London Hearts Supporters Club

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John McGlynn (Caretaker) <-auth Phil Gordon auth-> John Underhill
Jankauskas Edgaras [G Buezelin 78] ;[G O'Connor 80]
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Hearts broken

By Phil Gordon
Hibernian 2 Heart of Midlothian 0
JOHN ROBERTSON, a man who knows more than anyone about Edinburgh derbies, used to use the self-deprecating line about himself that “it ain’t over until the fat striker scores”. George Foulkes ought to consider singing a cover version — “It Ain’t Over Until The Chairman Opens His Mouth”.

No sooner had Foulkes claimed that the Premierleague was a two-horse race than the inevitable happened. It is known as commentator’s curse. Peter O’Sullevan would never have allowed it to happen and neither, frankly, would Robertson, who always had too much respect for the opposition in his 18 years as a Heart of Midlothian player and his mere six months as manager.

Hearts did a Devon Loch at Easter Road. After clearing 12 hurdles with ease, the unlucky thirteenth sent them flat on their faces. There is plenty of time to recover. The Premierleague race makes the Grand National seem like a fun run. There was nothing up with Hearts on Saturday. They played excellently for an hour but they were carrying some extra weight, put there by Foulkes — the burden of leadership is hard enough without someone inspiring your biggest rivals.

The Hearts chairman was so busy being condescending about Rangers dropping off the pace that he forgot about Hibernian. Whether it is three or four horses, the thundering hooves Foulkes can now hear come from across the city. “This was a big game for us,” Tony Mowbray, the Hibernian manager, said. “We could have been ten points behind if we lost, now it is down to four.”

Foulkes, and perhaps the Hearts fans, had been guilty of hubris. “We are unbeatable,” they chanted before the game. Ninety minutes later, that number was being scratched from the repertoire. No side is immune from defeat, though it has to be said that the players George Burley left behind could not be accused of the sin of pride — well, apart from one.

Edgaras Jankauskas left his team to face the final 27 minutes with ten men after his sheer folly in getting himself sent off. Guillaume Beuzelin and Garry O’Connor profited, scoring in the final 13 minutes just when the resistance organised by the outstanding Steven Pressley, Andy Webster and Craig Gordon seemed to have weathered the storm.

Jankauskas sold his club short in the same way that Foulkes did. The former FC Porto striker dived so frequently in the first half that he tried the patience of John Underhill before the referee booked him for persistent fouling. When Scott Brown came in from behind and clipped him, Jankauskas went theatrically into the air. Underhill awarded Hearts the free kick, but as he did so, the Lithuanian retaliated with an angry two-handed shove on his marker.

Underhill was left with no alternative but to issue a red card for violent conduct. Everyone from Mowbray to John McGlynn, the Hearts caretaker manager, agreed it was the turning point of a pulsating contest.

Taken from

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