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<-Page <-Team Sat 20 Jan 2007 Hearts 1 Falkirk 0 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type BBC ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Valdas Ivanauskas <-auth None auth-> Steve Conroy
----- Darren Barr
2 of 008 Roman Bednar 74 L SPL H

Hearts 1-0 Falkirk

Hearts climbed above the idle Aberdeen into third place with a hard fought win over ten man Falkirk at a wind and rain swept Tyncastle.

In an even contest of few clear cut chances it was a Roman Bednar goal that seperated the sides in the end as he slotted home an Andrew Driver cross.

Both sides were rescued and denied by the woodwork - Mikoliunas in the first half and Lima in the second.

With 16 minutes left, Bednar struck to beat the Bairns who had Barr sent off.

Hearts captain Craig Gordon - subject of a £2.5m Fulham bid - was left out because of a groin strain picked up in the 2-1 defeat to Celtic with Steve Banks taking his place.

Greek defender Christos Karipidis, Bruno Aguiar and Jamie Mole also started with Nerijus Barasa out injured and Roman Bednar and Andrew Driver benched.

Falkirk - fresh from a training camp in Portugal - made just the one enforced change from the side that won late against Dunfermline last week.

With Kenny Milne suspended, Scotland under-19 international Tam Scobbie started in defence.

The opening exchanges were very tight with Paul Hartley and Russell Latapy trying to spur their respective sides on with Hartley in particular driving forward whenever possible.

The Bairns were dealt an injury blow when the Australian Karl Dodd suffered a head knock and had to be replaced by recent new signing Dean Holden.

The Scotland midfielder Hartley had a chance in the 19th minute after seizing possession 30 yards out, only for Kasper Schmeichel to throw himself low to his right to block.

Bednar wins it for Hearts
Roman Bednar slots Hearts into a lead they did not surrender

Saulius Mikoliunas saw an effort smack the crossbar before Darren Barr almost put the visitors in front.

A Latapy corner was headed goalwards by Cedric Uras and when Banks saved on the line, Barr somehow contrived to head wide from just three yards.

Despite chances at either end, the teams could not break the deadlock before half-time.

The visitors started the second half well and Hearts responded by replacing the ineffective Mole with Bednar and latterly, Driver for Mikoliunas.

Driver's introduction helped stem the tide as Falkirk looked the better side, something that was clarified when a Vitor Lima header struck the post.

However, the resiliant Jambos responded in emphatic style as Roman Bednar put them in front.

Driver drove into the penalty area and from the right found the Czech Bednar who finished with the left foot to put the home side one up against the run of play.

Falkirk manager John Hughes threw on John Stewart and Tam McManus as he tried to rescue the match but the late drama would not be goals.

Hearts striker Andrius Velicka's kick missed the ball and took out Barr with the left foot but somehow, it was the young Falkirk defender who saw red.

Barr squared up to Velicka following the incident and the Lithuanian fell to the ground despite there being no contact. Velicka was booked.

Referee Steve Conroy's decision sparked angry scenes in the visitor's technical area.

That was to be the last notable action in a frustrating match for Falkirk as Hearts moved within two points of second placed Rangers.

Hearts: Banks, Karipidis, Zaliukas (Tall 62), Berra, Fyssas, Mikoliunas (Driver 67), Hartley, Aguiar, McCann, Velicka, Mole (Bednar 52). Subs not used: Kurskis, Wallace, Tall, Pospisil, Brellier.

Booked: Karipidis, Velicka.

Goal: Bednar 74.

Falkirk: Schmeichel, Barr, Uras (McManus 80), Dodd (Holden 33), Ross (Stewart 81), Cregg, Lima, Craig, Scobbie, Gow, Latapy. Subs not used: Lambers, Thomson, Roberston, Mcstay.

Booked: Holden.

Sent off: Barr 90.

Att: 17,247.

Referee: S Conroy.

Taken from the BBC

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