London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Sat 25 Sep 2010 Hearts 0 Motherwell 2 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Daily Record ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Jim Jefferies 2nd <-auth Gary Ralston auth-> Mike Tumilty
[N Blackman 58] ;[J Sutton 70]
9 of 010 -----L SPL H

SPL: Hearts 0 Motherwell 2

Sep 27 2010 Gary Ralston

HEARTS will hope European battle fatigue hits Rangers to counter the effects of their own wearying civil war with Vladimir Romanov.

Jambos boss Jim Jefferies already looks resigned to more energy-sapping squabbles with the club owner, who has cut off his nose to spite his face so many times he now stands accused of being Scottish football's equivalent of The Sphinx.

Hearts also have a cat in hell's chance of realising their ambitions this season if the meddling over Marius Zaliuskas continues.

Jefferies, like Elizabeth Taylor's seventh husband, can't say he wasn't warned - after all he was handed the job when Romanov decided to axe Csaba Laszlo four days before last season's Co-op Cup semi-final.

But for now, their chances of consolidating third position have disappeared as they continue to search for their first home win in the SPL this season, with Rangers set to arrive at Gorgie on Saturday lunchtime following their Champions League exploits against Bursaspor.

Club skipper Zaliukas watched his side's ultimately tame surrender to Well from behind the dugout after becoming the latest player to fall foul of Romanov for refusing to commit to a new deal.

It was uncomfortable viewing for the Lithuanian, out of contract in December, as midfielder Eggert Jonsson was twice embarrassed by Chris Humphrey at left-back for Well's second-half strikes.

Another holding midfielder, Adrian Mrowiec, was forced into a makeshift defensive role and posted missing with the rest of his rearguard as Nick Blackman and John Sutton scored easily to claim third spot for Craig Brown's classy kids.

There was some debate afterwards when Jefferies admitted he had tried to sort out the left-back situation a couple of weeks ago "with you know who".

He was referencing Romanov for not doing enough to bring in cover for crocked Lee Wallace after earlier confirming Zaliukas had been fit to play. Winger David Templeton said: "We were without Lee and Marius and it's difficult when you have two of your best players missing. Hopefully, we can get Marius back and move on from here.

"We conceded a couple of soft goals against Motherwell as we did against Falkirk in the Cup. We need to sort it out, keep clean sheets and hopefully pick up some good wins.

"I don't know why we've struggled at home in the league, although we've played some decent sides in St Johnstone, Dundee United and Motherwell. We'll soon pick up wins at Tynecastle and the sooner the better.

"We face a massive game against Rangers and I'd love to beat them because it could kickstart our season here. Anything can happen, especially as they are playing in the Champions League this week. So hopefully they'll be tired and we'll take advantage."

this week. So hopefully they'll be tired and we'll take advantage."

Templeton's exit inadvertently swung the game in favour of Well as Templeton's exit inadvertently swung the game in favour of Well as Hearts looked for a lift, on the field and off, from the 56th-minute introduction of Rudi Skacel. Well had team tagged Templeton to quell his threat and his departure freed Humphrey from his defensive duties to run more directly at stand-in skipper Jonsson, who never looked comfortable at full-back.

Within 60 seconds he had been turned inside out, with Blackman running unchecked into the six-yard box to meet the delivery and guide a volley beyond keeper Marian Kello.

Worse was to follow for Jonsson, who failed to put in a tackle on Humphrey outside the box in 69 minutes, then spent the rest of the winger's mazy run trying desperately not to trip him in the box. It was all to no avail as the new dad cut along the goal-line and delivered a low cross for Sutton to tap in.

Hearts were one-dimensional after the opener, lumping long balls forward for Kevin Kyle which allowed Stephen Craigan and Mark Reynolds to step off and focus on winning the second balls which they did too easily.

The Jambos had too many players playing too far out of position as Ryan Stevenson was forced to step back alongside Ruben Palazuelos into the centre of the park, only for the game to pass him by. Well deserved their win for their second-half display alone.

The first half was one to forget, the highlight of which was a sweeping five-man Well move on the counter that resulted in Jamie Murphy steering a curling shot on to the post. Kyle also knocked a header on to the roof of the net from a Templeton delivery.

The majority of fans inside Tynecastle screamed for a penalty three minutes from the interval - frustration is causing them to scream at most things down Gorgie Road these days - but Craigan was guilty of only being strong in the tackle as Calum Elliot crumbled in the box.

Templeton added: "The first half was even but we didn't raise our tempo high enough in the second half or take the game to Motherwell and they ended up the better team and winners. We're disappointed because I still thought we had a good enough team out there to win."

Brown is a Fir Park phenomenon, his passion and enthusiasm as unbridled in 2010 as it was when he was leading Scotland to Euro 96 and France 98.

He said: "It's mandatory to have three under-21 players as part of your match-day squad in the SPL. We had nine out there, four of them starters.

"I didn't think it was a penalty, by the way, but I feared at half-time we could live to regret that miss by Jamie and I told the players to make sure that didn't happen. In the end, our goalkeeper had only one save to make."

Jefferies said: "The first goal in the game was always going to be crucial and it gave them something to hang on to.

"Morgaro Gomis scored a great 30-yard goal here last month for Dundee United and there's not a lot you can do about that but this time their chances came from our mistakes.

"Eggert isn't a natural left-back but at the first goal we had enough defenders in the box when the cross came over to prevent the goal."

Taken from the Daily Record

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