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<-Page <-Team Sat 04 Oct 2008 Hearts 1 Kilmarnock 2 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type News of the World ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Csaba Laszlo <-auth John Mcgarry auth-> Craig Thomson
[M Taouil 18] ;[C Bryson 81]
2 of 012 Laryea Kingston 33 L SPL H


John McGarry, 04/10/2008

Scorers: HEARTS: Kingston KILMARNOCK: Taouil, Bryson

JIM JEFFERIES will give Craig Bryson the licence to take the Mickey out of SPL defences — so long as he does the donkey work too.

Bryson capped a fine individual display with a memorable winner to send Killie third in the table.

His performance reminded boss Jeff of former Hearts star Colin Cameron in his pomp and was a welcome tonic for the manager after a below-par shift from his men at Inverness last week.

Mehdi Taouil’s peach of a free-kick was levelled by Laryea Kingston before half-time but Bryson’s late strike took the points west.

Jeff said: “Craig was one of the ones who got it from me last week.

“I told him he had to track back if he wanted to make those forward runs and thankfully he listened.

“That goal reminded me of what Colin Cameron used to do for me so often at Hearts. He showed great determination to get there and great composure to finish as he still had the keeper to beat.”

Bryson was glad to hear Jeff’s words of praise after getting the sharp end of his tongue last week.

The 21-year-old grinned: “It’s a nice compliment as Colin was some player in his day.

“We had to get the win after last week and prove it was just a blip.

“People were saying our bubble had burst and we knew this would be a hard place to come.

“Last week I tried to get into the box but maybe didn’t track back and I’m just glad the gaffer stood by me.

“What was it like after last week? Terrible. It’s the gaffer isn’t it?”

The margin of victory might have been narrow but that shouldn’t cloud the fact the Ayrshire side thoroughly merited the three points — and then some.

Hearts did reshape and regroup after somehow going in level at the break, only for Killie to show great tenacity and character to come back at them in the final quarter and claim the win.

The only surprise about Kilmarnock’s opening goal was that it took them as long as 19 minutes to register it.

They’d been right in the home side’s faces from the first whistle, never conceding an inch and capitalising on an obvious nervousness in the home ranks.

Jamie Mole scampered back to the edge of his box to try and stop Bryson in his tracks but a lack of timing in the tackle came with the double cost of a free-kick in a prime position and a yellow card.

Taouil’s right-footer was just about perfection, clearing the wall and arching high into the top corner with Marian Kello grasping fresh air.

Hearts were disjointed and disorganised.

That was clearly illustrated by Lee Wallace and Saulius Mikoliunas’ comical attempt to work a basic throw-in which ended with the latter knocking the ball straight out of play while attempting to return it to his team-mate. That they somehow managed to drag themselves level on 34 minutes was nothing short of astonishing.

Michael Stewart’s speculative drive cannoned off the leg of Bryson and into the path of Kingston.

The little Ghanian midfielder didn’t need a second invitation as he fired low into Alan Combe’s bottom corner with a sweetly-struck side-footer.

Killie were rocked but almost bounced back before the interval. Taouil played in Jamie Hamill with a disguised angled pass but the stand-in full-back dumped his effort in the side net.

Hearts were measurably better in the second half and given the number of half-chances they created and missed they might even have sneaked an unlikely victory.

Skipper Christophe Berra bravely blocked Conor Sammon’s close-range effort then Manuel Pascali did the same to Mikoliunas at the other end.

Kingston took more responsibility as the game wore on. Twice he came close to putting his side in front but he lashed over on the hour after Stewart’s cut back then fired into the advancing body of Combe on 76 minutes after being played in by Mikoliunas.

Like Combe, Killie collectively stood up to be counted to snatch victory in the final stages.

It was a sweetly worked goal but Stewart won’t be happy at losing his man in the build-up.

Bryson’s brave header forward sent substitute Donovan Simmonds away.

The young Englishman did well to hold off Berra and flick the ball back into the path of Bryson who buried a left-footer low past Kello to ensure Jefferies has now only lost one in nine against his former club.

Hearts almost salvaged a point in injury time but Kingston’s header from Stewart’s cut-back dropped a foot wide.

After a bright start Hearts are now back to their under-achieving, underperforming old selves.

As if not big enough in itself, their trip to Easter Road in a fortnight now takes on mammoth significance.

Boss Csaba Laszlo groaned: “I don’t like to criticise players as it’s important we stick together.

“We need to get our confidence back in a couple of weeks. In the first four or five games the team did what I wanted.

“But against Dundee United and in the first half here we went back to the past and we didn’t play good football.

“For me it’s not the best to fight and run and put the balls up front all the time and not play football.

“We gave a lot of possibilities and opportunities to our opponents.”

HEARTS: Kello, Wallace, Berra, Karipidis, Mikoliunas (Makela 87), Tullberg (Nade 62) Kingston, Mole (Ksanavicius 54) Thomson, Stewart, Zaliukas. Subs not used: Balogh, Palazuelos, Aguiar, Rapnik.

KILMARNOCK: Combe, Lilley, Wright, Ford, Bryson, Taouil (Skelton 85), Invincibile, Fernandez, Hamill, Sammon (Simmonds 70) Pascali. Subs not used: Rascle, Murray, Gibson, Flannigan, Cox.

News Of The World

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