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<-Page <-Team Sat 14 Dec 2002 Hearts 1 Partick Thistle 0 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Sporting Life ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Craig Levein <-auth Chris Roberts auth-> Garry Mitchell
1 of 001 Alan Maybury 91 L SPL H

Hearts 1 Partick Thistle 0

By Chris Roberts, PA Sport

A sizzling last-minute strike from Alan Maybury moved the men from the capital into third in the SPL at Tynecastle to end gutsy Partick's stubborn resistance.

The game looked set for a stalemate as missed chances and a brilliant display from Scotland "Future" goalkeeper Kenny Arthur had frustrated Hearts - before Maybury's late, late show.

Arthur looked as though he would never be beaten from the moment he held Gary Wales' low right-foot shot.

The home side were again quick to seize on a short pass from Scott Paterson which was intended for Jamie Mitchell minutes later.

But Stephen Simmons emerged from the tackle with the ball and fired a powerful right-foot drive just wide of the post.

Partick posed little threat in attack and it was little surprise that their first chance came from a set-piece in the 13th minute.

Simmons pulled down Kenny Milne on the edge of the box and Alex Burns' free-kick looped inches over the crossbar.

But Hearts went even closer two minutes later when Neil MacFarlane fed Mark de Vries on the right and his cross came off the post and flew across the face of goal, but no player was following up.

Jean-Louis Valois was struggling to get into the game for the home side and when he did show his pace in the 22nd minute he was crudely cut down by Stephen Craigan, who was deservedly booked.

Wales then tried to catch the impressive Arthur off-guard in the 25th minute with a dipping right-foot shot from 22 yards, but the keeper got down well to turn the ball around the post.

The home side again went close in the 27th minute when Kevin McKenna rose above the Thistle defence to get on the end of Valois' corner, but he headed wide from just five yards.

Stephane Mahe then tried an audacious long-range effort on his return to the side, but Arthur was right behind it to make the save.

The Partick goalkeeper produced an even better save in the 40th minute to turn De Vries' shot on the turn past the post.

Hearts continued to push their opponents back at the resumption and Arthur almost undid all his good work in goal moments later.

He spilled Valois' dangerous cross into the box, but he quickly made amends to gather the ball with De Vries lurking with intent.

Partick continued to work tirelessly though not even Burns could believe his eyes when Gerry Britton's flick on gave him a clear sight of goal, but he sliced his right-footed effort well wide.

Alan Archibald was then the second player booked for a late tackle on Kirk and from the resulting free-kick Arthur again showed great agility to scamper to his left to turn the ball behind.

The frustration of the home crowd intensified in the 57th minute when referee Garry Mitchell rejected calls for a penalty when Simmons appeared to be tripped by Craigan just inside the box.

But the battling visitors were unfortunate not to snatch the lead on the hour.

Britton did well to control and hook David Lilley's pass into the danger area and Burns climbed well, but saw his looping header come back off the crossbar from eight yards.

Levein opted to make a change in the 67th minute when he brought on Steven Boyack for Wales.

Kirk was the next Hearts man to hold his head in his hands after watching his header from Boyack's cross slip just wide.

Arthur then produced his best stop of the game in the 72nd minute to keep Scott Severin's deflected shot out.

Britton could have stunned the home crowd with nine minutes left, but he fired erratically over the bar from nine yards.

Partick again needed the heroics of Arthur in the 86th minute when he somehow kept Kirk's point-blank effort out.

The match transformed into an ugly all-out war late on with Paterson, MacFarlane and Valois being booked after bad challenges.

Burns and Milne both saw late efforts somehow kept out after a goalmouth scramble - before the dramatic last seconds.

Partick looked as though they had got a point in their bid to stay in the top-flight.

But Maybury had the final say with a cleanly struck right-foot volley into the top corner to spark wild celebrations.


Hearts: McKenzie, Maybury, Severin, McKenna, Mahe, Wales (Boyack 68), Simmons, MacFarlane, Valois, de Vries, Kirk.

Subs Not Used: Gordon, McCann, Janczyk, Weir.

Booked: Boyack, Mahe, Valois, MacFarlane.

Goals: Maybury 90.

Partick: Arthur, Paterson, Craigan, Chiarini, Archibald, Mitchell, Lilley, Hardie, Milne, Burns, Britton.

Subs Not Used: Budinauckas, Waddell, McKinstry, Walker, Gibson.

Booked: Craigan, Archibald, Milne, Paterson.

Att: 9,734

Ref: G Mitchell (Scotland).

Taken from

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