Maroon Memories: JJ’s men show no mercy

Jim Jefferies showed no mercy to old club Falkirk. Picture: TSPL

Jim Jefferies showed no mercy to old club Falkirk. Picture: TSPL

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Hearts 4, Falkirk 1: September 9, 1995

Jim Jefferies returned to the view of the Falkirk supporters he had controversially left during the summer, sending the Bairns packing with a heavy defeat.

Hearts quickly sniffed their opponents’ blood and made the first incision in 14 minutes, when Dave Winnie’s cross was pushed across the goal by Allan Johnston. Goalkeeper Neil Ingles was slow to realise the danger and Alan Lawrence wasted no time in pouncing for his first goal of the season.

Hearts’ ruthlessness led to a second six minutes later. John Robertson found Brian Hamilton ghosting up the right-hand side. He played his pass through to John Colquhoun who was in blissful isolation, giving him time to flip up his sights and unload a bullet of a shot. Hearts found themselves 2-0 up having done very little.

Falkirk had been limited to sporadic forays into the Hearts box, to little avail. Suddenly, however, it was the Hearts defence’s turn to look shaky. Gary Locke first skied his clearance before Dave McPherson’s poor clearing header landed in front of Scott Mackenzie 30 yards out. With the Hearts defenders all at sea, he passed to Colin MacDonald inside the area and he had plenty of time to bang the ball past a helpless Henry Smith.

The home side would have made it 3-1 in 42 minutes but for a piece of dithering from Johnston. Hamilton delivered a great ball which allowed the Hearts attacker a free run in on goal. However, Johnston pondered upon whether or not to shoot or pass a cross to Robertson. He was swiftly surrounded by Falkirk defenders and Ingles made a brave save. Hearts posted notice early on in the second half that there was more to come.

With only three minutes gone, Johnston flighted a glorious ball to Robertson who should have done better than find Ingles’ arms. Johnston was not to be outdone, however, and delivered a similarly telling cross three minutes later. This time, Colquhoun did well to get on the end of it and squeeze his header inside the post.

A second goal was just reward for a waltzing, attacking display full of intent from the little winger.

From then on, Hearts ran the show with ease. Scott Leitch, who had come on at half-time after David Hagen took a heavy knock on the shin, beat three men before releasing Lawrence in front of goal.

The former Airdrie striker would have scored but for the untimely intervention of the Falkirk goalkeeper’s hands with Lawrence’s ankles.

To Ingles’ relief, he wasn’t sent off. He was dubiously judged not to have been the last man and remained on the park with a booking.

There was little, however, that he could do about the Robertson penalty that thundered past him.