London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Sun 31 Oct 2010 Hearts 0 Kilmarnock 3 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Daily Record ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Jim Jefferies 2nd <-auth Gary Ralston auth-> Steve O'Reilly
[F Wright 45] ;[C Sammon 80] ;[A Eremenko 82]
7 of 008 -----L SPL H

Hearts 0 Kilmarnock 3

Nov 1 2010 By Gary Ralston

MR INCREDIBLE joined Superman, Spiderman, Wolverine, Captain America and Batman and Robin among the Kilmarnock fans at Tynecastle yesterday. But all the super heroes down Gorgie way were kitted out in yellow and blue. Killie supporters dressed for the occasion in the Roseburn Stand and this was a Hallowe'en horror show for the Jambos, who passed up the chance to go third outright in the SPL.

Mixu Paatelainen's men, on the other hand, leapt from the foot of the table to join Aberdeen in eighth with all the assuredness of The Hulk popping out for his rolls and morning paper.

This result was as unexpected as the sight of Jack Sparrow dancing down the Tynecastle steps at full-time waving a plastic cutlass in the air as visiting fans decided to play it for laughs.

Unfortunately for Hearts, so did their defence. Jim Jefferies' side were the masters of their own downfall as their defensive frailties - coupled with an inability to break down Killie's rearguard - cost them the chance to make it three league wins in a row.

They knocked and knocked, like expectant guisers at a skinflint's front door, but the outstanding Frazer Wright and Co didn't hand out so much as a monkey nut.

It was man of the match Wright who set Killie on the road to only their third SPL win of the season, a surprising statistic given how well Paatelainen's side have performed in the current campaign.

The defender nodded them in front in first-half injury-time as the Jambos defence stood and watched. Jefferies' side were then picked off on the counter-attack late on as Conor Sammon and Alexei Eremenko sealed the win for Killie.

Thankfully, this was a match that passed without incident for our men in black. Even Dougie McDonald, caught up in so much controversy these past few days, had an easy time as he patrolled between the dugouts as the fourth official.

There was only one moment of potential controversy in an open, engaging game that was well controlled by Stevie O'Reilly.

That came early in the second half when the whistler and assistant Gordon Middleton correctly agreed Killie defender Ben Gordon's hand was not in an unnatural position when a cross from Suso Santana hit it in the box.

Hearts fans howled their outrage but most in the crowd of 13,056 had left the stadium quietly by the time O'Reilly blew for time up, knowing their team had been well defeated.

Yet there was little between the sides before Wright rose unchallenged from 16 yards to connect with a Jamie Hamill free-kick from the right. He gave former team-mate Kevin Kyle and Darren Barr the slip before sending a header high past keeper Marian Kello.

Hearts skipper Marius Zaliukas had cannoned an effort off Calum Elliot and wide before knocking over a header from Rudi Skacel's cross. In between those efforts, Ruben Palazuelos grazed the post with a left-foot strike.

For their part, Liam Kelly volleyed wide for Killie and Mehdi Taouil was twice denied by Kello, with the keeper's fingertip save around the post after only seven minutes especially memorable. Hearts controlled the bulk of possession after the break but Wright and Manuel Pascali were not for budging in the centre of Paatelainen's organised defence.

Hearts failed to penetrate from wide areas and their range of passing was poor. They were restricted mostly to shots from distance and Cammy Bell held a shot from Skacel comfortably. The Rugby Park keeper then did well to gather a fierce drive from Adrian Mrowiec at the second attempt, with Stephen Elliott ready to pounce.

Elliott and defender Craig Thomson had been introduced at the interval by Jefferies to add fresh impetus in the attack - and the former Sunderland frontman was at the end of the best move the Jambos created all afternoon. Skacel found some joy against full-back Hamill for once and his low cutback was met first time by Elliot, but his shot scraped the bar before ruffling the roof of the net.

Suso also blazed over from 10 yards when he should have at least found the target and frontman Kyle had an effort cleared off the line by Wright when he had threatened to carry the ball, keeper and half the Killie team into the net. However, despite controlling most of the play, Hearts looked vulnerable on the counter and Eremenko had a well-struck shot from 25 yards turned round the post. Mahamadou Sissoko also nodded over from point-blank range after his team-mates had swept up the field and won a corner.

The more restless the Hearts fans grew the more likely it seemed Killie could capitalise - and they duly put the game out of sight in 79 minutes. Sub Sammon latched on to a terrific through ball from Hamill and stroked his shot under Kello.

Two minutes later, you would more easily have tempted Hearts fans to go dooking in a vat of hydrochloric acid than convinced them the Jambos could take something from the game when Killie added a third.

It came from Eremenko, who has the physique of a pub league footballer but the touch of a Serie A star.

The Finn didn't hang around when Zaliukas toiled to clear a long ball. He worked the ball on to his right foot and curled a magnificent shot high into the corner of Kello's net from 25 yards.

At the other end, behind Bell's goal, Spiderman was almost swinging from the rafters in delight as Woody from Toy Story completed a celebratory menage a trois with John and Edward.

Down below, Paatelainen punched the air with joy. Yesterday marked the first day of winter but his steps were already full of spring.

Taken from the Daily Record

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