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<-Srce <-Type Sporting Life ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Csaba Laszlo <-auth Gavin Mccafferty auth-> Charlie Richmond
Balogh Janos [S Fletcher 14] Soulemayne Bamba
20 of 021 ----- L SPL A

Hibernian 1 Hearts 0

Gavin McCafferty, PA Sport

Steven Fletcher earned Mixu Paatelainen his first derby victory as Hibernian manager after a controversial Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash at Easter Road.

Fletcher guided home Alan O'Brien's cross before both sides were reduced to 10 men during more than seven minutes of first-half injury-time.

Michael Stewart and Christian Nade hit the woodwork for Hearts but Hibs held out to strengthen their top-six hopes.

Hearts' fightback proved too little, too late as Hibs initially dealt with Sol Bamba's red card better than their rivals coped with the dismissal of Janos Balogh.

Hearts had started positively and Stewart sidefooted Andrew Driver's low cross just past the near post before Hibs almost snatched a 10th-minute lead against the run of play.

Derek Riordan cut inside from the left and thundered a 30-yard strike off the post with Balogh motionless.

Hibs had only four minutes to wait for the opener.

Denes Rosa's diagonal ball found O'Brien and the right winger measured a cross over the head of Eggert Jonsson, who had retained his place in central defence despite the return of Marius Zaliukas from a four-match ban. Fletcher did not catch his header right but the ball looped off his shoulder and over Balogh.

Hibs grew in confidence but right-back Bamba nearly threw away the lead with a dreadful backpass. Nade latched on to the ball but Grzegorz Szamotuslki came off his line to block.

Hearts suffered another blow when Driver limped off with Saulius Mikoliunas taking his place and they found it hard to break through.

Hearts kept pressing though and Lee Wallace set up Nade with a square pass after a one-two with Ruben Palazuelos, but the striker could not make a proper connection and Jones blocked.

The game then took a dramatic turn. Balogh was the first to go after coming well out of his box to bring down Fletcher, who had been released by Colin Nish's pass from inside his own half.

Referee Charlie Richmond appeared uncertain of what action to take during a long delay as Balogh received treatment, but he got the decision right after consulting his assistant.

Bruno Aguiar was sacrificed for replacement keeper Jamie MacDonald but Richmond soon evened up the numbers with a more contentious call.

Bamba brought down Nade after Stewart had played the ball inside the Hibs defender, and Richmond deemed it a goalscoring opportunity despite the Hearts striker being out wide with Jones and Chris Hogg covering.

Stewart had been booked for pushing a Hibs player during a chaotic interlude as the referee again looked for assistance, this time over his headphones. But the midfielder almost levelled when Szamotulski tipped his 30-yard free-kick on to the post.

Striker Nish made way for right-back David van Zanten at half-time but Hibs still had a more offensive formation, effectively a 4-2-3, as Nade continued to lead the Hearts line on his own.

Szamotulski punched away two Stewart free-kicks from the left but Hearts were not creating anything from open play as Hibs worked hard to close down space.

O'Brien was replaced by the more defence-minded Joe Keenan before MacDonald kept Hearts in the game with a last-ditch save from Fletcher.

The Scotland striker beat the offside trap to run on to Riordan's delicate ball over the top, but MacDonald palmed the ball wide as of his near post.

Hearts brought on Adrian Mrowiec for Stewart and belatedly pushed Hibs back.

Szamotulski came for Karipidis' long free-kick but failed to collect and Nade looped a header on to the top of the bar after Hogg had headed up in the air.

Ian Murray returned from a two-month lay-off to take Riordan's place as Hibs survived five minutes of injury time, although not without a nervous moment when Mikoliunas's inswinging cross narrowly evaded Jonsson.


Hibernian Szamotulski, Bamba, Hogg, Jones, Stevenson, O'Brien (Keenan 69), Rosa, Rankin, Riordan (Murray 88), Nish (van Zanten 46), Fletcher.

Subs Not Used: Ma-Kalambay, Thicot, Chisholm, Johansson.

Sent Off: Bamba (45).

Goals: Fletcher 14.

Hearts Balogh, Neilson, Karipidis, Jonsson, Lee Wallace, Obua, Stewart (Mrowiec 76), Palazuelos, Driver (Mikoliunas 26), Aguiar (MacDonald 45), Nade.

Subs Not Used: Cesnauskis, Elliot, Zaliukas, McGowan.

Sent Off: Balogh (45).

Booked: Stewart.

Att: 15,091

Ref: C Richmond (Scotland).

Taken from

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