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<-Page <-Team Sat 27 Oct 2007 Kilmarnock 3 Hearts 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Sunday Herald ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Anatoly Korobochka <-auth Stuart Darroch auth-> William Collum
Nade Christian [G Wales 52] ;[C Nish pen 72] ;[W Gibson 77]
1 of 008 Ibrahim Tall 92 L SPL A

Three and easy, but Frail’s men are a shambles ... in any language

HEARTS sporting director Anatoly Korobochka had better brush up on his English this week after coach Stevie Frail was sent to the stand as Kilmarnock's resurgence continued.

Judging by this indisciplined performance, who knows what sort of shambles they will be for the trip to Easter Road on Saturday.

Kilmarnock moved back into the top half of the table looking much more like their old self now they have the nucleus of their team back from injury.

But Hearts are a mess. Frail was dismissed after his side had conceded a penalty kick after 70 minutes which, ultimately, sealed their fate.

The frustrations of not only this performance but last week's defeat by Dundee United obviously got to him and he continued his protestations despite repeated warnings from referee William Collum.

Frail chose not to explain his reaction afterwards, with no member of the Hearts coaching staff prepared to attend the press conference.

Midfielder Michael Stewart was left to carry the can after another shambolic performance and you must wonder where Hearts go from here.

Just to add to their self-inflicted woes, the Tynecastle side had earlier had striker Christian Nade dismissed for raising his hands in the face of Kilmarnock defender Frazer Wright.

Kilmarnock made light of their opponents and secured the points courtesy of goals from Gary Wales, Colin Nish and Willie Gibson. The late consolation from Ibrahim Tall could not disguise a Hearts performance lacking imagination and organisation.

The afternoon had started with the attention focussed on Saulius Mikoliunas on the bench for the visitors. It was the first time the winger had been seen since that penalty incident at Hampden. But, wisely, Hearts kept him on the bench.

In true Hearts fashion they couldn't resist the chance to make changes just for the sake of it. Despite not being at fault for any of the three goals scored by Dundee United, Steve Banks found himself not only out of the team but also the squad.

Former Auxerre goalkeeper Anthony Basso came into the starting line-up, with, unsurprisingly, Vladimir Romanov's fellow countryman, Eduardas Kurskis, brought in as reserve.

Much of the focus was on referee Collum. He may be highly regarded within UEFA circles, but not on the basis of this. On several occasions he was the only man in the stadium who knew just why he had blown his whistle.

To be fair, he did get the decision spot on when Hearts were reduced to 10 men seconds before the interval.

An innocuous aerial challenge between Nade and Wright suddenly erupted with the Hearts striker reacting badly to whatever was said and pushing the defender to the ground. Not one Hearts player or indeed fan contested the call.

It took Kilmarnock only 10 minutes after the restart to inflict further misery. Nish's clever knockdown presented Wales with a half-chance and he rifled a left-foot volley past Basso from 19 yards for a goal their attacking play merited.

They doubled their advantage after 70 minutes when Robbie Neilson was adjudged to have handled the ball under pressure from Nish. The Kilmarnock striker wasn't interested in the debate and scored the resultant spot kick.

Gibson sealed the victory seven minutes later before Tall's injury-time header reduced the deficit, but Stewart made no excuses as he was thrown to the lions and told to meet the media.

The midfielder said: "From the perspective of Stevie Frail I understand why he did not want to say too much as he has already been sent to the stand. It's an emotive sport and it could be difficult keeping things under wraps. Stevie has been on the end of a decision and that could cloud his view of other incidents."

On yet another day when Hearts could not accept defeat, Stewart duly proved their only genuine class act. It's a shame it came off the field rather than on it.

Taken from the Sunday Herald

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