London Hearts Supporters Club

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Anatoly Korobochka <-auth Ewan Murray auth-> Iain Brines
[J De Visscher 38]
4 of 007 Andrew Driver 3 ;Andrius Velicka 13 ;Ibrahim Tall 53 ;Christian Nade 61 L SPL H

Remembrance of things past spurs Hearts to put on a show for Romanov

Ewan Murray at Tynecastle
Monday November 12, 2007
The Guardian

Hearts chose owner Vladimir Romanov's first visit to Tynecastle since February to produce one of their best performances of the season and their biggest win over Aberdeen in eight years. Roars of satisfaction, rather than the cries of discontent which have fleetingly filled the air at this stadium since Romanov took over, proved the order of the day.

Andrew Driver, Andrius Velicka, Ibrahim Tall and Christian Nadé scored the home side's goals on what was a significant day for Hearts. Seven of what is widely regarded as the finest team in their history died during the first world war and Romanov laid a wreath at the annual Remembrance Day service four hours before kick-off, an event which all of the playing squad attended. They later wore special shirts with the names of the seven deceased embroidered on the sleeves.

Article continues
"It was pleasing to show Mr Romanov that everyone is pulling in the same direction," said Stephen Frail, the Hearts coach. That sense of purpose shattered Aberdeen within 14 first-half minutes, by which point they were two goals behind and ensured that by full-time Jimmy Calderwood's outfit, perhaps bearing the effects an energy-sapping 90 minutes against Lokomotiv Moscow in the Uefa Cup on Thursday, looked an utterly bedraggled lot. "That [Europe] is no excuse," said the visiting manager afterwards.

Hearts at this tempo, as Frail acknowledged afterwards, are a match for anyone in the Premier League, which makes their sixth-place position look like a matter of gross underachievement. A twist of irony was that, despite the exorbitant wages Romanov has bestowed on several players, the stand-out by a considerable degree here was almost home-grown.

Eggert Jonsson, an Icelandic youngster who has been in Edinburgh for two years, displayed composure and energy in the Hearts midfield which belied his 19 years.

Driver prodded home from close range after a catalogue of errors in the Aberdeen defence, the last coming as a Michael Hart tackle fell straight at the Hearts winger's feet. Another mistake, this time as the goalkeeper Jamie Langfield dropped a Driver cross allowed Velicka to bury his sixth goal of the campaign.

Nadé had missed a glorious opportunity to put the match out of sight before Aberdeen secured hope, seven minutes before the interval. Jeffrey De Visscher, from an offside position, collected a Scott Severin pass and despatched the ball coolly into the corner of Steve Banks' goal.

That Banks was swinging by his crossbar, in answering requests from fans, by the closing minutes owed everything to Tall's header, flicked beyond Langfield from a sublime Michael Stewart free-kick, and Nadé's 62nd-minute angled drive.

It will surely not be another nine months before Romanov graces Hearts with his presence once again.

Man of the match Eggert Jonsson (Hearts)

Taken from the Guardian/Observer

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