London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Sat 15 Nov 2008 Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0 Hearts 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type News of the World ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Csaba Laszlo <-auth Alasdair Fraser auth-> Mike Tumilty
14 of 020 Bruno Aguiar 22 L SPL A


By Alasdair Fraser, 15/11/2008

Scorer: HEARTS: Aguiar

BRUNO AGUIAR produced the game’s only true piece of artistry to claim the points for Hearts — then declared he’d take an ugly win over a thing of beauty any day.

The talented Portuguese playmaker capped a stunning first- half display with an immense strike from close to 30 yards.

Aguiar said: “I’ve been at the club for three years now and can’t remember a spell like this.

“We are a solid team now. Maybe we didn’t play fantastic football, but I prefer wins to beautiful play. We played tremendously against Hibs yet only drew.

“We are in third position, so we are happy now.”

Hearts climbed into the SPL’s third European spot at Dundee United’s expense after providing strong evidence of burgeoning spirit and resilience under Csaba Laszlo.

The Hearts coach said: “It might not have been the prettiest performance, but I always emphasise the importance of being solid behind the ball and quick and sharp in midfield — then results will come.

“It is something that the team has needed to develop and I am glad we are making progress now.”

After a game that that fizzed and flowed throughout, Caley Thistle were left with just one win from eight at home.

Craig Brewster’s men — the same 11 who had finished the midweek match againt Falkirk strongly to rescue a point — enjoyed a fair bit of possession without managing to trouble away keeper Janos Balogh.

For Hearts, Robbie Neilson earned his first start since April after injury, while Michael Stewart made a fleeting return between suspensions.

Sparks often fly on Hearts’ long trips to Inverness and the opening exchanges promised much.

There was a real verve to Caley Thistle’s opening approach, with the hosts’ hunger evident after just four minutes.

Ian Black swept wide to Barry Wilson on the right flank and the 36- year-old’s cross flew only just too high for Andy Barrowman, prowling at the far post.

A minute later, Hearts threatened with Eggert Jonnson’s ball into the box miscued on the volley by Aguiar, before it spun to nearby Andy Driver for a similarly meek swipe.

Black’s lively start was curtailed soon after, with the midfielder complaining of impaired vision after taking the ball in the face.

Aguiar began to make his considerable presence felt with the Portuguese midfielder’s mobility troubling the Highlanders ahead of a stunning opener after 22 minutes.

Gliding on to a Driver pass and nipping inside Russell Duncan, the 27-year-old showed great technique as he sent a wonderfully-controlled 30-yard shot low into the corner of Ryan Esson’s net.

Brewster had emphasised the importance of grabbing the first goal and it took his side some time to recover composure.

A late flurry before half-time, though, saw two penalty appeals waved away, the first when Stewart seemed to catch home skipper Grant Munro in the box. Then in injury-time, Neilson did well to scramble off the line after both Barrowman and Adam Rooney had clear opportunities to score.

Lee Wallace’s challenge then floored Rooney in the area, with referee Mike Tumilty leaving the field to a chorus of boos for ignoring loud appeals.

There was more drama, early after the restart, with Christian Nade’s fierce strike from 25 yards tipped over the bar by Esson.

The former Aberdeen keeper was called upon again a minute later as he touched over a dropping Driver side-foot shot from outside the area.

The second half became a tale of home possession and Hearts soaking up the pressure without much need to Balogh to get involved.

Caley boss Brewster complained: “We’ve got to be disappointed to lose.

“I thought our players put a lot into the game, but we could probably have gone to midnight and not scored.

“There was nothing between the teams, but when you lose a goal to Hearts they are a difficult team to break down.

“They have the players who can shut you out and that’s what they did.”

But Brewster believes TV pictures may show his side were due a spot-kick late in the first half. He added: “Adam Rooney and the rest of the lads were adamant he should have had a penalty, so we’ll see.”

INVERNESS CT: Esson, Tokely, Proctor, Munro, Hastings, Wilson (Vigurs 59), Black (McBain 16), Duncan, Imrie, Barrowman (Wood 63), Rooney. Subs not used: Fraser, McBain, McAllister, Sutherland, Wood, Duff, Vigurs.

HEARTS: Balogh, Neilson, Zaliukas, Berra, Wallace, Jonnson, Stewart, Aguiar, Karipidis, Driver (Obua 86), Nade (Makela 90). Subs not used: Kello, Palazuelos, Mole, Thomson, Brown.

News Of The World

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