London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Sun 01 Jul 2007 FC Tavriya 2 Hearts 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Scotsman ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Anatoly Korobochka <-auth Barry Anderson auth-> Norbet Schwab
[Andriy Zborovsky 38] ;[Andriy Zborovsky pen 57]
1 of 002 Hristos Karipidis 40F N

Malofeev's mouth dominates day

Published Date:
02 July 2007
Hearts 1 - 2 SC Tavriya Simferopol
THE UKRAINIANS of Tavriya scratched and fought their way to victory last night with some uncompromising tackling and clinical finishing.

Despite this being a friendly, they refused to hold back. Unfortunately for Hearts, neither did Eduard Malofeev. While Ilya Galyuza and his colleagues waded into a procession of mistimed challenges on the pitch, Malofeev spent most of the match out his seat barking instructions in Russian for all of Seekirchen to hear. Barking could even be construed as the operative word in this instance.

The veteran Russian coach, officially an advisor on sports matters to the Tynecastle board, aimed a verbal torrent at Marius Zaliukas and certain others throughout the 90 minutes and succeeded in deflecting attention away from what was a commendable Hearts display. Result aside, the Edinburgh side more than matched opponents who are a number of weeks ahead in their pre-season programme.

Andrei Zborowski inflicted the damage with both Tavriya goals, the first being the most impressive as he struck a low left-footed effort into the corner of the net from 20 yards. His second arrived after Zaliukas, by then shorn of confidence following Malofeev's berating, conceded a dubious penalty in the 57th minute.

Sandwiched in between was an opportune strike by Christos Karipidis but assistant coach Stephen Frail felt aggrieved at the inconsistency displayed by referee Norbet Schwab. His frustration was only compounded near the end when Schwab ordered the substitution of Mirsad Beslija.

The official asked Beslija, who had earlier been introduced as a substitute for his first game in five months, to remove jewellery. He then detected a comment from the Bosnian winger which was deemed unsuitable but a modicum of common sense prevailed with Schwab requesting a change of player rather than producing a red card in a friendly.

Beslija explained: "The referee looked at my ring and told me to leave the pitch. I went to give the ring to Shaggy [Frail], then he saw my chain and then he said to Shaggy he must change me for another player or I will get a red card. I don't know what the problem was because other players were playing with chains.

"I didn't say anything to the referee. I said something in Bosnian language about the assistant on the line, and I didn't know the referee understands a little bit of Bosnian."

Frail added: "Mirsad had been told to go off because he was wearing jewellery. Again, our players know the rules because we suffered last year for it in the Champions League. It shouldn't happen, but I can see where Mirsad's coming from because one of their players was told to take his chain off and didn't, but he still remained on the park.

"If you criticise one referee, whether he's from Germany, Austria, Scotland or wherever, you criticise them all. Some of Tavriya's challenges were quite tasty and he didn't really punish them. I think their number 19 [Galyuza] should've been sent off. Some of his tackles were horrendous. The referee didn't deal with them, in my opinion.

"We're disappointed to lose, as we would be with any game. The most important aspect was the workout and we only have Saulius Mikoliunas suffering ill-effects afterwards because of a slight groin problem. It just helps everyone to get games under their belts.

"I was happy with the first 25 minutes, the way we knocked it about. Sometimes in these games you get more time than normal and can labour on the ball a bit. At times we tried two or three passes too many instead of trying to get the ball forward quicker. That's something we can look to work on. I think the referee gave them the penalty for holding. Overall it's disappointing, but some aspects of our game were reasonable."

Baked in the searing 30-degree heat of an Austrian summer, the Stadion Seekirchen offered a humble setting to get Hearts' pre-season campaign underway. Luscious if slightly long grass encouraged football to be played along the ground as it should and, with Frail urging his players to "pass and move", an entertaining first half transpired.

Tavriya, with four Lithuanians in their squad, had travelled from their training base in the mountain town of Windischgarsten - where Hearts stayed during last year's Austrian trip. The Ukrainians hoped this friendly would help their ascent to optimum performance ahead of their season-opening trip to Zakarpattya Uzgorod in the Ukrainian Premier League on Saturday week.

Hearts petitioned for a minute's silence before the match to mark the 91st anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, in which several of the club's former players lost their lives. This was served immaculately, but Malofeev was soon making himself heard above all else.

Forwards Jamie Mole and Kestutis Ivaskevicius were both denied early on by Tavriya's Serbian goalkeeper Sasa Todic, but five minutes after Zborowski's opener Malofeev seemed to turn on Zaliukas, who he previously coached at FBK Kaunas.

There ensued a heated discussion between the pair, conducted in Russian, as the veteran coach bawled instructions from a stand containing less than 100 people. Malofeev's shouts translated as blatant criticism of Zaliukas' performance, the defender being informed that he was playing poorly, his errors were being counted and that he was to deliver more "diagonal" balls from central defence into wide areas.

Zaliukas argued back, but seemed somewhat subdued from then on, although Malofeev continued ranting senselessly even at players with no grasp of Russian. Andy Driver and Neil McCann were two examples.

The lone Hearts fan in attendance, German-based Gordon Connor, wasn't slow in telling Malofeev in no uncertain terms to "learn some English". The ex-pat also used some expletives unsuitable for a family newspaper. An incisive Andy Driver run was the catalyst for a deserved equaliser which temporarily silenced Malofeev. The Englishman's drive forward brought a free-kick which was delivered by Larry Kingston and glanced on by Christophe Berra for Karipidis to convert at the back post. The goal provided encouragement prior to half-time, but, during the interval, Malofeev resumed his criticism of Zaliukas.

The Russian coach switched his attention to Mole in the second half, although he required to ask a colleague for the striker's first name before again yelling instructions in his native tongue, which is alien to the player.

In the 57th minute, Zaliukas was penalised for an innocuous challenge on Tavriya's Kirilov, and Zborowski coolly converted the penalty past substitute goalkeeper Eduardas Kurskis. The irony of the award wasn't lost on the Hearts coaching staff during a game littered with over-zealous Ukrainian tackling.

Positives to emerge from this encounter included the return of Michael Stewart in a maroon shirt. He produced glimpses of driving midfield play during a 27-minute appearance as a substitute and looks a good addition to the squad.

Sean Mackle enjoyed his first top-team outing as Beslija's replacement and Spanish trialist Artiz Martinez was introduced in attack near the end.

The lack of penetration from Hearts was unavoidable throughout the match, but, with Roman Bednar, Mauricio Pinilla, Juho Makela, Michal Pospisil and Andrius Velicka all absent with a variety of minor injuries, it could perhaps have been predicted. Also consigned to the stand were Deividas Cesnauskis and Craig Gordon, with Christope Berra the deputising captain.

Those in the Hearts camp happily speak about the improvement in Berra's vocal contribution over the last 12 months, making him a worthy choice for vice-captain. However, the young defender will have to go some to be heard above Malofeev.

Hearts: Banks; Neilson, Zaliukas, Berra, Karipidis; Mikoliunas, Kingston, McCann, Driver; Mole, Ivaskevicius. Subs: Kurskis 46 (for Banks), Stewart 63 (for McCann), Pilibaitis 73 (for Kingston), Kancelskis 79 (for Karipidis), Beslija 60 (for Mikoliunas), Tall 66 (for Neilson), Jonsson, Mackle 88 (for Beslija), Park, Thomson 81 (for Zaliukas), Martinez 81(for Ivaskevicius).

Tavriya: Todic; Pershin, Kirilov, Ilnitsley, Omoko; Kovpak, Galyuza, Lyubenovich, Golaido; Zborowski, Gomenyuk. Subs: Kozachenko, Idahor, Ioksas, Zelmikas, Veikutis, Vasiliauskas, Bogunovich.

Taken from the Scotsman

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