London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Sat 13 Sep 2008 Falkirk 2 Hearts 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Sun ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Csaba Laszlo <-auth None auth-> Steve Conroy
[N McCann 3] ;[S Arfield 89]
12 of 016 Michael Stewart 71 L SPL A

Falkirk 2-1 Hearts

SCOTT ARFIELD took his life in his hands to fire Falkirk to their first win of the season.

With an act of tremendous bravery the midfielder CURLED in a stunning 89th-minute winner to haul the Bairns off the bottom of the SPL table.

In doing so he defied a direct order from his boss — and let’s face it, Yogi Hughes is not a man you want to p*** off.

Hughes revealed: “Scotty doesn’t do enough of that.

“In training he’s always trying to whip the ball into the top corner and I keep telling him to put his laces through the ball. He clearly doesn’t listen to a word I say.”

This morning that’s something every Falkirk fan should be thankful for.

Michael Stewart had hauled Hearts level after Neil McCann’s quickfire opener and it looked like both teams would have to settle for a point.

But in the last minute Steve Lovell cut the ball back for Arfield and the Scotland Under-21 star did the rest.

Faced with a choice of putting his foot through the ball or trusting his own instincts, the youngster listened to the devil on his shoulder and snubbed his gaffer’s wishes.

The result? Falkirk bagged their first three points of the campaign.

He beamed: “I’ve been getting pelters for not scoring enough goals. All the boys, and the gaffer, have been telling me that’s what I need to improve on.

“I suppose I have to agree with them.

“I only scored three goals last season and that’s not good enough. I should be in double figures and that is my aim.

“I’m up and running now and it’s a realistic target I think.

“It’s an aspect of my game I know I need to keep working on.

“That’s why I was so happy to get the winner against Hearts.

“The gaffer is always telling me to put my foot through the ball but I’m just happy I placed it and proved them all wrong.

“I didn’t snatch at it, I put it in the corner and I was delighted. I showed them all I can score after all.”

Falkirk have been decimated by injuries this season but on Saturday Yogi’s big guns were back.

McCann, Tam Scobbie and Burton O’Brien all made their first starts of the campaign — and what a difference they made.

McCann poached a superb opener after just three minutes while O’Brien ran the show in midfield.

Now, with everyone back fit, Arfield is convinced Falkirk can start to climb the table.

The midfielder said: “The feeling after the game was one of relief. We hadn’t picked up a point all season and, of course, we were bottom of the league.

“Saturday was massive for us and I think you could see that in the way we kept fighting even after Hearts equalised. This was our fifth game of the season and it was about time we got off the mark.

“To be fair, though, I don’t think anyone here was panicking.

“We’ve been unlucky with injuries but on Saturday we had Neil, Tam and Burton all back for us.

“We showed what we’re capable of with a fully-fit squad.”We have strength in depth and when you can rely on the experience of someone like Neil then that’s an added bonus.

“He’s been terrific with me and he’s someone that I will always listen to. He’s played at the very highest level, in England and in the Champions League.

“He took his goal superbly and that really set us on our way.

“Our confidence was never affected. I think we all knew we’d be fine once we got everyone back.Saturday proved that with everyone fit we’re a match for the best teams in the league.”

Hearts were completely outplayed in the first half but Stewart inspired a storming fightback after the break.

The Scotland star hauled his side level on 71 minutes when he struck a wonderful shot past Robert Olejnik.

But Hearts couldn’t hold on with the defeat capping a miserable week for Icelandic full-back Eggert Jonsson.

He groaned: “It was a cruel way to lose. We lost a goal with a minute left and that’s difficult to accept.

“But you should always keep going and we didn’t see it out.

“We didn’t start well and losing a goal early put us on the back foot.

“But we played better in the second half and we got ourselves level. I thought we looked the more dangerous and had chances to win.

“We couldn’t take those chances and credit to Falkirk, they punished us at the end. I thought we played well enough and don’t think we deserved to lose. But that’s football for you.

“After Iceland lost to Scotland, It’s been a bad week for me all round.”

Bairns boss Hughes said: “Hearts were better in terms of passing the ball but I thought we looked solid.

“I won’t get carried away but there were plenty of positives.”

Hearts chief Csaba Laszlo sighed: “Losing a goal in the last minute is always hard. But I must compliment the team because in the second half we controlled it.”

The Sun

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