London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2007-08--> All for 20071020
<-Page <-Team Sat 20 Oct 2007 Hearts 1 Dundee United 3 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Daily Record ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Anatoly Korobochka <-auth Gary Ralston auth-> Craig Thomson
Elliot Calum [J Robertson 13] ;[J Robertson 23] ;[B Robson pen 89] Gregorz Szamotulski
5 of 011 Laryea Kingston 92 L SPL H

Hearts Schoolkids See Lesson From United

Oct 22 2007 Gary Ralston Reports

Clydesdale Bank Premier League Spl Jambo Schoolkids See Arabs Hand Out Lesson Levein's Pupils Turn In Gold-Star Performance Absent Vlad's Report Card Is 'Must Try Harder'



HEARTS invited 500 children to watch their first game at Tynecastle only for Dundee United to put on a master class.

The primary three schoolkids and their parents came to the ground as part of an education programme that sees the kids presented with a replica Jambos kit.

United players also left with Hearts shirts tucked neatly in their back pockets after a performance that puts the squeeze on at the top of the table as the Arabs begin to exploit the seam of potential you always knew Craig Levein was capable of mining.

After this display, if Hearts aren't careful the youthful audience they seek to attract around Edinburgh, Fife and the Lothians will be happy to wake up on Christmas morning with a tangerine object in their stocking - and it won't be a piece of fruit.

This was an insipid Hearts display as dull as the skies that hung over Gorgie, hinting at more grey days ahead as the bid for European football looks like being as ambitious a target as zero inches of rainfall.

Vladimir Romanov has been at one competitive Hearts game this year and prefers to spend his time perfecting his waltz on the Lithuanian version of Strictly Come Dancing, while his team fluffs its early season steps in the SPL.

Assistant head coach Steve Frail cuts a frustrated figure in the technical area while Anatoliy Korobochka sits in the front row of the directors' box like a former Soviet general surveying his troops.

Actually, of all the poker-faced figures Romanov has introduced to the club in the past few seasons Korobochka is by far the most human.

There is a warmth and humour in his personality but still something stinks about the whole Hearts set-up - God forbid Korobochka's rare appearances in the dugout are not a result of fears for his work permit status if the sporting director is seen to perform the functions of a head coach, are they?

This all matters in as much as Levein has transformed United since he took over as manager a year ago this month while the lack of leadership and guidance at Hearts gives the impression they are struggling to tread water.

The contrast in the condition of each club was epitomised by this match as hungry punters gobbled up generous odds, for once, that saw United priced at 7-2 to repeat their victory here earlier in the year. Hearts tried to shift the furniture at the top of the SPL by grabbing the three points that would see them move above their Tannadice rivals but it was Levein's side that glided around as if on castors.

The Jambos, despite their possession, lacked the wherewithal to break down a United defence superbly organised by Darren Dods and Lee Wilkie, while their outstanding midfield dictated the game on their terms when on the ball.

Michael Stewart and Laryea Kingston will play worse this season and emerge with three points but unfortunately the rest of the Hearts team failed to match their energy and enthusiasm. That was certainly the case in defence where Hearts conceded two soft goals, first of all when a poor clearance from Marius Zaliukas was nodded into the path of Jordan Robertson who spun Christophe Berra far too easily to drill a shot across Steve Banks and into the net from 10 yards.

The second, midway through the first half, came from a long and direct free-kick from Christian Kalvenes nodded on by Wilkie for Robertson to again guide a shot past Banks from close range with the Hearts defence meek observers.

At that point queues were forming outside Ladbrokes as United took an even firmer grip on the game, spinning out of more tight corners than Lewis Hamilton and frustrating Hearts fans with their patient, disciplined tempo.

Levein has plucked a couple of midfield plums in Ghanaian starlet Prince Buaben and French playmaker Morgaro Gomis, while the industry and skilful distribution of Willo Flood was a joy to watch.

There were a couple of eccentric displays, not least from one United fan who bounded down the steps of the Roseburn Stand and into the visitors' end before kick-off like a game show host in front of alive audience.

He was dressed head to toe in a French maid's outfit - suspenders, stockings the lot. Lorraine Kelly he was not, although seasoned observers of the Dundee social scene will acknowledge they've seen worse in the Mardi Gras on a Wednesday night.

The other eye popper was referee Craig Thomson, who created a rod for his own back by booking three players in the first 18 minutes for minor misdemeanours.

His erratic decisions only served to overheat the occasion and while he tried to curb his natural yearning to reach for a yellow later in the game his blatant attempts to stuff the genie back in the bottle only added to the frustration.

Mind you, the ref was faultless when a game that was petering towards its inevitable conclusion suddenly sparked back into life three minutes from time.

Calum Elliot was sent off for reaching out with his hand and preventing a header from Wilkie reaching the net, although he argued his arm was already behind the line.

Barry Robson rattled the penalty straight down the middle after moments earlier bringing out a brilliant save from Banks with a left-foot strike from 30 yards.

Injury time was approaching when a raking pass from Berra picked out sub Mauricio Pinilla - seen as often in a Hearts shirt as The Proclaimers - and he was clattered outside the box by United keeper Grzegorz Szamotulski.

Arguably, the Toni Schumacher-style challenge was worthy of a straight red but he was shown his second yellow instead, adding to an earlier caution for failing to release the ball quickly enough at a free-kick.

Kingston stepped up and curled a free-kick around the wall and past sub keeper Ewan McLean, who will be between the sticks for the visit of Rangers on Sunday. He'll be hoping his team-mates make it kids' play for United.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Jordan Robertson

Taken from the Daily Record

<-Page <-Team Sat 20 Oct 2007 Hearts 1 Dundee United 3 Team-> Page->
| Home | Contact Us | Credits | © |