London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Sat 04 Sep 2004 Hearts 3 Hibernian 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Scotsman ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Craig Levein <-auth Moira Gordon auth-> John Rowbotham
[S Dobbie pen 80]
9 of 016 Craig Sives 41 ;Mark de Vries 63 ;Dennis Wyness 81 Other Cup H

Hibs hit by bunch of Sives


HEARTS 3 Sives 41, De Vries 60, Wyness 81
HIBERNIAN 1 Dobbie 79

FOR all the enthusiasm of youth, a small helping of experience can often go a long way. In Hearts’ case it went all the way to securing them a second successive Festival Cup victory over their city rivals.

As the teams ran out for the pre-match warm up it was hard to pinpoint exactly who were the mascots and who were about to take on starring roles in this capital show as Tynecastle began to look more like a giant playpen than football stadium. But with one or two more first-team regulars in their squad, Hearts at least tried to find a winning blend. Perhaps Tony Mowbray has still to realise that even meaningless derbies aren’t meaningless here.

But while it was one of Hearts starlets, Craig Sives, who opened the scoring, it was household names Mark De Vries and Dennis Wyness who put the result beyond doubt.

At 23, an elder statesman in the Hibs side, the visiting support’s only cause for rejoicing was the return of Ian Murray. After an age on the sidelines courtesy of hernia operations and a knee injury, they greeted his arrival back on the scene, following a midweek run out in the reserves, with chants of "there’s only one Ian Murray" and the longer this match progressed, the more they must have wished that were not the case.

Playing at centre half in the absence of the club’s recognised defenders, who are all either on international duty or injured, they could have done with his marauding runs down the left flank or benefited from him pulling strings in the middle of the park. No such luck.

Whether that was a contributing factor or not, the fact is this Hibs reserve side never really established a foothold in the game. A bitty, bitter match, with all the hallmarks of the usual 100mph derby clashes but with even less skill and football on offer.

And we wonder why there’s no longer the same fascination with football on these shores.

The think-tanks all whine that there are too many other sports vying for the youngsters’ affections and, on yesterday’s evidence, they seem to have the heroes to aspire to.

The 7,282 fans inside Tynecastle will have spent vast chunks of the first 45 minutes wondering what all the fuss was about as the kids showed passion but not a lot more than that. Then, during the interval, they got to see what a real sport star looked like.

Making the half-time draw, cyclist Chris Hoy, the capital’s gold medal-winning Olympian, reminded kids that if they want success, these days perhaps they should look elsewhere.

For some, though, the tribalistic shenanigans of derby tussles will always prove too alluring, the eventual scoreline no doubt clouding the 90 minutes it took to arrive.

The victors will revel in the right to brag, while the losers will be too busy hiding away to remonstrate about the paucity of football on offer.

With the game crying out for a goal to break the monotony of the pinball tactics employed by both sets of players, with 41 minutes gone it was Hearts supporter Sives who opened the home account.

A Michael Stewart free-kick saw the youngster stick out his foot to direct the ball through a throng of bodies and into Alistair Brown’s net. Minutes later Phil Stamp could have added to the tally but young Jay Shields blocked with the goal-bound ball.

After the break, Wyness should have scored but hit it straight at Brown.

Then, with 60 minutes gone, De Vries came off the bench to rapturous applause from the home support and within a minute had justified the adulation with a goal from his first touch. From Robert Sloan’s corner, the big man was untouchable as he powered the ball into the net.

The Dutchman’s appearance was one of the reasons Hearts boss Craig Levein was happy to have this game on the fixture list, grateful that it afforded him the opportunity to give De Vries a run out so that he could take some strides towards reaching ahead match fitness ahead of the upcoming UEFA Cup tie. He will now play at least a portion of next week’s game with Rangers in a bid to enhance his prospects further.

At that stage the game looked well beyond Hibs but Stephen Dobbie refused to give up.

His 68th minute "goal" was chalked off, despite protests that the ball had come to him off a Hearts player, but he did score in the 79th minute when team-mate Jamie McCluskey was felled in the box by Hearts’ stand-in captain Robbie Neilson, dispatching the spot-kick past Tepi Moilanen.

It could have made the home side edgy if the Easter Road pups had applied more pressure but within a couple of minutes the two-goal cushion was restored. A one-two between Joe Hamill and De Vries saw the former then square the ball for Wyness, who rounded Brown to score.

With the result decided, it was back to the usual derby digs, as Murray and De Vries replicated Tam McManus and Austin McCann’s slap-fest of last year and they both ended up in the referee’s book as a result.

As Hearts celebrated and raised the cup aloft, Levein emphasised just how much every derby win means: "They made a big deal of winning the East of Scotland Shield so we wanted to win this one."

In time Mowbray will surely come to take this tribal tit-for-tat just as seriously.

Taken from the Scotsman

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