London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2004-05--> All for 20050423
<-Page <-Team Sat 23 Apr 2005 Hibernian 2 Hearts 2 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Times ------ Report Type-> Srce->
John Robertson <-auth None auth-> Mike McCurry
[G O'Connor 8] ;[D Riordan 63]
7 of 020 Lee Miller 23 ;Andy Webster 88 L SPL A

Webster holds back Hibs

Douglas Alexander at Easter Road
FORGET the festival or the castle or the money-pit that is the new parliament. Next time you are in Edinburgh take in another attraction that you won’t find advertised by the tourist board, the derby. The only problem is that the locals tend to snap up the seats for each performance. This one, just 10 days after the last, was another compelling affair, crammed with supporters and incident from first to last. Hibs twice took the lead, Hearts twice came back at them and by the end a draw was the correct outcome — although, as John Robertson noted afterwards — it will suit Hibs better than Hearts. “We needed to win this match to pull some points back,” said the Hearts manager.

When Robertson was called a short striker, it was due to his height. When he is called a short manager, though, it may be more to do with the brevity of his answers. He replied “nope” and “no” to whether he had heard any more about his future and whether he would request a meeting with Vladimir Romanov, the club’s Lithuanian owner, after suggestions in newspapers yesterday that George Foulkes, the chairman, is fighting an increasingly isolated battle for his retention. It has been a season of upheaval for Robertson as well as Hearts, but Inverness’s comfortable survival in the Premierleague reflects the fact that he did a sound job there before recommending Craig Brewster as his successor. At Hearts, he has yet to see the colour of the new owner’s money, and it remains to be seen if somebody else will now have that privilege.

The recent comments from Phil Anderton, Hearts’ new chief executive, that every position at the club is under review, were echoed by Andy Webster, who scored Hearts’ second equaliser with two minutes remaining to celebrate his 23rd birthday. “Everybody is under scrutiny, whether it’s players or the manager,” said the centre-back. “That’s just the way things are at the club.” Webster nodded in from a free kick by Paul Hartley, the game’s outstanding player, after Antonio Murray clipped the heels of Deividas Cesnauskis, a player who achieved more in his 18 minutes than Saulius Mikoliunas, who he replaced, had in the previous 72. Mikoliunas certainly never advanced at Hibs’ full-backs as menacingly as he infamously did on Andy Davis.

With Joe Hamill giving another timid display, Hearts’ wings were clipped. Hibs had no such problem with Derek Riordan returning to form and providing a splendid goal, his 19th in the Premierleague this season, on 65 minutes. Killing a crossfield sweep from Gary Smith, he pushed the ball past Robbie Neilson and then whacked it into the top corner with his left foot.

Tony Mowbray, the Hibs manager, used Amadou Konte from the start, hoping that he would unnerve Hearts as much as he had when his side came from behind to win that last encounter 2-1. The visitors were still coming to terms with Konte’s muscularity when they went behind on eight minutes. A Riordan corner cleared most of the players who had crammed into Craig Gordon’s box before falling to the lurking Scott Brown. The midfielder was unmarked, as was Garry O’Connor, who turned in his cross as Hearts’ defenders looked hopefully across to the assistant referee for an offside decision which did not come.

Hartley did not wait for others to intervene, though. He started to dictate the tempo in midfield and pick at Hibs’ defence with searching passes down the channels toward Lee Miller and Mark Burchill. An inswinging free kick from the left by Hartley saw both strikers jumping, and Burchill’s header came back off the post. The equaliser was not delayed for long, though, and the same trio were involved. Miller cleverly dummied Hartley’s ball in and continued his run to take the pass that Burchill deftly provided before driving the ball into the roof of Hibs’ net. The only blemish was the booking that the scorer picked up, presumably for his celebrations.

Hearts were in the ascendancy for the remainder of the half and how their legions enjoyed a dragback from Steven Pressley that left Brown looking like he just ran into Zinedine Zidane. Hibs almost had the last laugh, though, when Gary Caldwell nearly forced in a Riordan corner with his knee.

His booking was not the last time that Miller would be involved in controversy. On the stroke of half-time, he held up his hand to catching Brown late but was irked by the fact that the Hibs midfielder stayed down, and a pack of Hibs players jostled the striker in the aftermath. Nevertheless, he continued to be a thorn in the home side’s flesh in the second half. Lurking in Simon Brown’s box, he surprised the goalkeeper as he prepared to launch a clearance upfield after dropping the ball at his feet, and Hearts felt that Brown impeded Miller sufficiently in his ensuing panic for a penalty to be awarded.

The game ended with Smith complaining that Miller had caught him with an elbow. The Hearts fans departed chanting Aberdeen’s name, which told its own story about the end of their own European hopes.

STAR MAN: Paul Hartley (Hearts)

Hibernian: Simon Brown 5; Whittaker 6, Caldwell 7, Smith 7, Glass 7; Shiels 5, Scott Brown 6, A Murray 6, Riordan 7; O’Connor 7 (Morrow 73min, 5), Konte 7 (Fletcher 78min, 5)

Hearts: Gordon 5; Neilson 6, Pressley 6, Webster 7, Wallace 6; Mikoliunas 4 (Cesnauskis 72min, 7), MacFarlane 6 (Simmons 86min, 5), Hartley 8, Hamill 4; Miller 7, Burchill 7

Booked: Miller (24min), Hartley (74min), Konte (74min), Scott Brown (77min)

Referee: M McCurry

Attendance: 16,620

Taken from

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