{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"football","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/jordan-mcghee-we-let-hearts-fans-and-the-gaffer-down-at-peterhead-1-4514763","id":"1.4514763","articleHeadline": "Jordan McGhee: We let Hearts fans and the gaffer down at Peterhead","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501133459000 ,"articleLead": "

The humiliation of losing to a part-time team three divisions below remains raw for Hearts 36 hours since the horror of Balmoor. Players are aghast at a 2-1 Betfred Cup defeat by League Two Peterhead and acknowledge they let themselves, their club and supporters down in Aberdeenshire.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514762.1501083522!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jordan McGhee tries to get the better of Rory McAllister during Hearts' defeat by Peterhead. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Players are aghast at a 2-1 Betfred Cup defeat by League Two Peterhead and acknowledge they let themselves, their club and supporters down in Aberdeenshire.

No excuses are offered. Those involved know such a result simply isn’t acceptable at a club with aspirations of lifting the trophy. It was a seismic defeat to rank alongside any cup shock in Hearts’ history. Eliminations from the same tournament by Airdrie at Tynecastle in 2008, or away at Ross County in 2001, or at home to Montrose in 1986 were just as catastrophic. The 1982 Scottish Cup disaster at Forfar is another nadir.

Hearts’ consolation this time is that they remain in the competition. Pressure on head coach Ian Cathro increased on Tuesday evening even though beating Dunfermline in this weekend’s final Group B match will secure a place in the Betfred Cup knockout phase.

Players are now eager to seize that opportunity and atone for a harrowing night in the north east against a club in Scotland’s fourth tier. Defender Jordan McGhee, out to impress after a year-long loan at Middlesbrough, laid bare the despair inside the away dressing room.

“Everyone was just gutted, speechless. We let ourselves down, we let our fans down, we let our club down and we let our gaffer down,” he said. “It was a terrible night all in. I can’t remember a night as bad as that. It’s probably one of the worst defeats I’ve had in my career.

“Two years ago, we played Forfar away and we were 1-0 up before they equalised with five minutes to go. That took it into extra-time, although we went through in the end. That wasn’t acceptable. To go up to Peterhead and get beat is ten times worse. It was a shocking night all round for the boys and the club.”

McGhee denied there was any complacency in Hearts’ minds which could have contributed to a blunt display. Jason Brown’s headed opener was cancelled out by Kyle Lafferty before Rory McAllister’s 89th-minute penalty sealed victory for Peterhead.

“You can never have complacency, as was shown on Tuesday,” continued the 21-year-old. “I thought the boys prepared well after a good result and performance against East Fife at home. We went into the Peterhead game and should’ve been flying.

“I think too many of us let ourselves down on the pitch and that can’t happen. When you go to places like Parkhead and Ibrox [Hearts visit both Glasgow venues in the league next month], you need 11 boys at the top of their game. We’re just devastated.

“The League Cup is a massive thing. When we sat down at the start of the season, we wanted to win the group to get into the next round. The result the other night has just made it a lot harder for us.

“There is another chance to redeem ourselves on Saturday against Dunfermline. That will be another tough game, although a different kind of challenge to Tuesday night. It’s one we need to pick ourselves up for and make sure we take care of the result.”

The desire for an aggressive response is clear. “We need to react. That’s part of football, you need to bounce back,” said McGhee.

“We have a lot of character in the changing room. Even after the game on Tuesday, we were all devastated but some boys were going round telling everyone: ‘Let’s get together and let’s get through this.’ It’s one of those freak results but it was down to us, so it’s up to us to redeem ourselves.”

Redemption is a commodity McGhee is becoming familiar with. A graduate of the Riccarton youth academy, his Hearts career looked all but over 12 months ago when he was loaned to Middlesbrough. It was a move he wanted at the time as he struggled to establish himself under then-head coach Robbie Neilson.

He is now back at his formative club, where his contract runs until January, and enjoying a fresh start under Cathro. Tuesday night withstanding, of course.

“I’ve had a few conversations with the gaffer. He’s been great with me and he’s been honest with me. That’s all you can ask for as a player, honesty from the manager,” said McGhee, who played in last Saturday’s 3-0 Betfred Cup win over East Fife..

“The way he plays suits me. He likes his centre-backs to have the ball. He’s trusted me and put faith in me to play. That’s all I’ve ever wanted – a run in the team under a manager who believes in me and wants me to go out and play.

“Most importantly, he’s playing me at centre-back. I don’t mind playing in the full-back positions but you always want to play where you’re most comfortable. Thankfully, I’ve got a shot there.

“I knew I was contracted to Hearts so I came back, put my head down and just worked as hard as I possibly could. That’s what I’ve always done. Since I’ve been back, things have just turned and things are improving.

“The new gaffer’s style is rubbing off on me. I’m just trying to do my best for him, the team and the club and see where it takes me.”

The Scotland Under-21 defender still feels moving south was the right option. “I went to Middlesbrough because I wanted to take myself out of the limelight a little bit and play a full season at centre-back. I wanted to go down there and get my confidence back by playing centre-back all the time.

“I did that. I worked for myself because I realised what I needed to work on. I found myself out a bit so I’ve worked on a few things and then come back here. Everything has seemed to fall into place personally.

“The gaffer has been great with. me and I’m working hard for him. We’re both just working really well together. Who knows what will happen? I’m sure we’ll have a lot more conversations about what happens. Right now, I’m in a good place – probably one of the best places I’ve been at Hearts since I started playing in the first team.

“It’s great that a manager believes in you and believes in his team and his philosophy.

“All you ask for is someone to be honest with you and give you a chance to do your stuff on the park. Thankfully, we’ve got a manager who is fair and honest and gives everyone a chance. If you’re not playing well, you deserve to be dropped. If you’re playing well, you deserve to be in the team. That’s the way it should be.

“I’m still contracted to the club just now so I’m optimistic. They’ve been great with me. If I can hold my place in the team, who knows what can happen? If not, I’ll keep working hard to get back in the team until my future is sorted.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514762.1501083522!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514762.1501083522!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jordan McGhee tries to get the better of Rory McAllister during Hearts' defeat by Peterhead. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jordan McGhee tries to get the better of Rory McAllister during Hearts' defeat by Peterhead. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514762.1501083522!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/simon-murray-hibs-goal-rush-is-down-to-neil-lennon-s-advice-1-4514751","id":"1.4514751","articleHeadline": "Simon Murray: Hibs goal rush is down to Neil Lennon’s advice","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501133452000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs striker Simon Murray has revealed his early-season goal rush is simply down to following boss Neil Lennon’s orders to “stick between the sticks”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514749.1501083112!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Simon Murray scored a hat-trick for Hibs against Arbroath. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The flame-haired frontman took his tally to five in three games with a hat-trick in the Easter Road outfit’s 6-1 Betfred Cup demolition of Arbroath, having also scored twice in the victory over Montrose – both former clubs of the 25-year-old.

It was the perfect treble against the Red Lichties, a first-half header followed by a left-footed tap-in from Martin Boyle’s low cross and a right-footed volley in the dying seconds from Steven Whittaker’s pass.

“Every hat-trick is the perfect hat-trick,” claimed Murray. “But I was absolutely delighted, It’s always good to get goals early in the season. I’m getting great service so it’s my job to get into good areas.

“You will miss some, but you just have to make sure you keep getting into those positions to keep putting them away.”

Although he scored 18 goals for Dundee United last season, Murray admitted there were times at Tannadice when he had to go foraging himself for openings but now he believes there will be chances aplenty given the team-mates he has around him.

When it was pointed out to him that all five goals have come from close-range, he said: “Last year I perhaps drifted into the wider areas to create the chance to get a shot away. But here the gaffer wants us to be between the sticks, I’ve been told to stay between the posts.

“The quality of players we have we can get the ball into the areas and it’s my fault if I am not there, so to have five goals already is very pleasing.”

Teenage striker Ryan Porteous chipped in with his first two goals for the club, while Scotland midfielder John McGinn also got off the mark, Lennon delighted to have seen the strikes being shared around.

The head coach said: “People saying we lack goals is nonsense. We played well against Ross County on Friday and were unlucky not to score. Now we’ve scored six. I was disappointed at half-time with the scoreline (2-1 ) but we had been excellent, we played good football with a good tempo, pace, movement and good quality.”

Meanwhile, Hibs will be without Danny Swanson for Saturday’s match against Alloa Athletic, the midfielder having picked up bookings against both County and Arbroath, thus incurring a one-game ban.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514749.1501083112!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514749.1501083112!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Simon Murray scored a hat-trick for Hibs against Arbroath. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Simon Murray scored a hat-trick for Hibs against Arbroath. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514749.1501083112!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/ryan-porteous-took-no-prisoners-as-he-dumped-holt-on-the-floor-1-4514869","id":"1.4514869","articleHeadline": "Ryan Porteous took no prisoners as he dumped Holt on the floor","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501133448000 ,"articleLead": "

Ryan Porteous didn’t stand on ceremony as he introduced himself to Neil Lennon’s first team squad – he simply dumped veteran striker Grant Holt on the seat of his pants.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514866.1501088990!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ryan Porteous celebrates scoring his second goal in the Betfred Cup victory over Arbroath"} ,"articleBody": "

The 19-year-old has announced himself to the Hibs support, capping an impressive run of matches by scoring his first two goals for the Easter Road club as they crushed Arbroath 6-1.

But for John McGinn it was the youngster’s first day alongside the club’s “big boys” that will always stick in his mind.

The Scotland midfielder recalled: “I’ll never forget it, he came in and put big Grant Holt on his backside. That’s what you have to do when you come up to train with the first team.

“You are not there to be a tourist or a spectator, you want to take a jersey. I think Ryan has the bit between his teeth right now and the other younger boys need to look at him for a bit of inspiration in the way he approaches training.

“Ryan respects the older boys but at the same time he thinks ‘I’m as good as you and I’m going to take your jersey’. All credit to him.

“He’s hard as nails, quick on the ball and as we saw the other night, he has an eye for goal.

“He might have had a couple of shaky moments but he is a Rolls Royce of a defender.”

The 6-1 hammering of Arbroath was, claimed McGinn, the most convincing result in his time at Easter Road, new striker Simon Murray claiming a hat-trick while he himself scored his first goal of the season.

And having done that, he revealed, he’s now set his sights on getting into double figures, saying: “It’s been well documented that’s something I need to add to my game. I think with the chances we create it’s something I am capable of and something I want to do.

“Since I’ve been at the club I don’t think we’ve had such a convincing result in cup games, we always seem to struggle against lower opposition. We could have scored a lot more goals in the first half but you can’t really grumble at 6-1.”

Watching the demolition of the League One side from the main stand were Lennon’s most recent recruits, Lithuanian internationalists Deivydas Matulevicius and Vykintas Slivka with the hope being Republic of Ireland striker Anthony Stokes will return for a third spell to join a squad previously strengthened by the signings of Murray, Danny Swanson, Efe Ambrose, Ofir Marciano and Steven Whittaker.

And the fact Darren McGregor and Dylan McGeouch were given the night off as Paul Hanlon continues to edge towards full fitness after the best part of seven months out does, insisted McGinn, merely underline the strength in depth to Lennon’s squad with the emergence of youngsters such as Porteous, Fraser Murray and Oli Shaw adding even further competition for places.

The former St Mirren player said: “When you are at a club like Hibs you expect competition for places and even the boys that have their place in the side have to look over their shoulder and know there’s a quality player behind them.

“The Lithuanian boys have come in and looked good. Vicky – that’s what we are calling him although I don’t know abut that nickname – has looked the part and big David as well. Hopefully we’ll get them cleared to play on Saturday.”

McGinn admitted he has his fingers crossed that Stokes can be persuaded to sign on again, adamant the man who scored two goals in that epic Scottish Cup triumph against Rangers would be welcomed like a long lost son by the Hibs support.

He said: “There’s been a bit of chat about it. I haven’t spoken to him, he changes his phone like the weather and I don’t have his number now.

“But he fitted in well last time he was here, he’s a top player as we saw in the cup final. It would be good to get him back and we’d welcome him back.”

Lennon has already told Stokes he believes Easter Road is the best place for him to breathe new life into his career and McGinn agrees life in Edinburgh seems to suit the 29-year-old.

He said: “Everybody knows Stokesy thrives under certain managers and other managers can’t take to him. But the gaffer here would know how to get the best out of him.

“He’s a good character, a good laugh so we’d welcome him into the dressing-room as we have a good bunch of boys in there.

“I’m not sure where it’s at but hopefully we can get it over the line.”

Stokes would represent yet another player with international experience to go along with that of Marciano, Ambrose, Whittaker, Matulevicius, Slivka and McGinn himself.

“That’s something I think the club are aiming for,” he said. “Players with a lot of experience, international players who give you that extra edge.

“We’re going to need to build an extra bit to the stadium because season tickets are running out. There’s going to be a great turn out for every game this season. It’s a special time to be at Hibs. We seem to have clicked and hopefully we can take that into the season and give people a real nose bleed.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514866.1501088990!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514866.1501088990!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ryan Porteous celebrates scoring his second goal in the Betfred Cup victory over Arbroath","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ryan Porteous celebrates scoring his second goal in the Betfred Cup victory over Arbroath","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514866.1501088990!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-in-50-objects-no-38-a-ram-from-derby-1-4514604","id":"1.4514604","articleHeadline": "Hearts in 50 objects: No.38 – A ram from Derby","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501133450000 ,"articleLead": "

HEARTS faced Derby County in a pre-season friendly at the old Baseball Ground in August 1995 and, after a 3-3 draw, a ceramic ram – Derby are nicknamed The Rams – was presented to the visitors.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514601.1501078680!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The gift from The Baseball Ground"} ,"articleBody": "

The game was the first of Jim Jefferies’ first spell in charge and the new manager, who had captained the club as a player, was given a rapturous reception from a large travelling support following a protracted effort by the club to lure him from Falkirk.

Hearts were 3-0 behind after 35 minutes but they fought back to earn a draw courtesy of goals from John Robertson and David Hagen, and an own goal from Darren Wassall. Twenty-two years on, that remains the last meeting between the clubs. Hearts went on to finish fourth that season while also reaching the Scottish Cup final.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514601.1501078680!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514601.1501078680!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The gift from The Baseball Ground","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The gift from The Baseball Ground","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514601.1501078680!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/anna-signeul-spain-s-possession-game-won-t-intimidate-scotland-1-4514820","id":"1.4514820","articleHeadline": "Anna Signeul: Spain’s possession game won’t intimidate Scotland","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501133448000 ,"articleLead": "

Anna Signeul insists the possession-based tactics of upcoming opponents Spain will not intimidate her Scotland side.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514819.1501085459!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Anna Signeul prepares her Scotland team ahead of tonight's clash with Spain. Pic: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

The two teams will face-off in their final Group D clash of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 in Deventer tonight.

Spain have enjoyed more than 75 per cent possession in their two matches so far, but fell to a 2-0 defeat by England on Sunday despite their dominance on the ball.

Scotland are bottom of the group having lost two from two, but a two-goal win over their Spanish counterparts, coupled with England beating Portugal, will send Signeul’s side through to the last eight, according to tournament rules.

The teams have history, most notably in October 2012, when a goal two minutes into added time at the end of extra time gave Spain a 4-3 aggregate win in a play-off for the 2013 European Championship at the expense of Scotland.

Now, Signeul has confidence her side can raise their game against their much-fancied counterparts in order to get the result they need.

“We know we can beat them,” said the Swede. “We know we can play well against them. We have played well against them before.

“They have to go for a win as well, they can’t just count on England beating Portugal.

“We know how it feels to have no ball possession or very little possession and we just need to have the same patience and be sure we don’t concede and early goal.

“I think that is the key to success – we keep them out of our goal as long as possible, and for every minute we can do that, we have a better chance of winning the game.”

Scotland captain and goalkeeper Gemma Fay echoed her manager’s sentiments and insisted the team was fully confident in their ability to progress.

“They can have all the possession they want as long as we score two goals, and if you watch the England game, that’s exactly the same attitude they took towards it,” said Fay.

“Spain had about 80 per cent of the possession, and that’s fine, they didn’t really cause many penetrating issues.

“We understand we may have to concede a lot of possession, but that doesn’t stop us knowing we have to score two goals and understanding we can do that. It comes down to that inner belief that we’re capable of doing it, and each and every one of us believes that.”

• SSE is an official partner of the Scotland’s Women’s team and is proud to be the energy behind women’s football, supporting the game from grassroots through to international level. Follow us at @YourSSE

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514819.1501085459!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514819.1501085459!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Anna Signeul prepares her Scotland team ahead of tonight's clash with Spain. Pic: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Anna Signeul prepares her Scotland team ahead of tonight's clash with Spain. Pic: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514819.1501085459!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/lower-leagues/gary-small-rebuilds-whitehill-welfare-from-top-to-bottom-1-4514824","id":"1.4514824","articleHeadline": "Gary Small rebuilds Whitehill Welfare from top to bottom","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501133432000 ,"articleLead": "

Whitehill Welfare manager Gary Small has revealed he has had to rebuild his squad from top to bottom ahead of Saturday’s Lowland League opener at Selkirk.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514823.1501085669!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stevie Manson, left, could not be persuaded to reverse his retirement decision"} ,"articleBody": "

The former Tranent Juniors boss took up the position in Rosewell last month after a six-month hiatus from the game, only to discover he had just two players under contract from last season’s disappointing campaign in which predecessor David Bingham lead the club to a mid-table finish.

Small admitted the last month or so had revolved around ensuring he had enough bodies for this weekend’s trip to the Borders, Whitehill finishing their pre-season off with a 1-1 draw against Midlothian rivals and Junior outfit, Newtongrange Star, on Tuesday night.

However, the 34-year-old now has a signed quota of 23, not to mention the club’s under-20 squad, and believes he has enough talent to call upon.

“It’s been a right busy time and tough getting a squad together – make no mistake about it,” Small explained. “In terms of where we’re at right at this moment the start of the season has probably come around too quickly for us. I’ve had to build a brand new squad from scratch having had just Ross Jardine, our under-20s goalkeeper who is 17, and 
striker Connor Brydon, who is currently out injured.

“But even before I took the job the one thing I also spoke about with the committee was changing the whole environment at the club as it’s not just about putting together a winning team out on the park. I’m under no illusions that is going to be a learning process for us all so it is going to take time. Everyone seems to have bought into that idea so we’re pulling in the same direction.

“We’d love to be at the top end challenging but we have to be realistic. One thing for sure, though, is we will be competitive. I am happy with what I’ve been able to bring in and the players have responded.”

One individual who won’t be donning the claret and blue this term, though, is midfielder 
Stevie Manson who, after six years at Ferguson Park, has decided to call time on his football career. Small, however, revealed he did all he could to persuade the former 
Craigroyston player to extend his stay.

“I tried to talk Stevie around but he’d made up his mind he was hanging up his boots,” said Small, who also lost his No.2 Grant Scott to Stirling University last week. “I respect his decision and he’s been a great servant to the club, but we now have to focus on the players that are here. His experience would have been a real bonus but we’ve brought in some experienced guys so they’ll need to help the younger ones out.

“We’ll be as ready as we can be come Saturday. We’ve been using a few of the 20s players during pre-season and a couple of them have shown up really well so they’ll come into the mix. We’re certainly not underestimating Selkirk, that’s for sure. They’ve spent a lot of money in bringing in some good players so anyone thinking it will be the Selkirk from last season is kidding themselves. I think they will comfortably finish in the top half this year.

“I’ve got a rough idea of the team I will go with but you just never know how things are going to go until the season kicks off. What we have seen is a gradual improvement in our pre-season games from the players. We’re not where we want to be but it’s over to the guys to go and show us they are ready for the challenge.

“As much as pre-season is a necessity for the fitness levels, the guys are buzzing for the start of the season now. We’ve gotten to know each other and I’ve put my ideas across so they’re champing at the bit.”

Meanwhile, Civil Service Strollers begin their second season as a Lowland League club when they visit Gretna 2008 on Saturday. The Christie Gillies Park outfit have fared well in pre-season, defeating a Hearts Under-20s side 2-1 nine days ago while also drawing 1-1 with a Hibs Under-20s team two days beforehand.

Manager Alex Cunningham’s team lit up the division last season with some sterling performances and should be aiming to improve on their 11th-place finish last term.

Defender Kyle Fee and striker James Hainey should be useful additions having joined from East of Scotland outfit Leith Athletic, with Spartans’ Andy Mair also making the move across the city.

Elsewhere, Edinburgh University begin the 2017/2018 season when they host Cumbernauld Colts at East Peffermill. Boss Dorian Ogunro is likely to be missing some key 
personnel with many of his students still away over the summer break.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "NEIL MCGLADE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514823.1501085669!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514823.1501085669!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Stevie Manson, left, could not be persuaded to reverse his retirement decision","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stevie Manson, left, could not be persuaded to reverse his retirement decision","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514823.1501085669!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-in-50-objects-no-38-joe-baker-s-england-cap-1-4514577","id":"1.4514577","articleHeadline": "Hibs in 50 objects: No.38 – Joe Baker’s England cap","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501133428000 ,"articleLead": "

DESPITE being born in Liverpool and representing the England national team, Joe Baker always considered himself Scottish.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514576.1501076684!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "One of eight England caps won by Joe Baker"} ,"articleBody": "

He was born to Scottish parents, spent most of his childhood in Motherwell and turned out for the Scottish schools select.

But due to international rules at the time, Baker was denied the opportunity to represent the country he called home, instead, in 1959, becoming the first player to be capped for England while playing outside the English league system.

He would only earn eight caps for England, with five of those coming during his time at Easter Road. Aged 19, Baker netted on his debut, in a 2-1 win over Northern Ireland at Wembley, going on to play in all of England’s tour matches that year against the likes of Yugoslavia, Spain and Hungary.

However, he was goalless in the rest of the tour, even when he lined up against many of his team-mates at Hampden in a game against Scotland.

His barren spell in front of goal eventually saw him dropped from the squad, however he would be recalled five years later as an Arsenal player.

Baker would score his third and final England goal in a warm-up win over Spain ahead of the 1966 World Cup, but the introduction of Geoff Hurst to Alf Ramsey’s starting XI the following month against Poland spelled a premature end for his international career.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514576.1501076684!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514576.1501076684!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "One of eight England caps won by Joe Baker","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "One of eight England caps won by Joe Baker","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514576.1501076684!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-complete-signing-of-vykintas-slivka-from-juventus-1-4514388","id":"1.4514388","articleHeadline": "Hibs complete signing of Vykintas Slivka from Juventus","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501068492000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs today confirmed Lithuanian internationalist Vykintas Slivka has signed a three-year contract with the Easter Road club.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514387.1501068473!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Vykintas Slivka could make his debut for Hibs away at Alloa on Saturday. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The 22-year-old had arrived in Edinburgh intent on agreeing a season-long loan deal from Italian champions Juventus, but boss Neil Lennon revealed the opportunity had arisen to take Slivka on a permanent basis and made him his seventh signing of the summer only a few days after his countryman Deivydas Matulevicius joined Hibs.

The deal, which involved a “undisclosed fee”, is subject to international clearance, but the hope is that both players could be available for Saturday’s Betfred Cup match away at Alloa Athletic.

Slivka has played 19 times for his country, including the recent World Cup qualifiers against Scotland and England. He joined the youth ranks of Juventus in 2012 and has spent loan spells at Modena, Den Bosch and Ascoli.

The 6ft 3in player said: “This is another step in my career and I am really excited to be joining the club.

“The international matches against Scotland and England have given me a taste of the British style of football and now I can’t wait to get started.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514387.1501068473!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514387.1501068473!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Vykintas Slivka could make his debut for Hibs away at Alloa on Saturday. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Vykintas Slivka could make his debut for Hibs away at Alloa on Saturday. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514387.1501068473!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-set-to-sign-vykintas-slivka-on-three-year-deal-from-juventus-1-4514053","id":"1.4514053","articleHeadline": "Hibs set to sign Vykintas Slivka on three-year deal from Juventus","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501047046000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs boss Neil Lennon has revealed he hopes to sign Lithuanian international midfielder Vykintas Slivka on a three-year deal.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514052.1501023669!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Vykintas Slivka took in Hibs' 6-1 win over Arbroath. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The Easter Road club had been intending to take the 22-year-old on a season-long loan from Italian giants Juventus.

But now Slivka, who has won 19 caps for Lithuania and played in all of their current World Cup qualifying matches including the 1-1 draw with Scotland at Hampden, will agree a permanent contract.

Silvka was in the main stand at Easter Road last night, sitting alongside countryman Deivydas Matulevicius who has now gained international clearance to rubber stamp his two-year deal with Hibs, to watch Lennon’s side thump Arbroath 6-1 in the Betfred Cup.

Afterwards Lennon, who also revealed talks with Republic of Ireland striker Anthony Stokes are still ongoing, said: “Slivka will be a permanent contract rather than loan, three year if everything goes ahead but we are waiting for that to be confirmed.

“We think he is a decent player. It might take time for him to bed in but I think it is good business from our point of view and I hope he shows what he can do here.”

Slivka spent time on loan with Dutch side Den Bosch and then Serie B team Ascoli last season.

Asked why the mooted loan deal had been converted to a longer-term arrangement, Lennon said: “I think his contract was coming up and we liked the idea of a permanent deal.”

Lennon was delighted with his side’s performance against Arbroath as new striker Simon Murray scored a hat-trick, teenage defender got Ryan Porteous two and John McGinn netted one. However, he was disappointed with the equaliser conceded before Hibs swept their League One opponents aside. He said: “That sloppy goal was the only criticism of another very good performance.

“We were exceptional, good with ball, the tempo, the passing, the pace in team. We’d played well on Friday and I asked them to give me the same performance because that’s what good teams do regardless of who the opposition is.”

Lennon was happy in particular with the performance of Murray and 19-year-old Porteous. He said: “Simon misses the easy ones but scores the hard ones. I liked all his goals, the way he got across his marker for the first one. He deserves all he gets.

“Ryan did great. We know he is a work in progress but he is mature beyond his years. He’s very comfortable, strong in the air. It will be interesting to see him up against stiffer opposition but we know we have a fine player on our hands.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIEat Easter Road"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514052.1501023669!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514052.1501023669!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Vykintas Slivka took in Hibs' 6-1 win over Arbroath. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Vykintas Slivka took in Hibs' 6-1 win over Arbroath. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514052.1501023669!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-in-50-objects-no-37-the-zagreb-plate-1-4512817","id":"1.4512817","articleHeadline": "Hearts in 50 objects: No.37 – The Zagreb plate","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501047033000 ,"articleLead": "

This plate was donated to Hearts by the Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb in 2009.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512816.1500907666!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The plate given by Dinamo Zagreb"} ,"articleBody": "

Dinamo beat Hearts 4-2 on aggregate in the play-off round of the Europa League, largely thanks to a 4-0 win in the first leg in Zagreb.

Csaba Laszlo’s side were well off the pace in the Croatian capital and found themselves four down within an hour as a 23-year-old Mario Mandzukic, who went on to play for Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and Juventus, led the rout with a goal after five minutes.

Hearts made a decent fist of trying to overturn the deficit in the return leg as goals from Michael Stewart, in one of his finest games for the club, and Marius Zaliukas put them 2-0 ahead with 35 minutes remaining, but despite putting plenty pressure on Dinamo in the closing stages, they were unable to complete what would have been a stunning comeback. Ultimately, there was to be no progress for Laszlo’s team, but the plate they received from their opponents at least served as a memento of their only competitive meeting with a Croatian side to date.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4512816.1500907666!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512816.1500907666!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The plate given by Dinamo Zagreb","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The plate given by Dinamo Zagreb","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4512816.1500907666!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-in-50-objects-no-37-dressing-room-view-1-4512829","id":"1.4512829","articleHeadline": "Hibs in 50 objects: No.37 – Dressing-room view","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501047010000 ,"articleLead": "

If only these walls had ears, what tales they could tell.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512828.1500908035!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The home dressing-room"} ,"articleBody": "

The tension and expectation felt within the home dressing-room, situated along a corridor to the right of the Easter Road tunnel as fans sitting in the east stand would look at it, before every match.

The encouraging words of manager Neil Lennon at half-time if things were going well or the no-nonsense interval talk if his players had found themselves struggling. The celebrations following the final whistle if victory had been achieved or the silence and self-incrimination which inevitably follows a defeat.

Whatever may be said, however, rarely escapse into the public domain, the unwritten rule being that everything remains within those four walls, an inner sanctum very much the sole territory of the players, Lennon and the backroom staff.

Today, of course, the Hibs squad do their daily work at the club’s East Mains training centre, the dressing-room at the stadium used only on match days, the players gathering long before the crowd begins to assemble to find their kit hanging from their respective peg.

Above their heads are dozens of photographs, both black and white, and in colour, a reminder of days gone by as the final preparations are made and Lennon delivers his pre-match talk.

A giant whiteboard is there if he feels the need to re-emphasise any tactical or positional points; a treatment table, although the physios’ room is adjacent to the dressing-room while the showers, baths etc lie to the other side.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4512828.1500908035!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512828.1500908035!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The home dressing-room","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The home dressing-room","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4512828.1500908035!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/ian-cathro-demands-hearts-reaction-after-shock-peterhead-loss-1-4514051","id":"1.4514051","articleHeadline": "Ian Cathro demands Hearts reaction after shock Peterhead loss","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501020740000 ,"articleLead": "

Ian Cathro is demanding Hearts fight back from last night’s shock Betfred Cup defeat at League Two Peterhead by securing their place in the last 16.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514050.1501020721!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Cathro"} ,"articleBody": "

The Tynecastle head coach knows his players must beat Dunfermline on Saturday to reach the competition’s knockout phase and implored them to show the correct reaction.

Rory McAllister’s 89th-minute penalty ensured a famous Peterhead victory over their Premiership opponents at Balmoor. Hearts striker Kyle Lafferty had equalised Jason Brown’s headed opener but the Edinburgh club failed to kill off their part-time hosts in the second half.

McAllister’s winner handed Cathro his first defeat of the new season in somewhat embarrassing circumstances against a club from Scotland’s fourth tier. Peterhead are now level with Hearts on six points in Betfred Cup Group B, which is led by Dunfermline on eight points.

“There needs to be a very strong reaction at the start of the game on Saturday,” he told the Evening News. “I think everybody feels that already. It has to be the case. I expect there to be a strong performance from a team that is ready come the start of the game.

“This is a reminder that, you can be playing well and think you’re on top, but unless you control the scoreline then you aren’t in control of anything.

“We’ve got to look at ourselves and manage our own frustrations better. There were a lot of frustrations. The referee stopped the game a lot but these games are often about how you manage yourself. That’s one message.”

Asked if he was prepared for criticism of his reign to increase following last night’s loss, Cathro replied: “I’m not going to stop it. So let it be.”

“We’re disappointed and we expect to do better,” he continued. “We didn’t start the game well, that allowed Peterhead to be motivated and to keep fighting and pushing.

“We got ourselves on top and then we need to make better decisions to make sure we can take the opportunities when they’re there and be more efficient in the final third.

“We wanted to win the game to go top of the group and we’ve not done that. We have a number of new players in the team and new relationships are building. Being ready for Saturday is the priority first, then we have a little bit more time before we go into league competition. To progress in this competition, we need to go and win at the weekend. That’s the reality of the situation.”

Peterhead manager Jim McInally was delighted to see his team gain some credit after a heavy defeat in the Betfred Cup at the weekend. “I wanted our players to do themselves and the supporters proud,” he stated.

“We lost 5-1 on Saturday and we were ripped apart at times by some fantastic play. I wanted the players to go out and show that they could play. To win is a massive bonus.

“I did say at half-time that I’d seen enough in the first half that I thought we could win. We tired badly with ten minutes to go, which is to be expected. You think you’ve maybe lost your chance.

“There was some terrific play down the left, Rory cuts it back and Jordon [Brown] is in the box to get the penalty. Then you remember after we won that we have a chance of going through if we can beat Elgin.

“Everybody has written us off and you get annoyed because you don’t get respected at our level. Even the Hearts manager didn’t mention Peterhead, or that we could cause them any problems. I said to the players: ‘Let’s try to go away from here with people talking about you. Let them know they’ve been in a game.’

“Now they know they’ve been in a game.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSONat Balmoor"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514050.1501020721!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514050.1501020721!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ian Cathro","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Cathro","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514050.1501020721!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/edinburgh-city/edinburgh-city-1-motherwell-2-late-frear-goal-sinks-hosts-1-4514049","id":"1.4514049","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh City 1, Motherwell 2: Late Frear goal sinks hosts","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501020433000 ,"articleLead": "

Edinburgh City boss Gary Jardine genuinely believed his side could have held on for a famous win over Motherwell before two late goals gave the Lanarkshire club the points in last night’s Betfred Cup Group F tie at Ainslie Park.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514048.1501020414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Elliot Frear knocks in a late winner for Motherwell to leave Edinburgh City shattered. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Ashley Grimes’ second-half strike looked to have City on their way to a stunning result, but a Chris Cadden equaliser soon after and Elliot Frear’s late winner rescued the Premiership side.

“I said to the boys when they arrived, don’t for a minute think this is damage limitation,” said Jardine. “Every time you set up a team, you’re looking to play to a strength and then win the game. It went to plan, although we’d have liked to have conceded a few less chances.

“We knew the longer it went on Motherwell would send more and more bodies forward and leave us one-on-one. 
Ashley did what we brought him to the club to do – he was composed, used his experience and it was a cool finish.

“After that I didn’t see us losing it. I felt we were comfortable when the crosses came in – we got our spaces right and our lines right with Harrison and Verlaque, but once the equaliser went in I was looking at the watch, to be fair.”

The Steelmen should have opened the scoring on ten minutes when Frear went down the left and stood the ball up for Alex Fisher, but the big striker planted his header straight in to the arms of Calum Antell.

Frear was having plenty joy down the left, and his next cross found Andrew Rose, but he sclaffed his first-time shot, allowing Antell to gather.

Yet again, Frear worked himself some space on the left 
before delivering for Fisher, and again the striker connected but couldn’t get his glancing header on target.

City’s first direct shot on goal came via captain Josh Walker, who found the ball back at his feet after his initial free-kick was cleared. A clever turn 
inside two defenders created the space, but his right-foot drive was always rising and didn’t trouble Trevor Carson.

Frear then threatened himself after going past Jordan Caddow, but his initial effort was blocked by Antell before the keeper stood up and caught the winger’s attempted follow-up lob.

Recent Hearts target Cadden was introduced for Motherwell at half-time, and he almost brought about an opener immediately, ghosting between two men and firing across goal, although none of his teammates were able to convert.

Grimes hadn’t had much of a sight of goal, and got too much on his attempted lob when Craig Thomson found him with a long diagonal.

Fisher finally managed to get a header on target, this time after a delivery from the right. The majority inside Ainslie Park were preparing to celebrate before Antell produced a fine stop to keep the looping header out.

The visitors appeared to be running out of ideas, and City took advantage with just under 20 minutes to go. Walker sent a defence-splitting ball through for Grimes and the striker raced clear of the chasing defenders and slotted past Carson.

The lead didn’t last long however, as a Fisher flick-on found Cadden in space at the back post, and he placed a shot across Antell into the corner.

The hosts were cruelly denied a point, and the chance of a bonus point, when, with stoppage time looming, Frear tapped in at the back post after Cadden’s low ball had evaded Antell. City had a bench full of under-20 players due to injuries, and Jardine may have to name similar against Morton on Saturday. “I’m not so sure any of the guys will be back,” he said. “Chris McKee could be out long term, Zdravko [Karadachki] was injured last Saturday and is out for six weeks and John Dunn has to rest for three weeks.

“That’s where we’re maybe hampered in the League Cup. As it goes on, the part-time teams become weaker and the full-time teams are bringing players in all the time.

Edinburgh City: Antell, Caddow, Harrison, Walker, Laird, Thomson, Grimes (Glackin 71), Olanrewaju (McClung 60), Verlaque, Mackie, Allan (Beattie 84).

Motherwell: Carson, McManus, McHugh, Frear, Bowman (Tanner 45), Rose (Bigirmana 71), Fisher, Dunne, Kipre, McMillan, McLean (Cadden 45).

Referee: Gavin Duncan.

Attendance: 907.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ROSS PILCHERat Ainslie Park"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514048.1501020414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514048.1501020414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Elliot Frear knocks in a late winner for Motherwell to leave Edinburgh City shattered. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Elliot Frear knocks in a late winner for Motherwell to leave Edinburgh City shattered. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514048.1501020414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/peterhead-2-hearts-1-jambos-stunned-by-late-penalty-1-4514003","id":"1.4514003","articleHeadline": "Peterhead 2, Hearts 1: Jambos stunned by late penalty","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501017378000 ,"articleLead": "

A Betfred Cup shock in Aberdeenshire leaves Hearts needing to beat Dunfermline to be sure of passage to the tournament’s knockout phase. Rory McAllister’s 89th-minute penalty gave League Two Peterhead a memorable win over the Edinburgh club in Group B as Balmoor Stadium celebrated a famous success.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514002.1501017359!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jason Brown puts Peterhead ahead. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

With the game poised evenly at 1-1 following first-half goals by Jason Brown and Kyle Lafferty - the striker’s fourth in three Hearts appearances - this tie looked to be heading for penalties. However, Peterhead made one final push in the dying minutes and were rewarded with three points to take them level with Hearts in the section.

Substitute Arnaud Djoum was judged to have fouled fellow Peterhead replacement Jordon Brown inside the box, and McAllister confidently converted the winner from the spot. Peterhead lost 5-1 at Dunfermline on Saturday, however their recovery certainly caught Hearts by surprise on the night.

The Tynecastle side now realistically need to win on Saturday against Dunfermline or risk failing to reach the knockout stage.

Balmoor was packed to capacity for the first competitive meeting between these two clubs. The rural north east of Scotland isn’t known as a footballing hotbed but there was no lack of appetite amongst locals to see a Ladbrokes Premiership side at close quarters.

Standing fans leaned on advertising boards behind both goals, banging them fervently and creating a fair atmosphere given the size of the venue. Their League Two team were out to cause a major cup upset by winning to draw level with Hearts on six points in Betfred Cup Group B. They got off to an ideal start.

Midfielder Willie Gibson’s curling free-kick flew narrowly wide of the Hearts goal on three minutes, then striker McAllister’s chipped effort over goalkeeper Jack Hamilton was hacked off the goal line by Jordan McGhee. It was clear evidence of an aggressive home start, which was rewarded with the opening goal on six minutes.

After McGhee’s clearance, the resultant corner was pinged to the near post by Gibson and headed into the net on the run by full-back Brown. Hamilton did well to get a hand to the ball at point-blank range but couldn’t prevent the goal as those in blue set off to celebrate.

Hearts had left John Souttar, Aaron Hughes and Ashley Smith-Brown behind in Edinburgh and began the match in 4-4-2 formation. They reverted to a back three shortly after falling behind and looked more at ease, with Krystian Nowak dropping from midfield to play in between McGhee and captain Christophe Berra. Quickly, they put together a move which produced the equaliser.

Right-back Michael Smith set off on run and his low cross was pushed out by the Peterhead keeper Greg Fleming. Lafferty instinctively threw out his left foot and flicked the ball into the open net almost from behind himself. It was a slightly unorthodox finish but the Northern Irishman wasn’t likely to complain at scoring for the third consecutive game.

Although drawing level settled the visitors, Peterhead continued to pose problems. They only train once a week but manager Jim McInally had them well drilled to make best use of creative outlets like McAllister and Gibson. They looked much stronger than your average League Two side.

McAllister’s thunderous 25-yard free-kick on 27 minutes was parried by Hamilton and cleared by Krystian Nowak. Jamie Walker forced a similar reaction save from Fleming from slightly further out at the opposite end, plus there were dipping efforts from Walker and Esmael Goncalves near half-time.

A cut head forced Lafferty off for almost eight minutes at the start of the second half. The travelling support were grateful to see him reappear after treatment in the dressing room. They would have been concerned by how often their team were ceding possession of the ball, though. That made it difficult to create chances.

Confusion reigned midway through the second period as Hearts tried to introduce teenager Jamie Brandon for Rafal Grzelak. He was listed as No.31 on the teamsheet but was wearing No.30. When that flashed up on the fourth official’s electronic board, Brandon seemed to be told he couldn’t go on and had to retake a seat on the bench. Eventually, Djoum came on to replace Prince Buaben.

Djoum was making his first appearance of the season having been given an extended break. He played for Cameroon in the Confederations Cup last month and Hearts were keen to get him back in action. Tension increased around Balmoor as the game entered its final 15 minutes locked at 1-1.

Peterhead were caught with the dilemma of whether to stick or twist. They had as much chance of forcing a second goal as their guests, but also knew a draw to take the game to penalties would be something of a moral victory given the four divisions separating the two clubs.

Hearts continued to force the issue in the hope of prising a winner but were lacking a spark in the final third. They came mightily close when Walker’s header from a corner ricocheted off Jamie Stevenson and on to the goal frame. The ball bounced out and was cleared. Nowak’s 20-yard drive soard high into the night air before Walker did have the ball in the net, only to be denied by an offside flag against Lafferty in the build-up.

On 89 minutes, League Two Peterhead produced the night’s defining moment. McAllister surged down the left side past two opponents and cut the ball back from the byline. Substitute Jordon Brown surged into the penalty area to try to connect, and was impeded by Djoum as he did so. Referee Mat Morthcroft pointed immediately to the penalty spot.

The experienced McAllister never lost his composure, calmly placing the ball on the spot and stroking it low to Hamilton’s right and into the net. The home fans erupted, as expected, to hail one of the greatest victories in Peterhead’s history.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSONat Balmoor"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514002.1501017359!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514002.1501017359!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jason Brown puts Peterhead ahead. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jason Brown puts Peterhead ahead. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514002.1501017359!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-6-arbroath-1-simon-murray-nets-hat-trick-1-4513990","id":"1.4513990","articleHeadline": "Hibs 6, Arbroath 1: Simon Murray nets hat-trick","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501015971000 ,"articleLead": "

Some Hibs fans may have been more than a touch sceptical about the signing of Simon Murray but they are certainly warming to the flame-haired striker after he grabbed a hat-trick against Arbroath, taking his goals tally to five.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4513988.1501015952!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Simon Murray heads home Hibs' opener. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The former Dundee United hitman, who had headed home two goals in the Easter Road club’s opening Betfred Cup match against Montrose, nodded in the opener against his old side as Neil Lennon’s players threatened to steamroller their League One opposition.

But the Red Lichties stunned the Premiership-bound Capital club with an equaliser, Steven Doris taking advantage of the Hibs defence switching off as he found himself all alone at the back post to net.

Ryan Porteous restored Hibs lead with another header before the break and two goals early in the second half, Simon Murray tapping home his second and a superb strike from Scotland midfielder John McGinn, put them on easy street.

Nineteen-year-old Porteous completed a night to remember, named man-of-the-match and bulleting home a second header two minutes from time to make it five for the Hibees.

And bang on the final whistle, Murray got on the end of Steven Whittaker’s cross to claim his third and Hibs’ sixth of the game.

Hibs could also afford the luxury of a penalty miss from Danny Swanson four minutes after Murray’s opener, the midfielder trying to put too much power into his shot and succeeding only in blasting the ball high and wide.

This win leaves Hibs a point behind Ross County in Group D, with both clubs having one match remaining – the Edinburgh side away to Alloa Athletic and the Staggies travelling to Gayfield on Saturday.

Hibs boss Neil Lennon continued to rotate his squad to ensure each player enjoys a reasonable amount of game time ahead of the Premiership season getting under way, on this occasion goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw, skipper David Gray, Liam Fontaine and Porteous getting a run as Ofir Marciano and Marvin Bartley dropped to the bench while Dylan McGeouch and Darren McGregor were given the night off.

New signing Deivydas Matulevicius looked on from the main stand, his Lithuanian countryman Vykintas Silvka sitting alongside him as the Juventus midfielder awaits the final paperwork to complete his season-long loan in Edinburgh.

Arbroath survived a first-minute scare, a defensive blunder gifting Hibs the chance to open the scoring but one that they scorned before Murray, playing against his first club, raced through to round goalkeeper Ricky Gomes and slide the ball home, only to find assistant referee David McKniff had the flag raised for offside – a decision which brought the wrath of the home fans pouring down on him.

With Whittaker deployed in the midfield holding role in front of a back three, his other team-mates were given a licence to get forward, Gray and Lewis Stevenson hugging their respective touchlines to make the pitch as big as possible and stretch their League One opponents.

Dick Campbell’s side, though, weathered those opening few minutes and caused a real problem of their own, Bobby Linn’s well-measured pass finding the run of Doris, but Laidlaw narrowed the angle and was able to beat his shot away.

Hibs heeded that warning not to leave themselves short-handed at the back and deservedly took the lead in the 18th minute, Gray’s precise cross finding Murray in space to claim his third headed goal of the season.

The Capital club had two chances in as many minutes to double their lead, Martin Boyle electing to go for goal himself when a pass would have left Murray with a tap-in before Ricky Little’s trip on Porteous earned Hibs a penalty, which was wasted as Swanson blasted his spot-kick high into the Famous Five Stand.

Boyle’s pace was causing Arbroath no end of trouble, Gomes making another vital stop from him before Little came up with a superb block to prevent him finding the unmarked Murray. Hibs could easily have found themselves four up by the half-hour mark but for that profligacy, underlining Whittaker’s assertion following that 0-0 draw with Ross County on Friday night that Lennon’s side required a bit more of that killer instinct.

And they were made to pay seven minutes before half-time as Arbroath won their first corner of the game, one that was taken short before being flashed across goal for Doris to side-foot home at the back post.

Thomas O’Brien threw himself in front of Swanson’s shot to keep Arbroath level but there was nothing they could do on the stroke of half-time as Porteous rose to meet McGinn’s cross and power a downward header beyond Gomes.

Again, though, Arbroath came back, Danny Denholm firing in a rising left foot shot two minutes after the interval which drew an acrobatic save from Laidlaw.

But once more Hibs reacted, Boyle setting off on another blistering run and holding off the attentions of Colin Hamilton before delivering a low cross which left Murray with the simplest of tap-ins.

Two minutes later and McGinn got in on the act, curling a wonderful shot beyond Gomes and into the far side of his net as Hibs finally put clear blue water between themselves and Arbroath, O’Brien failing to reduce the deficit with a long-range effort which Laidlaw took at the second attempt.

The game was finished as a contest but Arbroath stuck to it, Blair Yule putting his body in the way of yet another Boyle effort, deflecting the ball up and over for a corner which came to nothing.

The scoreline also gave Lennon the opportunity to freshen things up, teenager Fraser Murray replacing Swanson who had been booked for scything down Denholm and then Scott Martin giving McGinn a bit of a breather.

Hibs had clearly taken their foot off the pedal with plenty of time remaining but Fraser Murray had a got at getting his name on the scoresheet again but Gomes got his body fully behind his shot from 22 yards.

Simon Murray was denied a hat-trick by O’Brien’s last-ditch tackle but Porteous did make if five for Hibs, powering home his second header of the game two minutes from time.

But Simon Murray couldn’t be stopped, picking up the match ball as he completed his hat-trick in the dying seconds, his instinct for getting into the right place at the right time paying off again as he met Whittaker’s cross to volley the ball home.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIEat Easter Road"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4513988.1501015952!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4513988.1501015952!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Simon Murray heads home Hibs' opener. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Simon Murray heads home Hibs' opener. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4513988.1501015952!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-challenge-jack-hamilton-to-clinch-group-stage-shutout-1-4512850","id":"1.4512850","articleHeadline": "Hearts challenge Jack Hamilton to clinch group stage shutout","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1500960642000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts have challenged goalkeeper Jack Hamilton to emerge from the Betfred Cup group phase without conceding a goal.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512849.1500912914!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jack Hamilton has kept clean sheets in both of Hearts' opening matches"} ,"articleBody": "

The keeper has two clean sheets so far with two games of Group B remaining, including tonight’s tie at Peterhead.

Hamilton has endured criticism from Hearts supporters this year but is fighting to keep his first-team place. He returned for pre-season training to news that the club were seeking a new goalkeeper and he was moved from No.1 to No.13 in the list of squad numbers.

However, he kept goal in the 1-0 win over Elgin City last week and in Saturday’s 3-0 victory against East Fife. Clean sheets in his first two competitive outings have built the 23-year-old’s confidence. Coaching staff now want to see him continue that vein of form to help them into the last 16 of the Betfred Cup, although the search for another goalkeeper is ongoing.

“I’m delighted for Jack to get two clean sheets and he was key in us getting that clean sheet on Saturday,” said assistant coach Austin MacPhee.

“East Fife had the best part of the start of the second half and we had to defend bravely. Jack played his part in that. He can feel satisfied because he’s gone three hours without losing a goal.

“The challenge to players is: ‘Can we get through the group stages with four clean sheets?’ Jack can be a massive part of that.”

MacPhee backed Hamilton to survive any public carping due to his in-built mental strength. “Jack is a tough boy. He was sitting on the bench for Scotland against England at Hampden in June, don’t forget,” he added.

“We’ve got no doubts about Jack’s talent. He takes a lot of responsibility. Tynecastle can be a tough place to play at times. Quite rightly, there is a demand from supporters here.”

Midfielder Arnaud Djoum travelled north with the Hearts first-team squad yesterday and is expected to make his first appearance of the season against Peterhead.

He had been given an extended summer break after playing for Cameroon at the Confederations Cup in Russia last month. He returned to Edinburgh last week and has proved his fitness.

“Arnaud is travelling with us. There’s an opportunity for him to get back on the pitch with us. It’s great to have him back as part of the squad,” said head coach Ian Cathro, who is again without left-back Ashley Smith-Brown and centre-back Aaron Hughes.

“Ashley won’t be involved,” he continued. “He’ll stay back to work on a strengthening programme. Aaron will also stay. There’s nothing serious wrong with him, we’re just managing some minor stuff and a bit of discomfort which we don’t need to take risks with.”

• HEARTS owner Ann Budge has retained her place on the Scottish Professional Football League board.

Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson has been elected as one of three top-flight representatives along with Hamilton chairman Les Gray and Budge.

Morton chief executive Warren Hawke and Martin Ritchie of Falkirk are the Ladbrokes Championship delegates while Stranraer chairman Iain Dougan will represent the bottom two divisions.

The new-look board will retain only three of last season’s nine appointees – Budge, SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster and independent non-executive director Karyn McCluskey, who is chief executive of Community Justice Scotland. Murdoch MacLennan is replacing outgoing chairman Ralph Topping on August 1.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4512849.1500912914!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512849.1500912914!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jack Hamilton has kept clean sheets in both of Hearts' opening matches","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jack Hamilton has kept clean sheets in both of Hearts' opening matches","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4512849.1500912914!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-in-50-objects-no-36-gordon-smith-s-putter-1-4512833","id":"1.4512833","articleHeadline": "Hibs in 50 objects: No.36 – Gordon Smith’s putter","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1500960628000 ,"articleLead": "

Famous Five legend Gordon Smith was something of a reluctant golfer – but he became obsessed with the game. Initially, Smith told his Hibs team-mates he wouldn’t play on their outings until he knew more about the game, taking lessons at Longniddry, Braid Hills and Gullane.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512832.1500908270!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The putter used by Gordon Smith"} ,"articleBody": "

But in July 1949 he was introduced to Bobby Locke by Stanley Matthews just prior to the Open at Royal St George’s Golf Club in Kent, the South African going on to win the championship four times.

Locke won his first championship by two shots over Ireland’s Harry Bradshaw following a play-off.

Roberto De Vicenzo finished third, the Argentinian a huge football fan and Smith had great delight recounting stories to him as the trio dined together the night before Locke’s play-off victory.

Smith and Locke instantly clicked and became firm friends, and over the following 25 years the Hibs player would take every chance he could to watch him in action, going to every Open and to many other tournaments around the United Kingdom and Europe.

The pair were to remain in close contact until Locke’s death in 1987 but his influence on Smith was such that he began playing golf alongside his Hibs team-mates, his practice having unquestionably paid off.

Jimmy Kerr and Bobby Combe were the club’s best golfers but Smith, who insisted he was “going to master this royal and ancient past-time,” was, along with Sammy Kean, hot on their heels.

Golf had gripped the Hibs players and it was talked about continuously at training and even on match days and following their playing days many of them got together on a regular basis to enjoy a round of golf.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4512832.1500908270!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512832.1500908270!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The putter used by Gordon Smith","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The putter used by Gordon Smith","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4512832.1500908270!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-in-50-objects-no-36-tommy-walker-comes-home-1-4512641","id":"1.4512641","articleHeadline": "Hearts in 50 objects. No.36 – Tommy Walker comes home","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1500960620000 ,"articleLead": "

Originally growing up dreaming of life as a clergyman, Tommy Walker’s footballing skills caught the attention of Scotland Schoolboys and, later on, junior side Linlithgow Rose where he spent a season on loan after unofficially joining Hearts in 1932.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512640.1500899959!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tommy Walker rejoined Hearts in 1948"} ,"articleBody": "

A talented winger with a reputation for gentlemanly conduct and an unbreakable spirit, Walker quickly become a firm favourite at Tynecastle when he was finally registered as a player in 1933 at the age of just 17. By the end of the season, Walker was a regular starter and, by 1935, had been the subject of what was then a world-record bid for his services from Arsenal. £12,000 was deemed not enough for the youngster and, twinned with the threat of a Hearts fans’ boycott, the Tynecastle board rejected the bid.

Walker’s career was interrupted by World War Two, which saw his peak years in the game taken away from him. By 1946, he had scored a remarkable 192 goals in only six seasons at the top of the game and remains one of the greatest Scottish players never to win a league title.

In September 1946, Walker was purchased by Chelsea, going on to score 24 goals in 103 appearances.

This certificate marks his return to Hearts in 1948 as player-assistant to Davie McLean.

In 1951, Walker became manager and led the club through the most successful spell in its history, claiming two league titles, four League Cups and a famous Scottish Cup win in 1956.

• See more great items from Hearts’ history at the club’s museum. For opening times, go to www.heartsfc.co.uk/pages/museum

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4512640.1500899959!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512640.1500899959!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Tommy Walker rejoined Hearts in 1948","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tommy Walker rejoined Hearts in 1948","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4512640.1500899959!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/edinburgh-city/edinburgh-city-players-keen-to-get-over-their-hampden-horror-1-4512937","id":"1.4512937","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh City players keen to get over their Hampden horror","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1500960606000 ,"articleLead": "

Saturday’s appearance at the national stadium is one the players of Edinburgh City, and Chris McKee in particular, will be keen to forget.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512935.1500914014!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Central defender Chris McKee was unfortunate to score an own goal at the National Stadium"} ,"articleBody": "

Beaten 3-0 in the pouring rain by Queen’s Park in their Betfred Cup Group F match, McKee had the misfortune to inadvertently double the 
Spiders’ lead when he turned the ball into his own goal in the second half.

With Ladbrokes Premiership side Motherwell next up for Gary Jardine’s team at Ainslie Park tonight, McKee will be hoping for a more positive contribution.

“We were nowhere near it on Saturday from start to finish,” admitted the defender. “They were the better team and deserved the result so it’s given us lots to work on and I suppose that’s a good thing. We knew we had that already, though, so the sooner we can move on and get a positive result, the better.

“Hampden’s a brilliant arena, but the result definitely takes the shine off it. You don’t want to go and lose 3-0 anywhere, but it’s some place.”

Three days on, he’s taking the positives from scoring an own goal at such an historic venue. “As a Celtic fan, if you’d offered me the chance to score a goal at the Rangers end at Hampden, I’d have bitten your hand off!” joked McKee. “It kind of summed up my own performance. I was disappointed in how I played and to stick the ball in my own goal just compounded it, so one to forget. I’ll need to try and make amends for it at the other end in the coming games.”

McKee took up his familiar role on the left of a back three, alongside Shaun Harrison and Zdravko Karadachki, before the Bulgarian was stretchered off in the second 45, with fellow new signing David Verlaque slotting in as a central defender.

“It’s a different system to what other teams play, the way we try to approach games,” explained McKee. “There’s a lot of new guys coming in who are trying to get used to it, which will come over time. The gaffer was saying that quite a few new boys played on Saturday – not just the back three – so they’ll just need to get used to the shape. With boys being away and injures, we’ve not had the chance to have a settled team yet, but once we gel we’ll hopefully kick on.”

An injury meant Craig Beattie’s return to a ground where he’s produced some special moments was in a coaching capacity only, but McKee believes the former Celtic, Hearts and Scotland star will prove to be a valuable part of City’s defence, having been redeployed from a striking role last season.

“Craig’s been superb since he’s played there and his experience and his talking is exactly what we need,” said McKee. “I don’t know if he’s played there much professionally before, but he said he’d played there when he was in the reserves at Swansea. He’s got that presence as well so any ball in the air he’s going to win it. It’s good to have him back there and talk us through it.”

Beattie may not be available for the visit of the Steelmen, which McKee rates as the toughest opposition he’ll have faced with City. “They’re flying with the results they’ve had,” he said. “We’ll be doing well to get anything out it but it’s a good test.”

McKee will likely be tasked with stopping Louis Moult, the Motherwell striker heavily linked with Aberdeen following an impressive 2016/17. “I much prefer playing against players like that,” insisted McKee. “It’s about testing yourself and it’s good to see where you are and what you need to improve on. Moult had a great season last time but it’s not just him, they’ve got a few who will cause us problems.”

Being from Airdrie, McKee has at least one mate hoping Moult gets the better of him. “One of my mates is a Motherwell fan but I don’t think he’ll make it through tonight,” he said. “I think he’s going to try but I’ll hear him from the stands if he does because he’ll be shouting dog’s abuse at me! I’m just hopeful we can put in a good performance.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ROSS PILCHER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4512935.1500914014!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512935.1500914014!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Central defender Chris McKee was unfortunate to score an own goal at the National Stadium","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Central defender Chris McKee was unfortunate to score an own goal at the National Stadium","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4512935.1500914014!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4512936.1500914016!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512936.1500914016!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": ".","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": ".","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4512936.1500914016!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/marvin-bartley-can-t-wait-for-teams-to-have-a-go-at-hibs-1-4512862","id":"1.4512862","articleHeadline": "Marvin Bartley can’t wait for teams to have a go at Hibs","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1500960602000 ,"articleLead": "

Marvin Bartley has revealed one thing he’s looking forward to on Hibs’ return to the Ladbrokes Premiership is not facing teams intent on “parking the bus” and determined only to play a game of frustration.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512861.1500910032!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Marvin Bartley was in relaxed mood as Hibs trained ahead of tonights clash with Arbroath"} ,"articleBody": "

The midfield enforcer admits he’s become weary during his two seasons at Easter Road of being confronted by sides getting all 11 players behind the ball in the hope of escaping with a point.

However, he believes that will now all change with Hibs having finally escaped the clutches of Championship football, promotion having heightened the sense of anticipation among supporters, 12,100 of whom have snapped up season tickets.

While agreeing that’s a fair measure of the sense of expectation with Hibs’ first match in the top flight after a three-year absence now only 11 days away, Bartley insisted he and his team-mates continue to concentrate on fine-tuning their fitness, tonight’s third Betfred Cup match against Arbroath giving them another opportunity to do so.

A comfortable 4-0 victory over Montrose was followed by the disappointment of losing on penalties to Ross County but, argued Bartley, so far pre-season has been going pretty much according to plan.

He said: “I think we played well against Ross County. We controlled the majority of the game.

“It was disappointing to lose on penalties but I’d far rather have that happen now then further down the line. We are still trying to get ourselves up to speed and aiming for the first game of the season – that is all that matters.”

To that end, the visit of League One side Arbroath will, stressed Bartley, be treated with the utmost seriousness. The 31-year-old said: “It would be disrespectful to call them less opposition as we showed last season when we were beating teams in the league above us.

“It will be a massive game for them to come to Easter Road and that can cause problems. They’ll be thinking they can cause an upset.”

Although Neil Lennon’s players will be looking to win tonight and again when they play Alloa Athletic at the weekend, all eyes are on the opening league game of the season, the visit of Partick Thistle which, Bartley agreed, will give them a chance to assess where they stand, the Jags having clinched a top-six finish for the first time last season.

He said: “One of my mates, Abdul Osman, plays for Partick so it will be a good start for us to go in agsainst them to see where we are at.

“It won’t be an easy game – that’s for sure. But the one thing I am looking forward to are teams in the Scottish Premiership not sitting behind the ball at every opportunity.

“They might actually come out and play against us and make it a football match. When I came up here I thought it was pretty strange that when teams played Hibs they had everyone behind the ball and both strikers inside their own half. That’s not really football.”

Joking that it might be Hibs themselves who adopt such a tactic, Bartley was adamant there will be no change in mindset among Lennon’s players saying: “We were expected to win every game last season, home and away. We’ll still want to win every game.

“I think if you try to sit in and take a point then you start causing your own problems. We are a very attacking team and, if you ask those players to start doing jobs they are not used to – to start defending then – it will cause trouble.

“How the manager wants to set the team up is down to him but I’m sure he will want to entertain the fans and win games,

“We know the fans are going to get behind us. They’ve shown that by the number of season tickets they have bought ... fantastic. They have an expectation we’ll be expected to match but fans always have huge expectations. I support Arsenal and want them to win the Premier League. Will it happen? Who knows?

“As players, we try to stay grounded. I’m just trying to take things in my stride at the moment and I’m sure the other boys will be doing the same but it may be when we step out for that first game we realise we’re back in the Premiership.”

By then, Lennon could well have added again to a squad which has been strengthened in the past week with the return of Steven Whittaker and the signing of striker Deivydas Matulevicius with the Hibs boss set to complete a loan deal for a second Lithuanian internationalist Vykintas Silvka and hoping Anthony Stokes will sign on for a third spell at Easter Road after being made “a very strong offer”.

Bartley, though, insisted that regardless of who arrives, he’ll simply concentrate on producing performances against Arbroath and Alloa which, come a week on Saturday, will persuade Lennon to give him his place in the starting line-up to face Partick.

He said: “All you can do is worry about yourself no matter who comes in or who we are linked with. You want to make sure you keep possession of your shirt but whoever comes through the door will be welcomed into the changing room.”

Lennon will also find his options increased with the return to action of Paul Hanlon, the defender playing an hour of Sunday’s friendly against Selkirk having had the second half of last season wrecked by a pelvic problem which ultimately required surgery.

But the manager admitted tonight’s game was probably too soon for him while Matulevicius is still awaiting international clearance to play.

He said: “I’ve spoken to Paul and he felt good. He was pain-free for the first time in a long time. I’ll speak to our medical team but he’s only had an hour of football in six months so it might be too soon for him.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4512861.1500910032!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512861.1500910032!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Marvin Bartley was in relaxed mood as Hibs trained ahead of tonights clash with Arbroath","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Marvin Bartley was in relaxed mood as Hibs trained ahead of tonights clash with Arbroath","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4512861.1500910032!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/meet-alex-petkov-the-young-bulgarian-excelling-at-hearts-1-4512656","id":"1.4512656","articleHeadline": "Meet Alex Petkov, the young Bulgarian excelling at Hearts","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1500960601000 ,"articleLead": "

The name suggests an exotic foreigner plucked from the continent to bring some much-needed panache to Scotland. In actual fact, young Alex Petkov attended Tynecastle High School, speaks with a Scottish twang and is an absolute brute of a boy for his age.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512653.1500900361!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alex Petkov made his competitive debut for Hearts against East Fife on Saturday. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Hearts’ latest protege turns 18 today, but even a landmark birthday won’t eclipse the buzz still lingering from his senior debut on Saturday. A mere free-kick from his old school yard, Petkov made his first appearance at Tynecastle Park in the 3-0 Betfred Cup win over East Fife.

He looked assured, confident, skilful and strong during a 45-minute second-half outing after replacing the returning John Souttar. He will hope for more action tonight as Hearts continue their League Cup campaign with their first ever visit to Balmoor, home of Peterhead.

“It’s just brilliant, an amazing feeling to play for Hearts,” he said, speaking exclusively to the Evening News. “It was just really good 
to get a game. I didn’t know I was going on at half-time but I got told to warm up because I was going on, so I just got on with it.

“I was just buzzing on the inside, really excited. I was also quite nervous but I think that’s pretty normal.”

It is only when you stand close-up and study his fresh face that you realise Petkov 
is little more than a boy in a man’s body. A hulking, 6ft 2in tall, man’s body. He is enjoying making progress in a man’s game, too.

He is Bulgarian by birth but arrived in Edinburgh two years ago after asking Hearts for a trial. He impressed enough to be taken on and signed a three-year professional contract last summer.

Article 19 of FIFA’s rules for international transfers involving minors states that any club signing a foreign youngster must “guarantee the player an academic education in addition to his football education, which will allow the player to pursue a career other than football should he cease playing professional football”.

So, the young Petkov duly enrolled at Tynecastle High. It would be fair to assume that is where he picked up his slight, but very endearing, accent.

“I came over here two years ago when I was 16,” he explained. “My agent is Bulgarian but he has lived here for a long time. He got me an opportunity here. It was a big chance for me.

“I came on trial and they offered me a contract, so I moved over. My family is still back home in Bulgaria. In the beginning, it was really hard. You don’t know many people and you’re away from your family.

“I had to continue with my education so I was going to Tynecastle High School, just across the road, for about a year. One of the FIFA regulations for me to come here was that I had to continue with my education.

“As time goes on, you just get on with it. I feel much better now and I feel good living here. My family have come here to see me twice. After the game on Saturday, I went to Facetime them to tell them about the game.”

The Hearts management team like Petkov’s composure on the ball and believe has the potential to cement a place in the first-team squad given time.

“I think Alex came on and looked very assured making his debut at centre-half,” said assistant coach Austin MacPhee.

“I think there’s a young player there who could also follow in John Souttar’s footsteps. We’ve been very impressed with him in training.”

Petkov isn’t actually a centre-back, though. He normally plays in midfield. “I’ve been playing centre midfield for the Under-20s but I’ve been more at centre-back since I’ve been involved with the first team. I would say centre mid is where I’m more comfortable,” he said.

Regardless of position, he won’t be lacking motivation. “My contract runs for this season and one more year after that. This year, I want to break into the first team and start winning. I’m aiming to stick around the first-team squad and play as many games as I can,” he stated.

“Everyone has helped me and all the boys in the first team have been so welcoming. I would say the older players like Don Cowie, Christophe Berra and Prince Buaben have all been great to learn from.

“I want to be the best I can be. I learn from all the players. They are really good players and it’s been amazing training with them over these last few weeks. When you first come in, you’re quiet because you’re a young boy. That’s normal.”

Petkov gives the impression he enjoys being out of his comfort zone and facing challenges head-on. MacPhee and head coach Ian Cathro feel they can enhance, and perhaps even accelerate, his development.

“I’ve really enjoyed working under them. Obviously it’s different from the Under-20s,” said Petkov. “It’s much faster and the tempo is higher so it’s really different. You need to get used to it.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4512653.1500900361!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512653.1500900361!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Alex Petkov made his competitive debut for Hearts against East Fife on Saturday. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alex Petkov made his competitive debut for Hearts against East Fife on Saturday. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4512653.1500900361!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/neil-lennon-hibs-is-the-best-place-for-anthony-stokes-1-4512966","id":"1.4512966","articleHeadline": "Neil Lennon: Hibs is the best place for Anthony Stokes","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1500931834000 ,"articleLead": "

Neil Lennon has urged Hibs’ Scottish Cup hero Anthony Stokes to breathe new life into his career by rejoining the Capital club, telling the striker “Easter Road is the best place for you. If I were you, I would be coming here”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512965.1500925842!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Anthony Stokes celebrates scoring the first of his two goals in the Scottish Cup final against Rangers"} ,"articleBody": "

The Hibs boss, who hopes to tie up a season long loan deal for Juventus’ Lithuanian midfielder Vykintas Slivka in the next few days, revealed Stokes has been made “a strong offer” from the club but, as yet, the player who turns 29 today hasn’t given him a reply.

However, Lennon, who was Stokes’ manager for four years at Celtic, is convinced a third spell in Edinburgh is not only his best option but one which could also help him force his way back into the Republic of Ireland squad. Arguing that the happiest spells of Stokes’ well-documented career have come in Scotland at Falkirk, Hibs (twice) and Celtic, Lennon said: “He knows he’s a hero after the Scottish Cup final, he knows the management team and the majority of the players. He knows we can get the best out of him.

“At this juncture of his career, I think he needs to play, and play for a club that wants him here and for a manager who knows him inside out – and can deal with all his little issues because we’ve all had them.”

Stokes currently stands at a crossroads having negotiated his release from Blackburn Rovers where he played only 12 first-team games in a troubled season and Lennon, having lost Jason Cummings, Hibs’ top scorer in each of the past three seasons, has made no secret of his desire to see him back in Edinburgh.

But while he is willing to wait for an answer, Lennon admitted he doesn’t want the issue to drag on too long. He said: “We’ve made him a strong offer, a very, very good offer from the club’s point of view.

“We’re certainly not holding a gun to his head at the minute, although we might eventually if he doesn’t hurry up. Of course we’d like an answer sooner rather than later. But it’s like every other deal. There may be other options for him, I don’t know. He’s certainly not mentioned that to me. And we have other options to look at. If the deal doesn’t materialise then we move on.”

Asked what he would do if he was in Stokes’ situation, Lennon said: “If I was him I would be coming here. He’s happy here, he was pretty happy at Celtic as well. Certainly in Scotland he’s at his happiest.

“At this juncture of his career he needs to get back to playing. He’s well out of the Republic of Ireland fold now. He’s not played enough football to even get himself a mention for that. Possibly he could come again for that but he needs to find the right environment.”

Lennon believes the Premiership is becoming “more sexy again” as clubs strengthen and could well appeal to Stokes who he sees as a big-game player. He said: “Anthony’s experienced and has won a lot of trophies in Scotland, obviously with Hibs as well as Celtic. He had a great time when he was younger at Falkirk so the environment suits him.

“He’s a very talented player. He scored a lot of very important goals for me over the four years I was at Celtic and he contributed to a lot of goals as well. His partnership with [Gary] Hooper was spectacular at times.

“If you look at his performance in the cup final – it’s 14 months ago now – it shows he’s a big-game player. He likes the big games – it really floats his boat.

“Coming here, there would be plenty of big games to get his teeth into. Whether he would get that pressurised situation by going somewhere else, I don’t know.”

Meanwhile, Lennon revealed only paperwork is preventing Slivka joining his countryman Deivydas Matulevicius at Easter Road. He said: “We are waiting for clearance from Juventus now to get the deal done. Slivka is here, he wants to come here.

“Tactically, he is very good. He’s an athlete, two-footed and has an eye for a goal. He covers the ground very well. He looks composed on the ball. He played against Scotland last season and for Den Bosch on loan. Juventus have a catalogue of young players and they put them out on loan. We are just waiting for the paperwork and the confirmation to come through.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4512965.1500925842!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512965.1500925842!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Anthony Stokes celebrates scoring the first of his two goals in the Scottish Cup final against Rangers","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Anthony Stokes celebrates scoring the first of his two goals in the Scottish Cup final against Rangers","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4512965.1500925842!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/arnaud-djoum-back-for-hearts-trip-to-peterhead-1-4512625","id":"1.4512625","articleHeadline": "Arnaud Djoum back for Hearts' trip to Peterhead","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1500898608525 ,"articleLead": "

Arnaud Djoum has travelled north with Hearts for Tuesday's Betfred Cup tie at Peterhead, where he is expected to make his first appearance of the season.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512624.1500898851!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Arnaud Djoum should make his first appearance of the season for Hearts against Peterhead"} ,"articleBody": "

The Cameroon international midfielder was given an extended summer break after representing his country in June's Confederations Cup in Russia. He returned to Riccarton last week and is now back in Ian Cathro's first-team squad, which left Edinburgh this afternoon.

\"Arnaud is travelling with us. There's an opportunity for him to get back on the pitch with us. It's great to have him back as part of the squad,\" Cathro told the Evening News.

Djoum spent last week doing conditioning work at Riccarton whilst his colleagues beat Elgin City and East Fife in their opening two Betfred Cup ties.

The 28-year-old's return offers a welcome boost as Hearts look to secure a last-16 place in their final two group games against Peterhead on Tuesday and Dunfermline on Saturday.

" ,"byline": {"email": "barry.anderson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Barry Anderson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4512624.1500898851!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512624.1500898851!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Arnaud Djoum should make his first appearance of the season for Hearts against Peterhead","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Arnaud Djoum should make his first appearance of the season for Hearts against Peterhead","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4512624.1500898851!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-in-50-objects-no-35-pennants-from-european-greats-1-4511890","id":"1.4511890","articleHeadline": "Hibs in 50 objects: No.35 – Pennants from European greats","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1500874241000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs had made an early impact on the continent when, in 1955, they received the honour of being the first Scottish side to play in the European Cup.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4511889.1500840771!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Juventus, Valencia and Hamburg all graced Easter Road"} ,"articleBody": "

Ten years on and with Celtic’s 1967 triumph just around the corner, Hibs were playing Europe’s big guns in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. These pennants were presented by their opponents in three different fixtures over ten years when Easter Road hosted Valencia in 1965, then Hamburg in 1968, and finally Juventus in 1974.

The first of these three matches saw Hibs beat Valencia 2-0 at home thanks to goals from John McNamee and Jim Scott and, despite going down 2-0 in Valencia and then losing the replay 3-0, the victory remains a great memory for many fans. Three years later and Hibs were much stronger, beating Olimpija Ljubljana and Lokomotiv Leipzig on their way to the third-round tie against Hamburg. Again. the Edinburgh side were unlucky, winning 2-1 at Easter Road after a Joe McBride brace before a 1-0 defeat in Germany sent Hibs out on away goals.

Juventus were the next to provide one of these pennants but this time in the rebranded UEFA Cup. Hibs had thrashed Rosenborg 12-3 to set up a meeting with the Italian giants but were unable to stop a rampant Juventus side, who won 8-2 on aggregate, the Hibees losing 4-2 at Easter Road.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4511889.1500840771!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4511889.1500840771!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Juventus, Valencia and Hamburg all graced Easter Road","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Juventus, Valencia and Hamburg all graced Easter Road","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4511889.1500840771!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/gary-mackay-lafferty-goals-will-breed-confidence-at-hearts-1-4511994","id":"1.4511994","articleHeadline": "Gary Mackay: Lafferty goals will breed confidence at Hearts","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1500874238000 ,"articleLead": "

Even though they’ve come against part-timers, don’t underestimate the value of the three goals Kyle Lafferty has scored in Hearts’ Betfred Cup wins over Elgin and East Fife.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4511993.1500830723!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kyle Lafferty wheels away after heading Hearts in front"} ,"articleBody": "

Every striker is anxious to get off the mark at the earliest possible opportunity and ease any pressure on their shoulders when joining a new club, especially one under the level of expectation of Kyle. He will now feel like he’s starting to get his feet under the table and will be confident of maintaining this form into the campaign.

The same can be said for everyone at Hearts. These games are about bedding the new guys in and rediscovering good habits after a terrible finish to last season. No matter the level of opposition, victories, goals and clean sheets breed confidence.

Obviously we can’t get too carried away because the results have come against teams in League One and League Two, but the early signs are promising, particularly from the performance against East Fife. The display against Elgin wasn’t great but you often find that after a team gets hammered, as they did away to Dunfermline last weekend, they tighten up for their next game. We might find that Peterhead do likewise tomorrow night after also being taken apart by the Pars on Saturday.

This Saturday’s game at home to Dunfermline, who are in good form, will give us a far better idea of what shape we are in because they are the best team in the section outwith ourselves and the only other full-time side. They are likely to give us a decent test ahead of our league opener a week later. I would imagine that, barring any fitness issues, the side that starts on Saturday would be pretty close to the one that starts at Celtic Park, whereas we might see a couple of changes for the long trip tomorrow.

The return of John Souttar was a big boost, and hopefully that’s him back to full fitness and injury-free for the foreseeable future because he can be a big player for us this season. We also have Arnaud Djoum to add to the mix, so we’re looking pretty strong on paper. I’m still hopeful that we’ll see a couple more new faces arrive over the next month or so to ensure we are in the best shape possible.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4511993.1500830723!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4511993.1500830723!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kyle Lafferty wheels away after heading Hearts in front","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kyle Lafferty wheels away after heading Hearts in front","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4511993.1500830723!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}