London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2007-08--> All for 20071006
<-Page <-Team Sat 06 Oct 2007 Hearts 4 Falkirk 2 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Sunday Herald ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Anatoly Korobochka <-auth Stewart Fisher auth-> Stuart Dougal
[G Barrett 87] ;[P Moutinho 89]
2 of 011 Audrius Ksanavicius 5 ;Marius Zaliukas 27 ;Andrius Velicka 58 ;Christian Nade 68 L SPL H

Foreign legion on song

Hearts 4 / Falkirk 2
Stewart Fisher at Tynecastle

FOR A brief 10-minute window last weekend, Hearts had no Lithuanians on the field for the first time since Vladimir Romanov arrived in Gorgie.

Yesterday there was a reminder of just how much they have to offer. Three scorers from the former Soviet state - Audrius Ksanavicius, Marius Zaliukas and Andrius Velicka - helped extend Hearts' run to six wins in their last seven games, putting the team fifth in the SPL table.

Substitute Christian Nade added a fourth, before Falkirk staged a surprising late rally, but Scotland fans will hope the Lithuanians carry this form into the international break and their game against France in 10 days' time.

"Someone highlighted that at one point last week I don't think we had any of them in the team," Frail said, "then three of them score today. We don't look at them as Lithuanians, Spanish, Scottish or English, but we are delighted.

"We will take any goalscorer, but we are delighted from a personal point of view that they want to play here and do well for the club."

John Hughes was understandably less buoyant after the game ended.

With only four points from the last 24 available, it already appears unlikely that Falkirk will better last season's seventh-place finish.

"There is no doubt we are in a relegation dogfight," Hughes said. "As soon as the boys realise that, we will be better for it."

He went on to bemoan the fact that he may have gone "too young too soon" and asked for his club's supporters to display some patience. "At the moment we are just struggling a wee bit and I would ask the fans at this time to help the boys come through it."

Hearts coach Anatoly Korobochka made four changes from the side which beat St Mirren, but the blend he settled upon seemed determined to hit the ground running.

It took just five minutes for the opener to arrive, but it shouldn't have taken even that long. Within the first two minutes Michael Stewart had clipped Andrew Driver's cross over the bar from close range, then Ksanavicius made a meal of another relatively simple opening.

But the little Lithuanian made no such mistake shortly afterwards.

Predictably enough, Laryea Kingston was at the heart of it, working a sweet one-two with Icelandic holding player Eggert Jonsson, and running on to provide an inch-perfect delivery which Ksanavicius swept into the net for his first Hearts goal.

"Of course it was very important to score my first goal," said Ksanavicius afterwards.

"It is a pity it has taken so long. It doesn't matter who scores, though, as long as the team wins."

Asked about his national side's prospects, he said: "Lithuania will make it as difficult as possible against France, we will try to make it very hard for them."

Falkirk steadied the ship long enough to spring Dean Holden forward from his right-back berth. First Steve Banks did well to tip the Englishman's fierce angled shot over the bar, then a volleyed effort from the same area flew narrowly over.

Arnau Riera, the former Barcelona midfielder situated at the base of Falkirk's passing pyramid, also blazed over and another Falkirk attack ended with Hearts fans united in righteous applause at Pedro Moutinho receiving a booking for diving.

The second goal duly appeared at the other end. Michael Higdon's defensive header from a Michael Stewart free-kick only succeeded in locating Zaliukas on the edge of the box, and his volley took a bounce on its way beyond a ruck of players and Tim Krul.

With Krul defying Andrew Driver when the English youngster was clear on goal, and another barnstorming Velicka run that almost led to a Holden own-goal, the rest of the first-half chances would also belong to the home side.

Hearts also began the second half at full pelt, but the next flurry of goals would not arrive until the hour mark.

Fifty-eight minutes were on the clock when Jonsson robbed Russell Latapy, setting Kancelskis free to make a run which was more like his namesake Andrei than Tomas, before feeding Velicka. With Kenny Milne playing him onside, Velicka carried the ball in from wide and finished conclusively.

When the Lithuanian striker was withdrawn afterwards, on came Nade, and it took him just a couple of minutes to grab the fourth after he pirouetted in a tight situation on the edge of the box, worked a one-two with Kingston, and steered the ball inside Krul's left-hand post.

Falkirk had used all three of their substitutes when it got to 3-0, and a combination of two of the replacements provided late consolation. Steven Thomson's sliderule pass found Graham Barrett, and, with Hearts desperate for an offside flag, the Irishman simply flicked the ball over Banks.

More fingers were pointed at the same linesman when Holden's cross was turned in at the far post by Moutinho, and there was almost a third, with Banks tipping Barrett's drive on to the post. But, try as they might in the last three minutes, Falkirk were unable to banish the memory of the previous 87.

Hearts substitutes: Elliot for Ksanavicius 59, Nade for Velicka 64, Palazuelos for Stewart 74 Not used: Basso, Tall, Karipidis, Ivaskevicius Booked: Nade 68 Falkirk substitutes: Finnigan for Higdon 66, Thomson for Latapy 66, Barrett for Riera 66 Not used: Olejnik, Allison, Wallner, Craig Booked: Falkirk: Barr 30, Moutinho 42, Riera 50 Referee: S Dougal Att: 15,855

Taken from the Sunday Herald

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