide from Jim Hamilton after 11 minutes.

Hearts' next attack was created for them as John Hughes and Willie Miller conspired to lose the ball and free visiting winger Neil McCann.

His driving run took him into shooting range, but once there he misfired, dragging his shot across the face of goal when well-placed to do better.

Hibernian then benefited from some slack defending by Hearts when Gilles Rousset played his own defender Gary Naysmith into trouble, the youngster doing well to hold off Tony Rougier's attentions.

After 33 minutes came an all too rare moment of drama as Pat McGinlay and Jim Hamilton tussled for possession, the latter left clutching his face, the result both men booked.

McGinlay was in the action in happier circumstances after 37 minutes when his powerful drive drifted off target after Steve Crawford had held the ball up well for his colleague.

Three minutes before a welcome interval, Hearts combined well on the left through McCann and Hamilton to enable Stephane Adam to send a close range drive at goal Hughes did smartly to block.

Remarkably the second-half was to have everything the first lacked as the match was sparked to life within minutes of the restart.

Hearts winger McCann made superb ground on the left to send a cross home keeper Gunn could only get one hand to, parrying the ball into Adam's path.

The French forward was at his sharpest in scoring twice in the Scottish Cup semi-final victory over Falkirk last week, but here he snatched at the chance screwing the ball high and wide.

Within two minutes, Hearts were made to pay by a stylish solo strike by Lavety who cut inside after receiving the ball from Rougier to slot the ball past Rousset from 18 yards.

Hearts were understandably rattled and initially looked short of ideas in response, a Hughes header just over almost doubling the home team's advantage after 66 minutes.

That was the cue for the afternoon's first tactical masterstroke, Jim Jefferies making a triple substitution, among those introduced experienced frontman Robertson.

After 72 minutes, Grant Brebner's foul on David Weir set-up a free-kick chance and with his first touch substitute Robertson curled in an equaliser from 25 yards.

Three minutes later, Jim Hamilton spurned a chance to make it 2-1 by shooting over and in Hearts' next attack Darren Dods clearing header denied McCann.

In between those attempts, Kevin Harper entered the fray for Justin Skinner, his impact less immediate than Robertson's, but even more telling.

After 79 minutes, Rousset beat away a near-post bullet from Crawford to maintain parity, but Hibernian had one last trick.

With only ten minutes left, replacement Harper produced a wonderful solo effort running at the Hearts defence before unleashing a shot low beyond Rousset.

The action hardly subsided, Miller heading away a close range effort from Weir, the rebound falling to Hamilton who could only find the side-netting.

Hibernian almost managed a third after 86 minutes, another Harper run releasing Lavety who crashed the ball the wrong side of the upright, but they had already done enough.


Hibernian: Gunn, Miller, Dods, Brebner, Hughes, Welsh, Lavety, Rougier, Crawford, Skinner (Harper 75), McGinlay.

Subs Not Used: Renwick, Dow.

Booked: McGinlay.

Goals: Lavety 56, Harper 80.

Hearts: Rousset, Murray (Quitongo 69), Naysmith, Weir, Salvatori (McPherson 69), Ritchie, McCann, Fulton, Adam (Robertson 69), Cameron, Hamilton.

Booked: Murray, Naysmith, Hamilton, Weir.

Goals: Robertson 71.

Att: 16,200

Ref: W Young (Clarkston).

Taken from

<-Page <-Team Sat 11 Apr 1998 Hibernian 2 Hearts 1 Team-> Page->
| Home | Contact Us | Credits | © 2004 |