London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Srce <-Type Daily Record ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Csaba Laszlo <-auth Hugh Keevins auth-> Hugh Carville
[R Berry 73]
1 of 005 Saulius Mikoliunas 5 F A

Glentoran 1-1 Hearts

Jul 15 2008 By Hugh Keevins

Glentoran win 6-5 on penalties

A LATE equaliser denied new Hearts boss Csaba Laszlo a win he and his side deserved over the course of 90 minutes in Belfast last night.

The Tynecastle side lost out 6-5 in the penalty shoot-out that followed to find a winner for the Umbro Cup.

If it's an omen then it's not a very good one for the man who took charge of the Jambos for the first time. Laszlo should be aware too many hard-luck stories won't wash with an owner who expects the domestic Treble and entry to the Champions League in the new season.

Laszlo apparently once broke down and wept in full view of the TV cameras when his previous club side, Ferencvaros, drew a vital Hungarian league match with Kaposvar in 2005.

At least there was no cause for grief on this occasion because experimentation was more important than expectation.

Failure to get off the ground isn't what Hearts need right now but their flight from Edinburgh was hit by a two-hour delay.

The players were sent back to their Riccarton training facility, forfeiting their afternoon rest before the game.

Laszlo was already in Belfast, having travelled separately because his appointment came too late to find him a seat on the team flight.

With everyone reunited, the match was only five minutes old when Hearts took the lead. Saulius Mikoliunas, with his back to goal, wheeled and delivered a chipped shot that deceived keeper Elliott Morris and went in off the underside of the bar.

Laszlo cut an animated figure on the touchline with hands that were buried in his pockets being brought out to make flailing gestures whenever anything annoyed him.

But Mikoliunas might have doubled Hearts' lead if the keeper hadn't pulled off a stop with his legs midway through the first half.

At the start of the second half, Andrew Driver was replaced by Kestutis Ivaskevicius. Michael Stewart forced Morris to tip an accurate free-kick over the bar with an acrobatic save. Anthony Basso took over in goal from Steve Banks before Craig Sives replaced Christos Karipidis and the game took on the form of a practice match.

The new manager has less than a month to understand his squad's strengths and more changes followed.

The game was being watched in near silence the longer it wore on.

There had been no rousing welcome for Laszlo from the Hearts fans at any stage but after all they've been through they're entitled to reserve judgement until they see results. Blind faith has led them up blind alleys before now, after all.

The road to victory was sabotaged when Ryan Berry hit a long-range equaliser with 18 minutes left.

On this occasion it didn't matter but there will be times when it will.

HEARTS - Banks, Thomson, Zaliukas, Karipidis, Wallace, Palazuelos, Jonsson, Mikoliunas, Stewart, Driver, Glen. Subs - Basso, Kelly, Elliot, Screpis, Sives, Doherty, Ivaskevicius.

Taken from the Daily Record

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