London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Srce <-Type Sunday Herald ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Anatoly Korobochka <-auth None auth-> Craig Thomson
Elliot Calum [J Robertson 13] ;[J Robertson 23] ;[B Robson pen 89] Gregorz Szamotulski
3 of 011 Laryea Kingston 92 L SPL H

Jordan impresses with two up front

THE Dundee United renaissance continues. Craig Levein's side, assembled on a shoe-string budget, produced a sizzling display that saw Hearts disintegrate after two first-half strikes from 19-year-old Jordan Robertson, prompted frustration in the Tynecastle stands, with many supporters leaving in disgust long before the end.

This was a game packed with drama and entertainment, ending, as it did, with two goals and two red cards, one of which, handed out to Grzegorz Szamotulski in the dying seconds, leaves leaving United without a first-choice goalkeeper for the visit of Rangers next weekend.

Levein was adamant that would not take the shine off his side's performance, though with three 'keepers injured, he faces a problematic week in the run-up to the match.

"I think our keeper could have headed the ball," he said. "We had a player coming back and I think he tried to jump into the player and let the ball go but he just misjudged it. He had already been booked and while it is disappointing, it will not take the shine off my Saturday evening.

"I am quite comfortable to play Euan McLean against Rangers. My biggest problem is that we haven't a back-up because our three other goalkeepers are injured. I'll have to see what we're going to do this coming week."

Robertson may have ploughed a lone furrow up front but the on-loan Sheffield United man's quick-thinking and tenacity were enough for him to get the goals that see United emerge as a real force in the Premier League this season.

It was a day, however, when all eleven United players shone, while Hearts huffed and puffed. There were those at Tynecastle still hurting from the crushing 4-0 defeat to United here last March, which perhaps accounted for the briskness of the home side's early attacking play. Much of the menace emanated from Christian Nade, their powerful striker, who certainly kept Lee Wilkie and Darren Dods, United's centre-backs, focused on the job. He also tested the Szamotulski with a ferocious low drive which the Pole, hardly warmed up, did well to save low at the post.

For all Hearts' fine football, though, it was United who struck the opener. Robertson collected a throw-in, turned Marius Zalukas in the penalty area and drilled low into the net. Yet the teenager wasn't finished there. Ten minutes later he positioned himself perfectly as Christan Kalvenes swung a free-kick into the area and, as Wilkie's header fell into space, banged the ball past Steve Banks from eight yards.

The number of yellow cards flashed by referee Craig Thomson in the opening thirty minutes are indicative of the fiery nature of this encounter and when Gzamotulski picked up Barry Robson's loose pass-back, Laryea Kingston's resultant free-kick in the United penalty box - a square pass to Michael Stewart - forced the goalkeeper to pull off an outstanding save.

It was to be expected that Hearts would try and force the issue following the interval, yet while Kingston looked determined to haul his side back into the game, despite a crackling effort from distance which was just a foot over the crossbar, he found little lexibility from Wilkie and Dods.

From then on it was the visitors who dominated proceedings. Their play was both attractive and effective as they controlled every area of the pitch and while they contentedly held possession for long spells in the run-in to the final whistle, their third goal, two minutes from regulation time, though unexpected, was thoroughly deserved.

When Banks touched Robson's shot past the post, the resultant corner caused havoc in the Hearts defence, the 'keeper stopping a Dods effort before Wilkie's attempt was stopped by the hand of Calum Elliot on the goal-line.

Robson rattled the back of the net with the penalty after Elliot had been red-carded.

Hardly had the excitement and drama subsided, however, than referee Thomson was forced to show a second red, this time to Szamotulski who had earlier been booked.

His foul on Mauricio Pinilla, back in action after a 13-month lay-off, was too much for the referee and with substitute keeper Euan McLean between the sticks with seconds to go, Kingston brilliantly sent the free kick into the United net.

Despite Pinialla's dazed condition as he was taken off the pitch, he was not, according to Stevie Frail, the Hearts assistant coach, badly hurt. The same could not be said for Frail's feelings last night.

"Goals change games," he said. "I thought we were controlling the game without having too many clear-cut chances. We didn't put United under enough pressure in the second half."

Taken from the Sunday Herald

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