London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Sat 27 Aug 2005 Hearts 2 Motherwell 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Sporting Life ------ Report Type-> Srce->
George Burley <-auth Graeme Smith auth-> Craig Thomson
[R Foran pen 75]
10 of 021 Rudi Skacel 40 ;Edgaras Jankauskas 70 L SPL H
Hearts 2 Motherwell 1

Hearts extended their lead at the top of the Bank of Scotland Premier League to five points with a 2-1 win over Motherwell at Tynecastle.

Goals from midfielder Rudi Skacel, his fifth in five SPL games, and striker Edgaras Jankauskas put the home side into a deserved two-goal lead.

But a 76th-minute penalty from Motherwell substitute Richie Foran, who had replaced Phil O'Donnell in the first half, reduced the deficit to set up a nervous ending for the home fans.

However, Hearts held out for a deserved victory thanks to a wonder save from Craig Gordon, who pushed William Kinniburgh's shot round the post in the dying seconds.

With Tynecastle major shareholder Vladimir Romanov watching from the directors' box, the home side should have taken the lead with their first attack of the match.

A Robbie Neilson cross into the box from the right was headed down by Roman Bednar to the unmarked Hartley 14 yards from goal, but Graeme Smith saved the Scottish international's drive.

In the ninth minute, only a mis-kick from Bednar at close range after good work by Skacel prevented the breakthrough.

Former Jambos striker Jim Hamilton was the pick of the visiting players, posing problems for Steven Pressley and Andy Webster, but Motherwell just could not get a respite from almost incessant Hearts pressure.

However, in the 17th minute Hamilton's knock down to Scott McDonald found the little Australian all alone in the Gorgie penalty area but keeper Gordon did well to block the striker's angled shot from 16 yards with his legs.

In the 33rd minute Neilson's cross from the right found its way through a forest of legs to Bednar but once again Smith pulled off a terrific save from the Czech midfielder's powerful left-footed drive.

Then Jankauskas' first real contribution of the game, a stinging 25-yard shot, saw him draw another fine save from Smith down at his right hand post.

But in the 41st minute the home side took the lead. After taking a pass from Saulius Mikoliunas, Hartley sent Skacel scampering free of the Steelmen's defence and the Gorgie midfielder slipped his shot in at the near post from 12 yards out before running to take the acclaim of the jubilant Jambos fans.

Stephen Simmons replaced playmaker Mikoliunas at the break and there were only two minutes gone in the second half when Hearts spurned yet another chance.

Paul Hartley's free-kick from the right found the unmarked Bednar only 10 yards out but the Czech striker's header bounced off the ground and cleared the bar.

In a couple of rare attacks, Hamilton headed well over from an Andy Smith cross and then Stephen Craigan blasted over from distance.

On the hour mark Pressley stepped in smartly to rob McDonald before setting up Jankauskas inside the Motherwell box but again Smith was quickly out to smother.

Then, as the home side stepped up the tempo of the game another notch, Kinniburgh's short pass back had the Fir Park keeper racing off his line once more to save from Bednar.

In the 70th minute the Gorgie side eventually broke down the Motherwell defence for the second time.

Bednar found defender Takis Fyssas whose cut back from the byline found Jankauskas eight yards from goal but tightly marked by Kinniburgh.

The former Porto player turned smartly however, and slammed his shot past Smith and in off the crossbar.

But in the 76th minute Hamilton was brought down by midfielder Julien Brellier inside the penalty area and substitute Foran slotted the penalty into the corner of the net.

As nerves crept into the home side, Hamilton passed up a great chance to equalise when he fired wide from close range with only Gordon to beat.

With the last kick of the ball Gordon made a world-class save from Kinniburgh as Motherwell pushed for the equaliser, pushing the Well defender's shot round the post.


Hearts Gordon, Neilson, Pressley, Webster, Fyssas, Mikoliunas (Simmons 45), Brellier, Hartley, Skacel, Jankauskas, Bednar.

Subs Not Used: Banks, McAllister, Cesnauskis, Berra, Wallace, Elliot.

Goals: Skacel 41, Jankauskas 70.

Motherwell Graeme Smith, Paul Quinn, Craigan, Kinniburgh, Hammell, Kerr, Fagan (Fitzpatrick 86), O'Donnell (Foran 29), Andy Smith, McDonald (Clarkson 68), Hamilton.

Subs Not Used: Meldrum, Keogh, Robert Donnelly, Darren Lee Smith.

Booked: Hammell.

Goals: Foran 76 pen.

Att: 16,213

Ref: C Thomson (Scotland).

Taken from

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