Maroon Memories: Shawfield redemption for delayed Hearts

Johnny Hamilton playing for Hearts in 1965
Johnny Hamilton playing for Hearts in 1965
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League leaders Hearts arrived only 13 minutes before kick-off meeting part-time Clyde at Shawfield in the First Division, and delayed the start of the match by six minutes.

It was a pitch as soft as putty which meant both teams took some time to settle. James McLean had the the first shot of the game – a grounder easily saved by Jim Cruickshank.

Then Hearts’ 100-goal man, Willie Wallace, had two tries at the other end. The first gave Tommy McCulloch no great concern, and the second flashed past the posts.

Next Hearts had an escape when, after fine work by McLean, Joe Gilroy just failed to get his head to a cross from Alex Bryce. A clever Clyde attack was giving the Hearts defence very little respite, and in the 14th minute they took a not-undeserved lead. David White quickly pushed a free kick to Bryce and Gilroy headed home the winger’s cross.

Shortly afterwards Cruickshank had to make a neck or nothing dive at the feet of Gilroy to prevent Hearts going two behind.

In the 22nd minute Hearts equalised thanks to a disputed penalty when Eddie Mulheron was judged to have brought down Willie Polland. After the breeze had blown the ball from the spot, Johnny Hamilton calmly replaced it and gave McCulloch little chance of saving.

The goal helped to put some life into Hearts and Clyde had a let-off when Billy Higgins hit the crossbar with a 20-yarder.

Clyde, however, were far from finished. McLean, the best forward on the field, put through a great long ball to Sam Hastings, and from the winger’s cross Knox headed the ball, which went in off Cruickshank’s shoulder – and that was Clyde back in the lead in 32 minutes.

Ragged and rattled, Hearts were rather flattered to go in at the interval only one down.

After Gilroy had headed narrowly over, Hearts equalised in the 47th minute. Mulheron pulled down Roald Jensen. The Norwegian took the free kick himself and his lob was headed into the net by Roy Barry.

One minute later Hearts went ahead for the first time, Jensen crossed the ball for Hamilton to head home.

Clyde had now lost much of their rhythm and at last Hearts took on the look of potential league champions. Certainly Cruickshank was not nearly so busy as he had been in the first half.

In the 68th minute Hearts made it 4-2 in their favour when Donald Ford crossed and the ball glanced off the heel of John McHugh. A lucky goal, but it seemed certain to keep Hearts at the top of the league.

In the last minute McHugh again hit the ball into his own net to make it 5-2 for Hearts.

Teams: Cruickshank, Ferguson, Holt, Polland, Anderson, Higgins, Jensen, Barry, Ford, Wallace, Hamilton