London Hearts Supporters Club

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Csaba Laszlo <-auth None auth-> Charlie Richmond
Balogh Janos [S Fletcher 14] Soulemayne Bamba
6 of 021 ----- L SPL A

Hibernian 1 Hearts 0

Hibernian took all three points in an action packed Edinburgh derby this afternoon, a first Derby win as manager for Mixu Paatelainen – and a win that will go a long way towards his sides bid to remain in the top six. A first half goal from Steven Fletcher was the difference in a game that had it all, the day ending very differently for the striker who had seen a red card the last time these sides met.

Mixu Paatelainen made just one change from the side that defeated Hamilton last time out, Rob Jones recovered from injury and talking the place of youngster Darren McCormack who had been injured in the last game. There was a place on the bench for a fit again Ian Murray, while Sol Bamba found himself moved to take up the right-back slot vacated by McCormack.

image Hearts got the action underway in the Leith sunshine and they had an early chance to put Hibernian under pressure when Rosa tripped Wallace not far from the home penalty area. Aguiar’s free kick looked to pick out Karipidis but Jones got his head to the ball first to clear. The visitors were unlucky not to make the early breakthrough when Driver got beyond Bamba on the left before cutting the ball back to Stewart, who was only inches away from scoring with his low shot. That early chance jolted Hibernian into life and soon after they too went agonisingly close to scoring. Derek Riordan cut inside from the left wing before curling a stunning right-foot from 35 yards that crashed back off the junction of bar and post with goalkeeper Balogh well beaten.

Four minutes later the Easter Road side did however make the breakthrough. Rosa started the move when he cleverly switched play to pick out O’Brien on the right wing, the Irishman cut back onto his left foot, wrong footing Wallace, before picking out Fletcher with a stunning cross that was glanced over the top of Balogh into the Hearts net for the striker’s 8th goal of the campaign.

Hibernian were now applying a lot of pressure onto the Hearts defence and Balogh had to save a fine in-swinging free kick from Rankin with Fletcher and Nish in close attendance. Hearts however were almost gifted an equaliser when Bamba was woefully short with a pass-back to his goalkeeper, Nade seemed set to score only for Szamotulski to save his team-mates blushes with a stunning block at his feet.

On 23 minutes Rosa opened up the play with a cross field pass to Riordan, the striker only had one thing in mind and that was to have a shot at goal. He adjusted his body and struck the ball first time but was just off target on this occasion. Hearts made a surprising early change when Driver was replaced by Mikoliunas on 26 minutes - the winger did not appear to pick up a knock during open play but if it was not due to an injury it appeared to be a strange decision.

Hibernian were creating a number of good chances and they went close to doubling their lead when Fletcher flicked on a Riordan corner - Hogg was inches away from and both teams were fully committed in the tackle, one resulting in Aguiar having to receive treatment following a crunching collision with Hogg.

Seconds before the half time saw Hibernian hit Hearts on the counter with Nish slicing open the Hearts defence with a stunning pass for Fletcher. It became a race between striker and goalkeeper Balogh - and the Hibs man won before being cynically taken down. After a delay to allow the goalkeeper treatment, referee Richmond had no option but to show a red card to the Hearts man. Csaba Laszlo sacrificed Aguiar to bring on substitute goalkeeper MacDonald but seconds later there was trouble at the other end for Sol Bamba.

In the first of four minutes time added on Hearts pushed forward on the counter attack and Stewart played the ball through to Nade - he was taken down by a clumsy tackle from Bamba. Referee Richmond produced his second red card and the teams were both playing with ten men. From the resulting free kick from Stewart, Szamotulski produced a stunning save to touch the shot onto the post before Hibernian raced up the field and won themselves a corner. The frantic action was only stopped by the referee Richmond’s whistle for the break.

Few could argue Hibernian deserved their lead going into the break, they had created a lot of chances to increase their advantage but Hearts too had looked dangerous. Hibs could feel aggrieved at the decision to send off Bamba with Hogg and Jones level with the Hearts man - but at the half way stage it was still all to play for.

Half Time: Hibernian 1 Heart of Midlothian 0

Unsurprisingly Hibernian made a change during the interval with Van Zanten replacing Nish. Nish would feel disappointed at having been taken off but it was more to do with the loss of Bamba rather than his own performance.

image The play resumed exactly where it had left off with the home side on the attack. Hibernian won an early corner with Hogg heading over Riordan’s cross. On 50 minutes Szamotulski had to punch clear a clever free kick from Stewart before the visitors won a series of corner kicks that never really had the Hibernian goal under threat. The visitors were pushing hard however and soon after Jonsson connected with a Stewart free kick but could not direct the ball on target. The visitors bench looked worried when Neilson went down following a head knock that required treatment, but he was soon back in the thick of the action.

Hibernian pushed forward in search of a second goal and were unlucky when Hogg, who had remained up following a corner kick, smashed a shot across the face of goal before Riordan’s cross was blocked by Neilson for a corner kick. A second change of the afternoon saw O’Brien replaced by Keenan, meanwhile Jones required treatment following a knock. A terrible back pass from Karipidis was almost punished by Riordan, however substitute goalkeeper MacDonald cleared the ball in the nick of time. Hibernian should have scored on 72 minutes when Riordan sent Fletcher clean through on goal but the striker opted to take it early and MacDonald turned the ball around his post for a corner kick.

Hearts were becoming desperate and made their final change when Mrowiec replaced Stewart with just 15 minutes remaining. All the pressure was coming from the visitors now and they went very close to an equaliser when Szamotulski came for a free kick played deep into the penalty area only to slip, with the goalkeeper stranded Nade headed towards goal and he could not believe his luck as the ball struck the cross bar.

Riordan was withdrawn to allow Hibernian to bring on Murray in the closing stages – both players getting a fantastic reception from the home supporters. Three minutes of additional time was played and despite Hearts throwing almost everyone forward they could not create a shooting opportunity and Hibernian held on to claim a magnificent victory.

Hibernian: Szamotulski, Hogg, Jones, Fletcher, Nish, O’Brien, Stevenson, Rankin, Bamba, Rosa, Riordan. Subs: Ma-Kalambay, Van Zanten, Murray, Keenan, Thicot, Chisholm, Johansson.

Heart of Midlothian: Balogh, Neilson, Wallace, Karipidis, Palazuelos, Aguiar, Driver, Nade, Obua, Jonsson, Stewart. Subs: MacDonald, Zaliukas, Mrowiec, Mikoliunas, Cesnauskis, Elliot, McGowan.

Referee: Charlie Richmond.

Attendance: 15,091

Taken from

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