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7 of 028 Ryan Stevenson 39 ;Andy Webster 69L SPL H

Hearts 2 - 0 Hibernian: Jambos take spoils in opening derby

Published Date: 28 August 2011
By Alex Schweitzer-Thompson
at Tynecastle
Hearts made it eight games unbeaten in the Edinburgh derby by scoring once in each half to see off Hibs at Tynecastle.

The Tynecastle side created the vast majority of chances while Hibs created little in attack, and Ryan Stevenson and Andy Webster capitalised on some slack visitors' defending to hand the home side victory.

Early on, it appeared that a Hibs side previously lightweight in defence was strengthed by the centre back pairing of Sean O'Hanlon, just back from injury, and a confident Paul Hanlon. Both ensured that Hearts strikers Stephen Elliott and Ryan Stevenson would have to work hard to breach the opposition backline.

On nine minutes, Hearts caught the first sight of goal, but Ian Black finished an inventive free-kick move by slamming the ball high into the hordes of Hibs fans housed in the Roseburn Stand.

Osbourne came closer at the other end, but likewise could not find the target with a low drive that skidded wide on the slick surface.

Ian Black, typically for a derby, was in the thick of the action, and adopted a great position in on the edge of the six-yard box on the half hour, stealing ahead of his marker as Danny Grainger swung a cross in from the left. Black swiped at the ball too early, and his effort screwed wide of the left-hand post. Then, Jamie Hamill thumped a 20-yard drive wide of the same side of Stack's goal a couple of minutes later with both goalkeepers yet to handle the ball.

Hibs winger Sproule clipped a cross with the outside of his right boot towards O'Connor eight yards out, but the former Scotland striker could generate neither pace nor direction in his header.

Hearts opened the scoring on 39 minutes, after Black drew in two defenders and released the unmarked Jamie Hamill on the right edge of the box. Hamill's driven cross from the bye-line was perfectly weighted to meet the run of Ryan Stevenson to the near post, and Stevenson sidefooted into the gaping net to send the home fans wild.

Straight from the resulting kick-off, Callum Booth embarked on an enterprising run forward, and flicked the ball to Matt Thornhill on the edge of the 'D', but the Englishman, with space to shoot, failed to post an immediate response to Hearts' goal, placing his shot a couple of yards wide.

Shortly before half time, O'Hanlon fouled Kello at a cross, causing the Hearts goalkeeper to flounder on the surface and rendering Junior Agogo's shot - and subsequent penalty claim as Andy Webster blocked the effort with his arm - redundant.

Hibs emerged in defiant mood for the second half, but it was not long before Hearts regained the assuredness that had characterised the balance of play in the opening 45 minutes.

Stevenson's cross from the right guided past Stack but onto the left-hand post by Stephen Elliott, and Andy Driver followed up by shooting goalward only to see Stack race back and repel the shot with his foot.

Then, Hamill cut in from the right and chose to go alone, but was met by the outrushing Stack, the Hibs No.1 narrowing the angle to good effect and blocking Hamill's delayed shot.

Obua's header wide of the target soon after was the result of the continued pressure exerted by Hearts, and Hibs attempted to turn the tide by introducing new loan signing Lee Griffiths and Akpo Sodje, both whom slotted into attack alongside Garry O'Connor.

Midway through the second half, Andy Webster rose imperiously above his marker to double Hearts lead, the efforts of Sodje to clear coming just too late to prevent the ball crossing the line. The referee awarded the goal to Eggert Jonsson, who swept home the loose ball afterwards, but television replays showed the ball clearly crossed the line first time round. The home contingent among the 15,868 crowd drew comfort from the increased advantage and saw their side comfortably defend the two-goal advantage in the closing stages.

Hearts: Kello (MacDonald); Grainger, Webster, Zaliukas, Hamill; Obua (Jonsson), Black, Mrowiec, Driver; Stevenson (Novikovas); Elliott. Subs not used: Templeton, Skacel, Smith, Robinson.

Hibs: Stack; Booth, Hanlon, O'Hanlon, Towell; Thornhill (Scott), Murray, Osbourne, Sproule (Griffiths); O'Connor, Agogo (Sodje). Subs not used: Brown, Wotherspoon, Galbraith, Palsson.

Taken from the Scotsman

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