London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Sun 11 Nov 2007 Hearts 4 Aberdeen 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Herald ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Anatoly Korobochka <-auth Ed Hodge auth-> Iain Brines
[J De Visscher 38]
1 of 007 Andrew Driver 3 ;Andrius Velicka 13 ;Ibrahim Tall 53 ;Christian Nade 61 L SPL H

Hearts 4 - 1 Aberdeen

It was an altogether rare afternoon at Tynecastle, but Hearts supporters would gratefully welcome such occasions coming along more often after enjoying a resounding victory.

If the sight of Vladimir Romanov, the Hearts owner - making his first appearance in Gorgie since February - was an extreme rarity, so was the settled home team line-up.

Hearts revealed no outfield changes from the side that drew the Edinburgh derby, with goalkeeper Anthony Basso even unlucky to lose his place in a single change for Steve Banks. The continuity clearly aided Hearts' cause as they tore into Aberdeen and surely left Romanov purring at the finish.

The club's majority shareholder had earlier attended, along with Hearts' entire squad, a poignant Remembrance Day service at Haymarket to honour their war dead. Before a sell-out crowd, the team proudly sported a commemorative jersey, bearing on its sleeve the names of the seven players who fell during the First World War after Hearts were the first football club in Britain to enlist for action in November 1914.

The circumstances, perhaps aided by Aberdeen's tiredness after their UEFA Cup exertions, ultimately proved an inspiration to help a revived Hearts climb to sixth in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League table.

"It was a special day for the club," said Stevie Frail, the assistant head coach. "We had the memorial service for the Hearts players who fell in the First World War and all the whole squad turned up.

"To then go and put on a performance like that, I was really delighted. It let's him Romanov see first hand that everyone at the club, staff and players, are all pulling in the same direction. There was a real team spirit about the whole day, from this morning to the strips that the players wore. It all contributed, in my opinion, to help us getting the victory."

The large Aberdeen support unfurled a banner before kick-off, which read "Lithuanian State Circus With Diving Cheats". But Hearts replied by establishing a two-goal lead inside 14 minutes with the visitors the architects of their own downfall.

Andrew Driver - a day before his 20th birthday - first bundled home after two mistakes from Richard Foster before Andrius Velicka added a second after goalkeeper Jamie Langfield failed to deal with a cross under pressure from Christian Nade.

Jimmy Calderwood had bemoaned the defensive lapse that let Lokomotiv Moscow to level on the stroke of half-time at Pittodrie on Thursday, but his Aberdeen team failed to heed his words. "You can't win games at any level defending like that," said Calderwood.

An unlikely lifeline for the visitors began to emerge just after the 20-minute mark when the floodlights failed. Amid sarcastic cheers from the away end, Hearts feared the worst before they slowly regained power amid the closing gloom.

Calderwood endured further pain when Barry Nicholson trudged off with a back injury, but his replacement Chris Clark soon clipped the crossbar with a searing drive.

Aberdeen, who virtually denied Hearts a European adventure with a 90th-minute Nicholson goal on their last Tynecastle visit in May, did hit back through Dutchman Jeffrey de Visscher's curled finish.

It offered a lifeline, but any hope was soon extinguished with the concession of a third from a simple set-piece after the restart. Michael Stewart's free-kick from the left was headed past Langfield by Ibrahim Tall to restore the two-goal cushion.

It was game over just after the hour. Zander Diamond blocked Nade's first effort, but the ball kindly broke back for the Frenchman to dispatch the ball past the helpless Langfield.

Frail claimed that weekend reports linking Celtic forward Derek Riordan with Hearts was just "speculation", before pointedly adding: "He'd have to play something to get in that team."

Taken from the Herald


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