London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2008-09--> All for 20090304
<-Page <-Team Wed 04 Mar 2009 Hearts 2 Motherwell 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Daily Mail ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Csaba Laszlo <-auth John Greechan auth-> Brian Winter
[S Hughes 76]
15 of 019 Andrew Driver 50 ;Ruben Palazuelos 92 L SPL H

War of words as late hero Palazuelos has Laszlo fighters sitting pretty

John Greechan

Hearts. They might just be this year's Motherwell. Sure, they ain't half as pretty - but this result could go a long way to securing their place as Scotland's third force at the end of the season.

In extending their lead over the visitors to 12 points, Csaba Laszlo's men have at least seriously damaged Motherwell's hopes of finishing best of the rest in the SPL.

But boy did they leave it late to pinch this crucial win last night, Ruben Palazuelos striking two minutes into injury-time to send the home fans wild - and the visitors home without so much as a point to show from a typically tempestuous Tynecastle night.
Driver opens the scoring for the home side

In good Heart: Driver opens the scoring for the home side

A goal from Andrew Driver five minutes into the second half, the English-born Scotland wannabe capitalising on some woeful defending by Motherwell, put Hearts ahead. A long-range strike by Stephen Hughes inside the final quarterhour should have been enough to salvage a draw for the visitors - but Palazuelos broke their spirits in stoppage time.

Motherwell went into this fix-ture trailing Hearts by nine points, no insignificant gap in the race for a place in the Europa League (the re-branded UEFA Cup), but Mark McGhee's men could at least draw confidence from their league form.

Not since December 20 had they experienced defeat in the SPL, that 2-0 loss at New Douglas Park sending the losing side to joint bottom of the table.

They have certainly turned things around since. The visitors looked the more accomplished side in the opening exchanges, their front pairing of Cillian Sheridan and John Sutton causing all manner of problems for the ad-hoc Hearts central defence of Christos Karipidis and Eggert Jonsson.

With Hughes and Maros Klimpl setting the tempo from midfield, Motherwell took the game to their hosts, who seemed overly reliant on either inviting Lee Wallace to charge forward from left-back or hitting the occasional inviting ball in the direction of Driver.
Palazuelos celebrates his late winner

Red hot: Palazuelos celebrates his late winner

So, Hearts were no more than fleetingly dangerous. On-loan Celtic forward Sheridan pulled a couple of shots wide from decent positions and, when Sutton saw one of his efforts deflected behind, the resulting set-piece led to a moment of panic from Janos Balogh - and a piece of magic by Hughes.

Jim O'Brien's corner was flapped at by the goalkeeper and Hughes, meeting a bouncing ball just inside the box, crashed a right-footed shot off the bar. Hearts looked aimless in attack, on-loan Kaunas player Adrian Mrowiec being increasingly isolated in the lone striker's role.

Having escaped a caution for leaping with his studs up on Mark Reynolds early in the match, the forward was eventually booked with 33 minutes gone for a lunge at Klimpl - and was hooked 60 seconds later, Christian Nade cheered on by the frustrated home support.

The arrival of the big battering ram did add some muscle to the Hearts front line, although full-back Wallace remained their most potent attacking weapon, a shot from 20 yards just before the break forcing Graeme Smith into a fine save.

While Smith didn't look quite so clever at the Hearts opener, the goalie was far from the worst offender as the Motherwell defence committed the collective crime of simply assuming that Robbie Neilson's long throw-in into the box was somebody else's problem.
McGhee and Laszlo on the sidelines

Clash of the day: McGhee and Laszlo on the sidelines

At least three players seemed to leave the ball to each other and, amid the confusion, Driver nipped in to score a poacher's goal by nodding home from close range.

If the SFA can get the rules changed quickly enough, George Burley would surely find a space in his squad for a left-sided attacker who has now scored seven times this season.

Driver probably should have had a second when left one-on-one with Stephen Craigan, never a fair fight, but he hit the side-netting after skinning the central defender.

Craigan's night got considerably worse 1 5 minutes from time when he was stretchered off with a head knock after a clash with man-mountain Nade.

But at least his suffering wasn't in vain. From the free-kick, Hearts could only half clear the ball and Hughes - dangerous with his long-range shooting all night - rifled in another crisp effort, a deflection taking it past Balogh.

If anything, Motherwell looked more pleased when the fourth official indicated that there would be five minutes of injury time.

Needing the win, they honestly believed they could get it. But, when another long Neilson throw was only half cleared, Palazuelos pounced with a shot that deflected past Smith - putting Hearts five points clear of Dundee United in the process.
War of words erupts between bosses

McGhee accused his Hearts counterpart of launching a four-letter tirade at him during a touchline bust-up.

Laszlo hit back by saying that some of the insults thrown at him by McGhee could have ended up with the Fir Park gaffer in court — accused of causing a ‘war’ between the rivals.

The pair clashed just after the hour mark, McGhee revealing: ‘I’m quite upset and quite disappointed, to be honest.

‘I asked him what the problem was and he told me to **** off. There was a foul by one of our players — so what, it’s a foul.

'There are fouls in games all the time. But the reaction from their bench was as if there had been an assassination. I asked what it was all about and was told to **** off.

‘We’ve lost two goals from long throw-ins tonight. It’s one way to win a game. I’m satisfied with the way my team played.’

Motherwell dropped out of the top six, overtaken by Hibs, but McGhee insisted: ‘I think we’ll be back in the top six. I think we'll be fourth. We’ve no chance of being third now, but I still think we can be fourth — we’ll play Hearts again.

‘We came here determined to play and we did everything right apart from winning the game. I’m 100-per-cent pleased with the performance.’

Laszlo responded to McGhee’s complaint about the flare-up, which saw fourth official Crawford Allan forced to intervene, saying: ‘If he told you what I said, he must also told you what he said to me just before that.

‘I apologised but he didn’t. If he tells you something about me, he must also be a guy and tell you what he told me. He can also tell you what he told

me at 1-1. I won’t tell you what he said to me but, if I told you, we must go to the law.

‘Sometimes there could be a war between people for what he told me at 1-1. This is the difference. I’m not here to make a war. But he said things

to me, I apologised and he didn’t. Sometimes it’s hard for you to control your emotions.’

McGhee said skipper Stephen Craigan, stretchered off after an accidental clash of heads with Christian Nade, was showing no cause for concern.

Laszlo added: ‘I hope the Motherwell captain is OK. It was an accident, he looked dazed.’

<-Page <-Team Wed 04 Mar 2009 Hearts 2 Motherwell 1 Team-> Page->
| Home | Contact Us | Credits | © |