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<-Page <-Team Wed 10 Nov 2004 Dunfermline Athletic 1 Hearts 3 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Scotsman ------ Report Type-> Srce->
John Robertson <-auth Mark Bonthrone auth-> Hugh Dallas
[B Mehmet 60]
8 of 012 Andy Webster 33 ;Paul Hartley pen 66 ;Joe Hamill 84 LC A

Ref was spot on claims Jambos scorer Hartley


HEARTS star Paul Hartley today insisted there was never any doubt surrounding the penalty that sent his side on their way into the last four of the CIS League Cup.

Hartley’s second goal from the spot in just four days proved to be the turning point in the game as he fired his side ahead for the second time in last night’s quarter-final clash with Dunfermline at East End Park.

Dunfermline’s players were furious with referee Hugh Dallas for giving the award with both Richie Byrne and Scott Wilson picking up bookings for their over-zealous protests.

The flash-point came with 66 minutes on the clock when Robbie Neilson went down under a challenge from Byrne with the game evenly balanced at 1-1.

Pars boss Davie Hay was also unhappy with some of the official’s decisions over the course of the tie but Hartley insists Dallas was spot on with his award.

"I wasn’t surprised to get the penalty. I thought it was a stonewaller," he said.

"I thought Robbie was tripped and I thought it looked like a clear penalty. It got us right back into the game after they made it 1-1 so came at a good time.

"It was pleasing to get back on top of the game and that’s us into the semi-finals now.

"We haven’t don well in the cups over the last few years so hopefully we can get a good draw in the next round. With a bit of luck we might miss Rangers and then we can take our chances from there."

Hartley also revealed that Joe Hamill’s late strike which sealed the Jambos progress was a move they had been working on in training.

The young midfielder was picked out on the edge of the box by Hartley from a corner kick and cooly side-footed the ball into the far top corner of the net leaving Derek Stillie motionless.

The build-up was a carbon copy of move earlier in the game when Phil Stamp fired over from the same position and Hartley revealed it had come straight off the training ground.

"We’ve been working on a couple of things. We had the first effort with Stampy which was close and Joe’s was a great strike.

"It’s pleasing when things like that come off in matches and it really tied things up for us."

The only negative to come out of last night’s performance was that midfielder Stamp was forced to hobble out of the action after suffering a recurrence of the calf strain that has caused him problems this term.

The former Middlesbrough player had to be replaced by goal hero Hamill immediately after Hartley’s penalty strike and is now causing concern ahead of this weekend’s trip to face Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

"Phil was injured so we had to take him off," said Hearts boss John Robertson.

"He had a recurrence of his calf injury so we will have to let the medical staff have a look at him before we make a decision on Saturday. Hopefully he will be okay."

On the penalty incident Robertson added: "I think a few of the Dunfermline players thought Kevin McKenna had possibly impeded Derek Stillie but I thought he challenged him fairly.

"I thought it was a penalty and credit to Paul for keeping his calm and sticking it away."

Taken from the Scotsman

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