London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2008-09--> All for 20090117
<-Page <-Team Sat 17 Jan 2009 Kilmarnock 0 Hearts 2 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Scotsman ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Csaba Laszlo <-auth Barry Anderson auth-> Charlie Richmond
7 of 027 Bruno Aguiar 61 ;Hristos Karipidis 80 L SPL A

Jambos in smash and grab raid

Barry Anderson
at Rugby Park
HEARTS - Aguiar 61, Karipidis 80
PRICELESS opportunism saw Hearts prise three points from Ayrshire following second-half goals from Bruno Aguiar and Christos Karipidis.

Despite swirling wind and rain, the visitors prevailed by converting twice in the second half and leaving Kilmarnock to curse their own profligacy.

Jim Jefferies' side dominated the first 45 minutes and created several openings but were forced into submission after the interval. Aguiar completed the most flowing move of the game with a vicious strike from distance before Karipidis headed the second ten minutes from full-time.

It was a much improved second-half display from Hearts, which also owed much to some dogged defending by Christophe Berra and his colleagues. Following last week's Scottish Cup elimination of Hibs, the Edinburgh club appear to have perfected the art of timely goalscoring in alignment with assured defending.

Csaba Laszlo, the Hearts manager, conducted five changes for this fixture, although three were enforced. Marius Zaliukas and Lee Wallace were precluded by suspension, while goalkeeper Janos Balogh was left cursing a training injury and was replaced by Jamie MacDonald. Aguiar's return was to prove pivotal. Jefferies went with three alterations in the hope of supplementing the victory he enjoyed when the teams last met at Tynecastle.

After a lively if somewhat untidy start, the hosts began to utilise a useful attacking outlet in Danny Invincibile. He was confronted by Hearts' Jason Thomson, playing out of position at left-back, and twice scampered clear of the defender during the early exchanges without delivering a telling final ball.

There was consternation in the Hearts technical area on 26 minutes when Michael Stewart came off worst in a 50-50 challenge with Kilmarnock's Frazer Wright. The centre-back appeared to win the ball when sliding in with his opponent just outside the centre circle, but he also caught Stewart in the knee. The Scotland internationalist recovered after extensive treatment.

The visitors survived concerted pressure on the half-hour mark when only a series of blocks inside the penalty area prevented Kilmarnock moving ahead following a corner. Berra then caught Allan Russell with a decisive tackle as he sped off towards goal, and seconds later David Fernandez spurned a precious opening with a wayward shot from 18 yards with only MacDonald between the Spaniard and goal. It was Russell, however, who stood accused of the most blatant profligacy on 38 minutes.

From Garry Hay's clipped cross, the forward evaded all markers and looked certain to score at the back post but succeeded only in nodding the ball wide of goal much to MacDonald's relief. Half-time arrived with most inside Rugby Park perplexed as to why this game remained goalless.

If Hearts were to prise anything out of the teeming Ayrshire rain, their second half performance would require more invention and force. Kilmarnock showed enough movement and craft to suggest that they would remain difficult to suppress despite deteriorating conditions, which hardly lent themselves to conducive football.

The game resumed with further home dominance but just after the hour mark Hearts effected a beautiful flowing move complemented by a sumptuous finish from Aguiar. A precise exchange of seven passes between Aguiar, who started the move, Andy Driver and Michael Stewart ended with the Portuguese thumping a ferocious drive beyond Alan Combe from 20 yards. That it was Hearts' first shot on target only underlined Kilmarnock's previous superiority, but the smash-and-brag nature of the goal was unlikely to bother Laszlo.

Russell should have converted Hay's cross at the back post moments later and, facing a resolute defence, Kilmarnock's task in seeking an equaliser became evermore unenviable as the match progressed. Mehdi Taouil had a free-kick comfortably collected by MacDonald before Karipidis secured victory for his side. Stewart's deep free-kick was redirected towards the six-yard box by Berra and, with the home defence inexplicably static, the Greek headed home from close range with consummate ease.

MacDonald showed impressive reactions to deny substitute Willie Gibson and Combe saved a Christian Nade shot with his legs as the afternoon drew to a close. Shouts of "ole" from the visiting support masked their side's deficiencies earlier in the day, but the saying that goals change games has rarely been more applicable for Hearts, who finished the game in command.

Kilmarnock: (4-4-2): Combe; Fowler, Ford, Wright, Hay; Invincibile, Bryson, Pascali, Taouil; Russell, Fernandez. Subs: Rascle, Murray, Gibson 74 (for Invincibile), Skelton, Flannigan, Nolan, Simmonds 72 (for Russell).

Hearts (4-4-1-1): MacDonald; Neilson, Jonsson, Berra, Thomson; Obua, Stewart, Karipidis, Driver; Aguiar; Nade. Subs: Kello, Mrowiec, Cesnauskis 73 (for Driver), Templeton, Rapnik, Glen 79 (for Aguiar), Brown.

Referee: Charlie Richmond.

Attendance: 5469.

Taken from the Scotsman

<-Page <-Team Sat 17 Jan 2009 Kilmarnock 0 Hearts 2 Team-> Page->
| Home | Contact Us | Credits | © |