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<-Srce <-Type Sunday Mail ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Csaba Laszlo <-auth Ewan Smith auth-> William Collum
10 of 017 Saulius Mikoliunas 8 L SPL H

Hearts 1-0 Inverness CT

Sep 21 2008 Ewan Smith Reports

HEARTS manager Csaba Laszlo insisted his side turned in an almost perfect display to prove they are playing for the jerseys and NOT the money at Tynecastle. Jambos maintained their 100 per cent home record with a hard-fought win courtesy of a first-half Saulius Mikoliunas strike on the day news of their wage problems broke.

That moved them into second and while Laszlo skilfully evaded questions on the bombshell that Hearts players weren't paid on Friday - due to a "technical hitch" - he did praise his players.

When asked about the cash plight Laszlo said: "I don't know about this. I must ask my wife because I don't check my account.

"Maybe I also have to ask the players about it. I work only for the football, what is behind the scenes I don't know about.

"All I'm interested in is how we play and tactically today we were a 10."

While Laszlo avoided talking about the cash problems he was sharp enough to drop in a one-liner when pressed on Mikoliunas' two successive winning goals at Tynecastle.

He added: "Saul did well but that is what he takes the money for!"

There was little sign of Hearts stars rebelling against their paymasters by refusing to dig in. In fact, it was quite the opposite as Laszlo's men admirably played for the jersey.

Yet it was Inverness who had the first attempt on goal in threeminutes as Roy McBain's deflected long-range shot fell to Phil McGuire six yards from goal.

Only the bravery of Hearts keeper Marian Kello, who raced off his line to block, denied Craig Brewster's side an opener.

Jambos began to venture forward and in seven minutes Christos Karipidis showed great skill to control a Laryea Kingston corner on the turn then lob just inches over from 10 yards.

A minute later Andrius Ksanavicius ripped apart the Inverness defence to send Mikoliunas clear and the Lithuanian did the rest, composing himself to drill low under the advancing Michael Fraser from 18 yards.

They almost doubled their lead midway through the half as the ever-improving Michael Stewart superbly latched on to a long Lee Wallace ball before trying to chip Fraser, only for the Caley keeper to tip over.

Kingston was next to try his luck when he went on a mazy run then shot over from 15 yards.

But Inverness were far from out of it and had two chances to level before the break.

First, McBain's defence splitting pass sent Andy Barrowman clear in 23 minutes but Kello raced out to block.

Then 11 minutes later Imrie found space inside the box to have two drives saved by the Hearts keeper.

Kingston headed a Jamie Mole cross over at the other end as Jambos pushed for a second goal. The attitude of the Hearts players, given their off-field issues, was exemplary.

No one typified this more than Stewart who drove his side forward with the sort of spirit that will surely see him secure a regular place in the Scotland squad. Kello too was earning his corn and produced another stunning stop to deny McBain from point-blank range in 58 minutes after Marius Zaliukas misjudged a header.

Kingston then missed a good chance to put the game to bed after sub Christian Nade played him in, just failing to get enough of a touch on the ball to beat Fraser.

The Ghanaian saw one final attempt stopped by Fraser and while Hearts had a few nervy moments before the end they held on for a vital win.


WILLIAM COLLUM was strict and at times over-fussy in a game played in the right spirit. The whistler wasn't slow to dish out yellow cards, booking five players in total when a stern talking to would sometimes have done. But overall he kept a firm grip on an open and exciting match. Rating: 7/10.



Shots On 4

Shots Off 7

Offside 3

Fouls 13

Corners 7

Bookings 3


Shots On 5

Shots Off 5

Offside 3

Fouls 8

Corners 8

Bookings 2

Taken from the Sunday Mail

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