Hearts win it at the death

Last updated : 16 March 2002 By
Hearts took the spoils on derby day with a late penalty this evening.

Hibs got off to a dream start when Garry O'Connor scored after just five minutes. Scott Severin gave away a needless corner when he sliced the ball as he tried to clear it. John O'Neil hooked in the kick, it was flicked on by Gary Caldwell into young O'Connor's path, who volleyed the ball high into the net from seven yards out.

The goal settled Hibs a lot earlier than Hearts, and pushed at the visitors defence at will. O'Connor nearly doubled his and Hibs tally for the day when he latched onto an O'Neil ball, but his low shot was turned away by Nieimi.

Craig Levein's men came more and more into the game and Tommi Grondlund wasted a couple of excellent chances for Hearts before they got the equaliser.

A goalmouth scramble in the Hibs box was half cleared, only as far as Scott Severin, who fired a low shot from the edge of the box past the diving Colgan, with the slightest hint of a deflection off Alen Orman. I don't think the former Royal Antwerp's contribution to the shot made much of a difference anyway, and the teams went in at the break on level terms.

Much of the second half was just a series of battles, with Smith and Fuller, Fulton and de la Cruz, and again Fulton Luna all clashing before any real chances were made.

Ecuador international Ulises de la Cruz forced that man Niemi into a good stop before sub Grant Brebner went oh so close to giving Hibs the lead again. de la Cruz crossed for Craig Brewster, who headed the ball into the path of former Man United starlet Brebner. The young midfielders header had Niemi beaten all ends up, the ball slipped agonisingly past the post.

Hearts then fought back as they looked to snatch all three points, the Hibs defence doing well to thwart Ricardo Fuller and Gary Wales before the Gorgie side took all three points via the penalty spot with just two minutes remaining.

Jamaican Striker Fuller raced into the box and was victim of a rash challenge by on loan Caldwell. It was a penalty, no doubt, but Fuller definately played for it, he was on his way down before Caldwell hit.

Nick Colgan was booked for taking his protests too far with referee Willie Young, and up stepped Hearts captain Steven Pressley to fire the ball into Colgan's bottom right hand corner, the Irishman guessing right with his dive, but the kick was too well taken to give him any real chance of stopping it.

Hibs then upped a gear as they tried to get a point from the game, substitute Townsley forcing Niemi into a good save before Craig Brewster headed just over the bar right on the final whistle.

Hibs miserable night was capped off when Nick Colgan was summoned to the referee's room after continung his protests about the penalty with Fuller in the tunnel. The Hibs number one was given a second yellow card, meaning he will miss the next game against Dundee United, Tony Caig will be between the sticks for that match next week.