{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"football","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/steven-maclean-aims-to-use-his-cup-final-experience-to-propel-hearts-to-glory-1-4909599","id":"1.4909599","articleHeadline": "Steven MacLean aims to use his cup final experience to propel Hearts to glory","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555565413000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts striker Steven MacLean is chasing Scottish Cup glory with a third different club.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909598.1555525909!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Steven MacLean scored as St Johnstone won the Cup for the first time"} ,"articleBody": "

The veteran was an unused substitute when Rangers defeated Dundee in the final at Hampden back in 2003 and then scored the second goal as St Johnstone defeated Dundee United 2-0 in the 2014 showpiece at Celtic Park.

Having been engulfed by the euphoria that accompanies such moments – particularly in the case of Saints’ triumph five years ago – MacLean is relishing the prospect of trying to help Hearts claim the Scottish Cup for the fourth time in just 21 years when they face treble-treble-chasing Celtic at Hampden next month.

“We have five league games and now a cup final to look forward to and hopefully we can go on and win it,” said the 36-year-old. “I was involved in a cup final with Rangers as a youngster but it’s not quite as special as when you play. The one with St Johnstone was great and when I saw the picture of that win in the semi-final programme on Saturday it gave me goosebumps.

“Hopefully we can go and win it with this group of players and create more special memories.”

MacLean savoured unbridled joy after firing Saints to their first Scottish Cup triumph and is considered a bona fide club legend as a result. He hopes the current Hearts team can experience something similar. “It was Saints’ first-ever win,” he said. “The days after that were special. Scenes! Late nights and long days! I try not to look back as you want to go and achieve again. But when I look back at those times with the boys, it was great. I did it with my mates and that’s special. I was rattling for a week afterwards! You still get people coming up to you years after the event. Look at the Hearts teams that have won cups – they have their own hall of fame dinners!”

Having got a taste of Scottish Cup glory at the very start of his career as a youngster emerging into Alex McLeish’s star-studded Rangers team, MacLean now has an unlikely chance to sample it again 16 years later and at an age when the majority of his peers have retired or dropped down the leagues.

“I was a sub in 2003 when big Amo (Lorenzo Amoruso) scored with his header to beat Dundee,” he said. “I was actually supposed to be coming on but Arthur Numan got injured and Kevin Muscat came on instead.

“That was the year that we won the league on the final day of the season and I think half the boys had been out from the Sunday to the Thursday. That’s probably why I got on the bench!

“I went up for my medal, but I feel like a bit of a fraud if I haven’t played. That’s maybe harsh, but you know what I mean. When you play it makes you feel more special. It would definitely mean more to climb the steps having played this time.

“Coming to Hearts you hope for opportunities, but finals don’t come around a lot so you have to take them when you get the chance. In a cup final it’s about what happens on the day - anything can happen.”

After starting 21 matches for Hearts before the winter break, MacLean’s only two starts this calendar year have come in the Scottish Cup ties against Auchinleck Talbot and away to Partick Thistle. He came on as a substitute midway through the second-half of Saturday’s semi-final against Inverness Caledonian Thistle at a time when Hearts were leading 1-0 lead and helped them see out a comfortable 3-0 victory. The veteran knows the fight is now on to secure a place in the starting line-up for the final against Celtic. He is hoping this motivation throughout the squad will help Hearts, currently sixth in the Premiership, leapfrog their city rivals and at least finish the campaign as Edinburgh’s top dogs. “There are 20 boys who have that in their mind now and we have to finish the league season on a high, above Hibs, and then we have a final to look forward to,” he said. “There will definitely be competition for places.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909598.1555525909!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909598.1555525909!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Steven MacLean scored as St Johnstone won the Cup for the first time","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Steven MacLean scored as St Johnstone won the Cup for the first time","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909598.1555525909!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/analysis-paul-heckingbottom-right-to-focus-on-europe-as-hibs-hit-top-form-and-rivals-falter-1-4909582","id":"1.4909582","articleHeadline": "Analysis: Paul Heckingbottom right to focus on Europe as Hibs hit top form and rivals falter","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555565400000 ,"articleLead": "

From struggling to make the top six a little over two months ago, Hibs now find themselves in the unlikely position of having a chance to qualify for Europe as they embark on their post-split fixtures this weekend.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909581.1555521978!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Vykintas Slivka, left, and Mark Milligan, right, celebrate at full time after defeating Hearts in the derby with two-goal Daryl Horgan"} ,"articleBody": "

Six points adrift of the two sides in third and fourth place - Kilmarnock and Aberdeen - with five games to play is the scenario for Paul Heckingbottom’s buoyant team ahead of Sunday’s visit from Celtic. A top-three finish guarantees a crack at Europa League qualification, while fourth place will bring the same prize if champions-in-waiting Celtic defeat Hearts in the Scottish Cup final. If the Tynecastle side, currently sixth in the Premiership, win the trophy, they will go into Europe in the summer at the expense of the fourth-place team.

Needless to say, Hibs can’t control which team wins the cup. All they can focus on at this stage - in addition to remaining above Hearts - is continuing with their policy of chasing down the team directly above them, an outlook which has served them well in overtaking Motherwell, St Johnstone and their city rivals since Heckingbottom took the wheel in mid-February. Regardless of their recent form, of course, it is clearly a tall order for Hibs to get themselves into the top four by the time their campaign closes with a home game against Aberdeen on May 19. If any team is equipped to pull off such a feat, however, it is Heckingbottom’s Hibs.

It is worth recalling that, when the Yorkshireman arrived in Edinburgh, Hibs were five points outside the top six, trailing both Motherwell and St Johnstone. Remarkably, Heckingbottom required only two games (victories over Hamilton Accies and Dundee) to haul his team into the top half of the table, and they haven’t looked back since.

After victory over Hearts in their last fixture lifted them above their city rivals and into fifth place, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the next Edinburgh derby - at Easter Road a week on Sunday - could allow Hibs the chance to leapfrog another rival and move into the top four. That scenario, on paper at least, looks unlikely given that they would need to beat both Celtic and Hearts and hope that whoever loses this weekend’s clash between Kilmarnock and Aberdeen at Rugby Park also goes on to suffer defeat in their following match. Killie are away to Celtic and the Dons are away to Rangers.

Even if no headway is made against Celtic this weekend, Hibs can at least look ahead to the last four games of the season knowing that their most formidable match is out of the way and their rivals for a Europa League spot still have to face Neil Lennon’s team. Buoyed by an eight-game unbeaten run in the league, which incorporates three matches against the current top six, Hibs are the most upwardly-mobile of the three sides currently in contention to occupy the places directly beneath Celtic and Rangers, who look certain to finish first and second, respectively.

Aberdeen are currently on something of a downer after losing last weekend’s Scottish Cup semi-final to Celtic, a fortnight after losing away to Hearts. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Dons’ season is about to fizzle out, however. A year ago Derek McInnes’s team lost 2-0 at Tynecastle in their last game before the split and were crushed 3-0 by Motherwell in the Scottish Cup semi-final. Their season looked in ruins at that point but they picked themselves up off the canvas to claim three wins and two draws in their final five league games and secure second-place in the Premiership, at the expense of Rangers and Hibs. That is the type of run Hibs must put together if they are to reel in Aberdeen or Kilmarnock in what remains of the season.

Their cause could be aided by the fact they play both of those teams in their last two games of the campaign. If they can get themselves within three points of either team by the time they are due to face them - which looks a perfectly attainable target - they will then have the chance to leapfrog them with a victory assuming neither side significantly improves their goal difference in the intervening period. For the record, Hibs and Aberdeen both have the same goal difference of plus 15 while Kilmarnock are three better off. If Hibs are to make up the six points on Steve Clarke’s team in the coming weeks, the chances are their marginally superior goal difference would also be wiped out in the process.

As things stand, Aberdeen look the team most catchable for Hibs. Kilmarnock are in better form than the Dons and have the advantage of playing at home to both Aberdeen and Hibs, which could give them a vital edge. Three of Hibs’ five games are at Easter Road, which ought to aid their cause.

Heckingbottom and his players will hope that, however things unfold in the coming weeks, they are in a position whereby there is plenty riding on the last of those fixtures when Aberdeen come to town on the final day.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909581.1555521978!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909581.1555521978!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Vykintas Slivka, left, and Mark Milligan, right, celebrate at full time after defeating Hearts in the derby with two-goal Daryl Horgan","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Vykintas Slivka, left, and Mark Milligan, right, celebrate at full time after defeating Hearts in the derby with two-goal Daryl Horgan","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909581.1555521978!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-boss-craig-levein-urges-his-squad-earn-your-place-in-my-cup-final-team-1-4909586","id":"1.4909586","articleHeadline": "Hearts boss Craig Levein urges his squad: Earn your place in my Cup final team","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555565400000 ,"articleLead": "

Craig Levein has challenged his Hearts players to try and secure themselves a place in his Scottish Cup final team by finishing the league campaign with a flourish.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909585.1555523291!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts manager Craig Levein"} ,"articleBody": "

Hearts, who sit sixth in the Ladbrokes Premiership, have five post-split fixtures to play before facing Celtic at Hampden in the season’s showpiece match on May 25.

Levein is hopeful that the incentive of playing a part in the final will bring out the best in his team for their upcoming league matches against Rangers, Hibs, Kilmarnock, Aberdeen and Celtic.

“There’s a fair bit of water to flow under the bridge before the final so in the interim period we’ll be focused on being at our best and trying to pick up as many points as we can,” the manager told the Evening News. “I would think it will give us an extra spring in our step because there’ll be competition for places. I’m hoping that between now and the cup final we get some really good performances in the league because there are certainly places available for the people who want them the most.”

Hearts are hoping to pick up their first points of the post-split season against second-place Rangers at Tynecastle this Saturday. The Edinburgh side have lost their past six matches against the Ibrox team by an aggregate score of 15-4, and Levein is well aware their recent form in this fixture hasn’t been good enough.

“I don’t think we’ve done ourselves justice against Rangers,” he said. “They’re the team we’ve made most mistakes against. In the three matches this season we haven’t performed at a consistent enough level to take the points. We’ve shot ourselves in the foot on numerous occasions against them by giving away cheap goals so the first thing I’d be looking for this weekend is to make sure we don’t do any damage to ourselves.”

Meanwhile, Levein’s Hampden hearing over an allegation of misconduct yesterday was adjourned. A new date for it to resume has yet to be arranged.

Levein was called after an incident at an under-18 Edinburgh derby match in February, although the nature of the flashpoint has not been disclosed.

Levein, who attended in his role as director of football, was charged with breaching Disciplinary Rule 207, which states that “no official shall commit misconduct at a match”.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909585.1555523291!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909585.1555523291!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts manager Craig Levein","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts manager Craig Levein","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909585.1555523291!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/gary-mackay-the-way-for-hearts-to-win-at-hampden-will-be-to-have-a-go-at-celtic-1-4909574","id":"1.4909574","articleHeadline": "Gary Mackay: The way for Hearts to win at Hampden will be to have a go at Celtic","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555565400000 ,"articleLead": "

Last Saturday’s objective for Hearts was simply to make sure we got past Inverness Caledonian Thistle and booked our place in the Scottish Cup final, so it was a case of job done.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909573.1555525414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts' Sean Clare shakes hands with Steven MacLean, as Olly Lee celebrates with Bobby Burns and Uche Ikpeazu"} ,"articleBody": "

We can quibble about the fact all our goals came from set-pieces but we’re clearly skilled in that department and there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

By getting to the final, there’s now a fresh excitement about the club because we know we’re involved in the last game of the season and are just 90 minutes away from winning a cup. If we can do that, it would be a culmination of the supporters’ endeavours, along with Ann Budge, to try and reinvigorate the football club.

It’s a great day for the supporters to look forward to. Because we’re playing Celtic, there won’t be anything like the level of expectation on Hearts as there might have been if they had been playing Aberdeen.

The pressure will all be on our opponents because it’s a potentially momentous day for them in terms of chasing the treble-treble.

My real desire is that we go on the front foot and press them. No matter whether Steven Naismith is fit or not, we need to treat it as win-or-bust. There’s nothing to lose for Hearts because most people will expect Celtic to win, so we can embrace our role as underdogs and try and cause an upset on the day. For me, the best way to do that is by being aggressive and having a go at Celtic, rather than sitting in and trying to contain them.

Celtic have three or four real quality players who are on a different level to anything Hearts have but by the same token there are a few players, particularly at centre-back and right-back, who I feel would be vulnerable if Hearts went about the game in a positive manner and were able to put them under pressure.

Getting to the cup final has clearly lifted the morale of the supporters and I hope it has a positive effect on the players for the remainder of the league campaign. Ultimately we want to go into the cup final in the best fettle possible so a good run of form in the league wouldn’t do us any harm in that regard.

The last league game of the season will be a peculiar one because we’re against Celtic and nobody knows at this stage how the two managers will approach that one and whether they will play fringe men or not, but we certainly have to look to use the other four games as a chance to put down a marker before the cup final and also for next season.

We need to bear in mind that, in the event that we don’t win the Scottish Cup, our 
season will be judged primarily by how we’ve done in the league so it’s important that we don’t end our Premiership campaign with a whimper. Given where we were in the league at present, it shouldn’t necessarily be about targeting a specific position in the table, it should be about focusing on trying to win as many of the last five games as possible and seeing if it’s enough to lift us up a position or two.

Rangers are first up on Saturday so hopefully we will have a real edge and a buzz to our play on the back of winning the semi-final last weekend.

Rangers had a great result at Motherwell in their last game so they won’t be easy to beat, but, as is always the case at Tynecastle, if we approach it in the right manner we will have a good chance of winning.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909573.1555525414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909573.1555525414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts' Sean Clare shakes hands with Steven MacLean, as Olly Lee celebrates with Bobby Burns and Uche Ikpeazu","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts' Sean Clare shakes hands with Steven MacLean, as Olly Lee celebrates with Bobby Burns and Uche Ikpeazu","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909573.1555525414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-haven-t-given-up-on-finishing-third-says-paul-heckingbottom-1-4909487","id":"1.4909487","articleHeadline": "Hibs ‘haven’t given up on finishing third’ says Paul Heckingbottom","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555514736000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs head coach Paul Heckingbottom has refused to rule out the possibility of his side finishing third, ahead of the start of the post-split fixtures this weekend.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909485.1555514952!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs head coach Paul Heckingbottom hasn't given up hope of finishing third. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

The Easter Road side have embarked on an eight-game unbeaten run in the league since the former Leeds boss was appointed in mid-February, lifting them to fifth in the table and within six points of third-place Kilmarnock.

The Capital club kick off their final five fixtures with a home match in Sunday against Celtic - the only team to have beaten Hibs during Heckingbottom’s tenure - but the Yorkshireman reckons the post-split format can have a big impact on where a team finishes in the league.

“It looks a long, long way and of course it is,” Heckingbottom said of the gap between fifth and third as he spoke to Sky Sports at the club’s East Mains training centre.

“We’re not kidding ourselves but I think with the format, it is different because you’re playing all the top teams. It’s quite easy for a team not to pick up points, or not pick up any points.

“If you get results that people don’t expect you to get - i.e. on Sunday - you can gain a head start on everybody else.”

Finishing third would guarantee Hibs a place in Europe, but even equalling last season’s fourth-placed finish could be enough, if Celtic defeat Hearts in next month’s William Hill Scottish Cup final.

Wherever his side end up in the table, however, Heckingbottom believes securing a top six finish will give him vital information ahead of next term, and insists finishing in the upper echelons of the Ladbrokes Premiership was the coaching staff’s aim when they arrived.

“We had a lot of work to do to catch up [but] that was sort of our goal when we came in,” Heckingbottom said.

“You’ve got another derby, you’ve got to play all the top teams, so you’re going to be playing in front of full houses.

“Teams are playing for things, whether it’s chasing Europe or to win the title.

“That was the reason, from a purely selfish point of view, to see how we manage and cope in these big games. Because we want to be up there challenging next season.

“We want to be up there pushing these boys.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909485.1555514952!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909485.1555514952!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs head coach Paul Heckingbottom hasn't given up hope of finishing third. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs head coach Paul Heckingbottom hasn't given up hope of finishing third. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909485.1555514952!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5775052899001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl-season-2019-20-winter-break-retained-as-campaign-start-date-is-revealed-1-4909447","id":"1.4909447","articleHeadline": "SPFL season 2019/20: Winter break retained as campaign start date is revealed","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555512974000 ,"articleLead": "

The big kick-off for next season’s Ladbrokes Premiership has been pencilled in for August 3.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909446.1555512969!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The key dates for the 2019/20 campaign have been announced. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

Scottish Professional Football League chiefs have confirmed that the 2019/2020 top-flight season will start on the first Saturday in August, with the three lower divisions also returning to action after their summer holidays on the same day.

But while the Championship and Leagues One and Two will play on through the first month of 2020, the Premiership clubs have again opted to hold a winter break between December 30 and January 17.

SPFL bosses will be hoping it is all still to play for by the time it comes to the top division’s final weekend over May 16 and 17.

The team finishing second bottom of the Premiership will be forced to battle against the drop against a second-tier contender in the play-off final, with the first leg set for May 20 and the return four days later.

The full fixture list for all four divisions will be released at some point in June.

The dates for the Betfred Cup have also been confirmed, with group stage games kicking off on July 13 and running to July 28.

The second round - which sees Scotland’s four European competitors make their entrance - takes place on August 17 and 18, with the SPFL confirming the last 16 will again be played on a weekend to avoid clashing with UEFA competition dates.

The last eight is scheduled for the midweek of September 24 to 26, while the semi-finals will take place on November 2 and 3.

The showpiece Hampden final is set for December 7 or 8.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909446.1555512969!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909446.1555512969!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The key dates for the 2019/20 campaign have been announced. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The key dates for the 2019/20 campaign have been announced. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909446.1555512969!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/crime/hibs-fan-overtaken-by-emotion-fined-for-pitch-invasion-1-4909382","id":"1.4909382","articleHeadline": "Hibs fan ‘overtaken by emotion’ fined for pitch invasion","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555511322000 ,"articleLead": "

A Hibs supporter who jumped out of the stand and ran across the penalty box to celebrate with players has been fined £500.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909389.1555511318!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibernian's Mark Milligan celebrates with scorer Marc McNulty after making it 2-1 against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park. Picture: TSPL"} ,"articleBody": "

Oliver Bridgland, 25, barged past stewards after Hibs scored a late winning goal against St Johnstone.

He escaped a football banning order after giving the court an undertaking he would not go to any Hibs match for the rest of this season.

Sheriff Gillian Wade told Bridgland, from Scone: “This behaviour is extremely unimpressive. You behave in a foolish and irresponsible way and it will have consequences for you as you now have a criminal conviction.

“It was totally unnecessary and spoiled the occasion for you and others who were trying to deal with your ridiculous behaviour.

“You should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself. I take into account that you have no previous convictions.

“I am not satisfied that the quite draconian measure of a football banning order is required.”

The Hibs supporter’s pitch invasion was broadcast on live television as he charged towards a group of players in the 84th minute.

Bridgland admitted breaching the peace during the St Johnstone v Hibs match at McDiarmid Park in Perth on February 27 this year.

He admitted running from his seat, climbing over the perimeter wall, forcing his way past stewards, running across the pitch and standing with the players.

Fiscal depute Matthew Kerr told Perth Sheriff Court that there were 3,600 fans at the match, with 1,600 Hibs fans housed in the North Stand behind a goal.

Mr Kerr said: “With five minutes remaining in the game, Hibs scored a goal. He ran onto the playing surface, past numerous St Johnstone players with his arms in the air and his fists clenched.

“He ran through the penalty box, from one side to the other, to join in with the celebrating Hibs players. Police feared copycat action by other supporters, so they removed the accused from the pitch.”

Solicitor John McLaughlin, defending, said: “No-one would have known when he entered the pitch what his intentions were. He was embracing and being embraced by the players.

“He has acted in an exceptionally stupid and irresponsible manner. He is genuine in his remorse and appreciates a moment of exuberation can have far reaching consequences. He was effectively overtaken by emotion.

“He has no intention of attending any more games this season and would give the court an undertaking to that effect.”

Bridgland admitted shoving his way past stewards and entering the field of play when Scotland player Marc McNulty scored to put Hibs 2-1 ahead with five minutes to play.

During the BT Sport TV coverage, Bridgland could then be seen careering across the pitch to join the celebrating Hibs players in a group huddle.

Sheriff Wade rejected the Crown’s motion for a football banning order and said: “He got carried away with the whole situation.”

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909389.1555511318!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909389.1555511318!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibernian's Mark Milligan celebrates with scorer Marc McNulty after making it 2-1 against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park. Picture: TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibernian's Mark Milligan celebrates with scorer Marc McNulty after making it 2-1 against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park. Picture: TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909389.1555511318!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hearts-sean-clare-puts-rivalry-aside-to-back-hibs-marvin-bartley-over-racial-abuse-1-4909184","id":"1.4909184","articleHeadline": "Hearts’ Sean Clare ‘puts rivalry aside’ to back Hibs’ Marvin Bartley over racial abuse","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555507750000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts’ Sean Clare has publicly shown his support for rival Marvin Bartley over the racial abuse the Hibs midfielder suffered at this month’s Edinburgh derby at Tynecastle.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909182.1555507745!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs' Marvin Bartley left, and Hearts' Sean Clare. Pictures: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

The 32-year-old was targeted as he warmed up during the Ladbrokes Premiership clash, which Hibs won 2-1 thanks to a double from Daryl Horgan, with footage emerging of a Hearts fan branding the former Burnley and Leyton Orient player a “n*****” and a “black c***”.

Bartley earlier this week thanked fans “of various clubs and people of all creeds and colours” for the support he received in the aftermath of the incident.

In a message on Twitter, the ex-Bournemouth man wrote: “Just logged onto an unreal amount of messages of support from fans of various clubs and people of all creeds and colours nationwide. Thank you all for taking time out of your day to show support! #NoToRacism”.

Responding to Bartley, Clare wrote: “Putting our rivalry aside, my support is with you bro and anyone of any ethnicity or race who is subjected to this disgusting behaviour.

“There is no place for it anywhere in society, let alone at a football match. Needs to be addressed worldwide.”

Bartley responded with: “Truly appreciated bro, you’re completely right and it needs to stop now! Look forward to kicking you soon” to which Clare replied: “Exactly that bro. Only if you can catch me though!”

Bartley had posted a statement on social media after being made aware of the footage, in which he said: “I take everything that is thrown at me, as untrue as it is, when playing [at Tynecastle] and simply get on with it, but the one thing that I refuse to accept is racial abuse.

“So maybe it is time to take action against these small-minded, ignorant people. Let’s not let it creep back into our game!”

A 38-year-old man was arrested by Police Scotland in the days following the derby, and charged with allegedly directing racial language towards Bartley during the game.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909182.1555507745!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909182.1555507745!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs' Marvin Bartley left, and Hearts' Sean Clare. Pictures: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs' Marvin Bartley left, and Hearts' Sean Clare. Pictures: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909182.1555507745!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5775052899001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/watch-little-hibs-fan-2-sings-cute-rendition-of-glory-glory-to-the-hibees-1-4909139","id":"1.4909139","articleHeadline": "WATCH: Little Hibs fan, 2, sings cute rendition of ‘Glory Glory to the Hibees’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555505383000 ,"articleLead": "

Everyone loves a car sing-a-long. But one young Hibs fan has been melting hearts with her cute rendition of ‘Glory Glory to the Hibees’ while raising a few eyebrows with her ability to name the team’s forward line.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909135.1555505952!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Aria Beveridge is a happy Hibee. Pic: contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

Aria Beveridge, whose family live in Loanhead, has literally been a Hibs fan since before birth having attended the club’s Scottish Cup final victory over Rangers at Hampden in 2016 while inside her mum’s tummy.

The two-year-old’s aunty, Hayleigh Ross, told the Evening News that her sister Danielle was eight months pregnant with her at the time.

Hayleigh said: “Aria had her first Hibs top bought for her at the age of five months and she was taken to her first game. She was sat in the car and we played Hibs songs and that’s just been it. Every time in the car she asks: ‘Hibs please, Hibs please.’”

Hayleigh posted a video on twitter yesterday of her niece giving a rendition of ‘Glory Glory to the Hibees.’

In another video, taken a a few months ago, Aria also does very well to recite the names of players from the club’s forward line.

On her twitter post, Hayleigh writes: “What 2 year old do you know that knows the forward line??”

And she says her niece has even wowed her grandad, David Ross, also a big Hibs fan, by singing parts of Sunshine on Leith to him at his home.

She added: “My dad was so chuffed. We will be sitting in the living room and she’ll just come out with it, ‘grandad can we play Sunshine on Leith.’”

The youngster also likes to sit in the shopping trolley and sing while her mum walks around Asda.

Aria’s mum, Danielle, said: “I’m super proud of her, she absolutely loves the Hibees, loves going to the games with me. Every time we get in the car it’s always “Hibees on Mummy” so she can sing along.”

The videos posted on twitter have led to many people suggesting little Aria should get a free season ticket or get the chance to be a Hibs mascot.

Hayleigh said the club’s stadium announcer, Barrie Wilkins, got in touch last night about the possibility of her being a mascot next season.

Hayleigh added: “She is so confident and would be running onto the pitch to do that.”

Aria has already got her season ticket for 2019/20.

She will be turning three years old in July.

To keep up-to-date with all our stories from across Edinburgh and the Lothians like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909135.1555505952!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909135.1555505952!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Aria Beveridge is a happy Hibee. Pic: contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Aria Beveridge is a happy Hibee. Pic: contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909135.1555505952!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909136.1555505954!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909136.1555505954!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Aria Beveridge","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Aria Beveridge","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909136.1555505954!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4909137.1555505955!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4909137.1555505955!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Aria with her mum, Danielle (left) and aunty Hayleigh with the Scottish Cup","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Aria with her mum, Danielle (left) and aunty Hayleigh with the Scottish Cup","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4909137.1555505955!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6027088948001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-manager-craig-levein-has-say-on-john-souttar-transfer-speculation-1-4908544","id":"1.4908544","articleHeadline": "Hearts manager Craig Levein has say on John Souttar transfer speculation","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555495031000 ,"articleLead": "

Craig Levein insists Hearts have no plans to cash in on burgeoning centre-back John Souttar this summer.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908543.1555495026!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Craig Levein feels he has 'all bases covered' with John Souttar. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The 23-year-old defender recently signed a contract extension tying him to the club until 2022, but speculation has already begun about his future, with reports over the weekend crediting Rangers with a strong interest in taking him to Ibrox. Levein laughed off this link in his post-match media briefing following Saturday’s Scottish Cup semi-final victory over Inverness Caledonian Thistle, with the manager placing it in the same bracket as the unfounded rumour that he is planning to retire to Spain this summer.

Some supporters are concerned, however, that the recently-announced pre-contract signing of Livingston defender Craig Halkett is a sign that Hearts are preparing for the possible exit of their prized asset. Levein refuted this suggestion.

“We will lose Conor Shaughnessy, who is going back to Leeds, in the summer so obviously we needed another centre-back,” the manager told the Evening News. “Craig Halkett has not been signed in any way as a replacement for John Souttar. I hope John’s still with us for another couple of years. There’s nothing really to say about John other than we’re in a good position and John’s in a good position. He’s happy where he is, playing good football and improving all the time, and that was the reason he extended his contract. He feels there’s a little bit to go here, and so do I.”

Levein knows that Souttar’s impressive form over the past couple of seasons, which has taken him into the Scotland squad, has elevated him to a level where he is desirable to other clubs. While he refused to rule out the possibility that the former Dundee United player would be sold if a suitable offer was received, he is content that, given the fact he has more than years to run on his contract, Hearts have full control of the situation.

“We’ve got all bases covered with John,” said Levein. “He recently signed a three-and-a-half-year deal so it puts us in a strong position if there is anybody who is interested in trying to sign him. We’re in a good place in that regard. Whatever happens, we’ll just have to deal with it if anything comes along. The hard work’s been done and we’ve protected ourselves if he does leave but I don’t think that will happen this summer. This is football though – things happen when you least expect it.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908543.1555495026!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908543.1555495026!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Craig Levein feels he has 'all bases covered' with John Souttar. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Craig Levein feels he has 'all bases covered' with John Souttar. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908543.1555495026!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6017744571001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/steven-whittaker-we-ll-make-sure-it-s-about-hibs-not-celtic-1-4908481","id":"1.4908481","articleHeadline": "Steven Whittaker: We’ll make sure it’s about Hibs, not Celtic","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555479000000 ,"articleLead": "

Celtic’s title party preparations have probably been pretty much finalised, the only details to be settled being where and when.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908480.1555424083!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Steven Whittaker challenges Celtic's Scott Sinclair during a meeting between the two teams at Easter Road last season. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Both those questions could be answered at Easter Road on Sunday. Should Old Firm rivals Rangers fail to beat Hearts at Tynecastle 24 hour earlier, then the second leg of an astonishing third treble could be clinched on the other side of Edinburgh.

To see former boss Neil Lennon cavort around the pitch he once called home rejoicing in an eighth successive title for the Hoops is something Hibs supporters would dearly avoid having to witness.

But, insisted Easter Road veteran Steven Whittaker, Paul Heckingbottom’s players have to ignore the hype which would inevitably engulf the match should that scenario arise and concentrate simply concentrate on continuing the turnaround their season has enjoyed since the new head coach arrived.

A remarkable 20 points out of a possible 24 not only earned what had once appeared an unlikely top six finish, but an equally outlandish tilt at claiming a place in the Europa League for a second successive season.

This time last year Celtic turned up at Easter Road for the first of the five post-split matches, Lennon getting the better of then Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers and so putting off their celebrations for a week.

Admitting a repeat of that 2-1 result would be ideal which would also help make amends for Celtic’s Scottish Cup victory over Hibs a few weeks ago, Whittaker conceded it was a big ask.

He said: “If Celtic can do it on the day that will be a huge incentive for them, but even if they can’t I’m sure they’ll want to make sure they can get the title wrapped up as quickly as possible.

“Obviously you don’t want to see them winning it on your pitch, but regardless of how things are it won’t change our game plan in any way. No matter what Celtic have to play for on the day, we’ll only have the three points in our sights.”

Watching his old pal Scott Brown lift trophy after trophy has become a regular feature of Scottish football, the Celtic skipper like himself defying the years, Whittaker now in the 19th season of a career which began at Easter Road as one of that “golden generation” which also included Kevin Thomson, Garry O’Connor, Derek Riordan and Steven Fletcher.

Whittaker, back at Hibs for a second spell having played for Rangers and Norwich City, said: “Scott’s career speaks for itself, it’s been fantastic and I am sure he will be hoping to win a couple more trophies before the end of this season.

“Every time he’s been written off he just bounces back. I saw it with Davie Weir at Rangers playing up to and beyond 40. Everty time the team didn’t play well, not necessarily Davie, it ws a case of ‘he’s too old, he’s this or he’s that’.

“But he was a real warrior that kept going and playing to that age, what he achieved was phenomenal. I think Davie came into the game a bit later than the likes of Scott and myself, but if you work it out, we’ve probably had careers of a similar length. I’m 34, turning 35 so that would be another four years or so away for me – I don’t know if my body would take it.”

Whittaker admits watching youngsters such as Ryan Porteous, Oli Shaw and Sean Mackie begin to make their mark in Hibs first team turns back the clock to the days he and the others who went on to have such successful careers – all playing for Scotland – were in that position.

He said: “Throughout the years Hibs have a good reputation for bringing through young players. Garry and Derek were a year older than Scott, Kevin and myself while Steven was a year younger.

“We were lucky, Bobby Williamson was the sort who gave youngsters a chance, you were thrown in and you could either sink or swim. We could showcase our talent, we kept playing and that stood us in great stead for the careers we’ve had having such experience as such a young age.

“When Bobby moved on Tony Mowbray came in and he was great for us at the time, a great coach while we were all young, keen, fit boys wanting to learn and it all seemed to click into place for us.

“You got your chance but you could see boys who had the talent but who fell by the wayside. But we all had a good attitude and were willing to learn. And as we have seen with the boys coming through at the minute, you still get your opportunities to play here.”

Whittaker, however, looks unlikely to play on Sunday having only just returned to action with an hour-long run out in Monday’s SPFL Reserve League win over Dundee United having been out injured since Heckingbottom’s first day in charge.

“It’s been frustrating,” he admitted. “With a new manager coming you want to show him what you can do but in his very first training session I pulled my hip flexor.

“It wasn’t the ideal start but that’s part and parcel of football. I’ve had to do my rehabilitation and have now got to the point of getting some minutes on the pitch.

“With the season coming to an end it’s probably going to be hard for me to get back involved but I’ll keep working away and try to put myself in the best place I can.

“Of course everyone wants to play but we are all in it together. Whether you are playing or not you just want the club to be doing well and it’s great to see the side on such a good run since the new manager came in. Everything has settled down, we are happy and enjoying the results at the minute.”

Hibs go into the final straight buoyed by a first derby victory at Tynecastle in six years and Whittaker believes going higher isn’t beyond them. He said: “I’m sure there will be a few twists and turns to come with everyone playing each other. The way the fixtures have fallen, with Celtic, Hearts and Aberdeen at home, has been not too bad for us. We’ve got six points to make up but we’ll take it game by game, hope to eat into that and be in a better position when it’s all over.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908480.1555424083!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908480.1555424083!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Steven Whittaker challenges Celtic's Scott Sinclair during a meeting between the two teams at Easter Road last season. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Steven Whittaker challenges Celtic's Scott Sinclair during a meeting between the two teams at Easter Road last season. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908480.1555424083!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-need-more-flair-in-team-and-craig-levein-plans-to-rectify-situation-1-4908661","id":"1.4908661","articleHeadline": "Hearts need more flair in team – and Craig Levein plans to rectify situation","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555479000000 ,"articleLead": "

Analysing Hearts’ season so far is a fraught business since there are so many contradictory factors to consider.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908660.1555441464!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts have the Scottish Cup final to look forward to next month. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

In a campaign where they were top of the Scottish Premiership in November, and have made it to both the Betfred Cup semi-final and the Scottish Cup final (yet to be played), it is remarkable that it isn’t able to be deemed a clear-cut success. The reason for this, of course, is the demoralising slump in league form over the past six months in which they have won only seven – and lost 12 – of their last 23 Premiership matches since going six points clear at the summit with a 3-0 win away to Dundee in the last week of October. During this period they have slipped from first place to sixth and are almost certainly out of contention for a top-four finish as they prepare to play out their five post-split fixtures before their big day against Celtic at Hampden next month.

Prior to Saturday’s much-needed Scottish Cup semi-final victory over Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Hearts’ main source of cheer in the last six months had come from narrow victories away to Hibs and Kilmarnock, and at home to Aberdeen – the three sides directly above them. In addition to this, one of their best displays came in the recent home game against Celtic when they were unfortunate to lose 2-1. In contrast to their ability to make life difficult for the league’s better sides, they have generally toiled against the weaker teams, as evidenced by the fact St Johnstone are the only side in the bottom six they haven’t lost to. Given the fact Hearts have a core to their team (Christophe Berra, John Souttar, Peter Haring, Arnaud Djoum, Steven Naismith and Uche Ikpeazu) which can be considered, on paper at least, the equal of any side outside Celtic and Rangers, their current mid-table status is exasperating for their supporters and manager.

Injuries have clearly taken a toll, with four of the aforementioned key men missing significant segments of the season, Haring afflicted by hernia trouble for several months and Djoum pitched in in September on the back of a seven-month lay-off with a ruptured Achilles tendon. Perhaps most damagingly for Hearts, Naismith and Ikpeazu – the two pillars upon which Levein built his attack last summer – have been able to start together only four times since those giddy early months when they were being viewed as potential title contenders. Without those two busy-bodies simultaneously ruffling feathers, Hearts have been largely reliant on their set-piece expertise to get them goals, in addition to sporadic moments of quality from Sean Clare and Jake Mulraney, the two work-in-progress attackers who have blown hot and cold throughout the campaign.

As a result, Hearts have too often lacked the wherewithal to triumph in tight matches, regardless of the quality of opposition.

This is down to a shortage of creative spark in Hearts’ attack, with the Tynecastle side currently lacking someone in the mould of Daryl Horgan, Gary Mackay-Steven or Jordan Jones – a trio of lively wide players who have helped elevate Hibs, Aberdeen and Kilmarnock above them in the table.

Levein acknowledged recently that his team is in need of more flair, a situation he plans to rectify in the summer. “We could do with two or three players in the front area of the field that can help us in those games where there’s deadlock and we need to get in front,” Levein told the Evening News this week.

While the bustling nature of either Naismith or Ikpeazu in attack always gives Hearts a fighting chance, they have no other players in the final third they can currently hang their hat on. Clare and Mulraney clearly have talent but must add more consistency and ruthlessness to take their game to a level whereby Levein can properly rely on them. Craig Wighton falls into a similar category. “All three of them will have a part to play next season so I’m quite excited about that,” said Levein, who is hopeful that this trio will benefit from getting their first season at Tynecastle under their belts.

Hearts’ defensive and central-midfield department is in reasonably good order both at present and in relation to next season. While they have conceded more goals than they would have liked this term, the lack of continuity in personnel and long-term injury to key players has been a significant factor. Christophe Berra and John Souttar, assisted by Craig Halkett, Michael Smith and Clevid Dikamona, should be capable of rediscovering their dual solidity if starting next term injury-free. Even if the on-form Djoum chooses to leave under freedom of contract in the summer, Hearts will still be fairly well covered in midfield, with the dominant Haring plus Olly Lee, Olly Bozanic and Harry Cochrane. While any or all of Clare, Mulraney, Wighton and teenage winger Callumn Morrison could yet develop into reliable match-winners in time, Hearts could desperately do with adding some more established creative players to take the burden off Naismith and Ikpeazu and allow the team to start fulfilling its potential. The problem, of course, is sourcing these players within Hearts’ budget.

Levein had high hopes for Danny Amankwaa when he signed him just over a year ago, but the former Copenhagen winger – with the edge taken off his game following serious injury – lacked the required intensity and work ethic. Clare, who has chipped in with some lovely goals against Livingston, Kilmarnock and Dundee, would probably have had a better chance of hitting the ground running if he hadn’t been pitched in at a time when Naismith and Ikpeazu had just been sidelined by long-term injury.

In the absence of a reliable source of thrust and spark in recent months, it is easy to imagine that a player like David Milinkovic – who shone in an inferior Hearts team last term while on loan from Genoa – would have made a significant difference this season. Ultimately, however, as is usually the case with more proven attacking players who aren’t afflicted by fitness issues, finance was the stumbling block.

In his previous managerial reigns at Hearts and Dundee United, Levein was well-served by creative players like Jean-Louis Valois, Craig Conway and Danny Swanson. None of this trio were deemed big-hitters when he signed them, but they all developed into key men. Whether through the continued nurturing of the creative players already on the books at Hearts, or by pushing the boat out to get a couple of quality senior players who have already proven they have the ability to carve open top-level defences, Levein knows he needs to add a sprinkling of stardust to a team which otherwise has most of the key nuts and bolts in place. “Goals obviously change games so getting the first goal is always important,” he said. “The more players you’ve got who have that as their strengths, the better, so we’re looking for creative players who can not just assist but score as well. I’ve got a fair idea what we need for next season so I’m working behind the scenes on that. I feel that we’re not far away. We’ll only need to do three or four things rather than what we’ve done in the past couple of summers.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908660.1555441464!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908660.1555441464!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts have the Scottish Cup final to look forward to next month. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts have the Scottish Cup final to look forward to next month. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908660.1555441464!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/lower-leagues/serfya-round-up-lothian-colts-13s-in-final-after-thriller-wins-for-leith-and-bonnyrigg-1-4908321","id":"1.4908321","articleHeadline": "SERFYA round-up: Lothian Colts 13s in final after thriller | wins for Leith and Bonnyrigg","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555479000000 ,"articleLead": "

Lothian Colts Under-13s booked their place in the Colin Campbell Sports Cup final after defeating Tynecastle whites 5-4 at Saughton Park.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908320.1555412393!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image"} ,"articleBody": "

Lothian Colts dominated possession in the opening stages and started off the scoring in the eighth minute from a corner. Robert McCallum was unmarked at the back post and guided the ball into the back of the net with his right foot.

A minute later, the Colts doubled their advantage as Charlie Robinson found the ball stuck under him, but improvised well to flick the ball over the keeper.

Tynie responded soon after going two down with a goal of their own as Leon Byrne raced in on goal and slotted home, finding the bottom right corner with a low drive.

McCallum scored another two in quick succession to seal his hat-trick on the 17-minute mark.

Colts inflicted more damage before the half was out as McCallum rounded off an astonishing first-half performance with a headed finish, taking the score at half time to 5-1.

After the break, Tynie came out determined to take control of the game. They scored early on through Andrei Samoila and a further two goals came later in the half from Max Cairnie and Struan Woodford, taking the score to 5-4. They bravely launched everything at goal in the final minutes but the Colts held out, their first-half superiority too much to turn around.

In the Alpha Trophies Division 3, Leith Athletic Colts U-13s overcame Redhall Star 5-2.

In a closely-contested first half, goals from Robbie Burns and Aiden Brown saw Leith go into the break level at 2-2.

A special volleyed finish from Daniel Platt put Leith ahead midway through the second half. Leith then went on to score another two, Burns grabbing a second and Max Duncan finishing off another intricate Leith move.

Bonnyrigg Rose whites U-15s defeated Peebles in a tight Division 2 clash.

The game kicked into life in the 20th minute after good build-up play. Luke Davies controlled the ball on his thigh and volleyed past the keeper from just outside the box to go one up.

Bonnyrigg managed to get a second in the 36th minute through a bundled-in effort from a corner, with Connor McGrath getting the decisive touch.

Peebles broke fiercely on the counter-attack, but were kept quiet for a majority of the game by the equally-impressive pace of Bonnyrigg’s back-line.

Peebles managed to claw one back before the break to take the score to 2-1 and bring the game back into contention.

However, a solid defensive performance from both sides in the second half lead to neither side adding to their first-half spoils and Bonnyrigg claimed a well-earned three points.

Arniston Rangers U-16s came from behind against Spartans Youth to win 4-1 in a Division 2 tie.

Spartans gained an early lead, but Arniston soon equalised through a well-taken penalty by Andrew Henderson.

Craig Knight gave Arniston the lead heading into half-time as he did well to keep his composure in front of goal and slotted home amongst a crowd of Spartans defenders.

Mark Ramsay marshalled the Arniston midfield, keeping the tempo high and creating numerous chances from the back. A few more of these opportunities fell to Knight, who scored another two goals to complete his hat-trick.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BRYCE DONALDSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908320.1555412393!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908320.1555412393!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "editorial image","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908320.1555412393!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/oli-shaw-explains-why-positional-switch-can-help-force-way-into-hibs-team-1-4908533","id":"1.4908533","articleHeadline": "Oli Shaw explains why positional switch can help force way into Hibs team","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555479000000 ,"articleLead": "

Oli Shaw hopes becoming a bit of a wide boy will help him strengthen his claim for a place in Paul Heckingbottom’s side as Hibs begin a final push for a place in the Europa League.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908532.1555426831!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Oli Shaw"} ,"articleBody": "

The Easter Road striker has only made five appearances since Heckingbottom became the city club’s new head coach, all of them as a substitute.

But now the 21-year-old has his fingers crossed a change of position could prove key to his desire for greater involvement in the closing five matches of the season, starting with Sunday’s visit from Celtic.

Heckingbottom has initiated a tactical change as Hibs have gone unbeaten in eight games in the Premiership, collecting an impressive 20 points out of a possible 24, one which has seen Florian Kamberi being asked to play wide left in a 4-3-3 formation and leaving Marc McNulty as the lone striker.

It’s a switch which has been replicated in the SPFL Reserve League with Shaw filling that position, the youngster scoring as Hibs defeated Dundee United 2-0 at East Mains on Monday, a win which took them back to the top of the table.

Although seen as a more traditional striker, Shaw insisted he’s enjoying adapting to his new role on the flank, saying: “We’ve been laying a 4-3-3, so there is only one place for a striker.

“I’ve been asked to go out wide and add different positions to my game as it gives you a better chance to come on and play in matches. As a player, you are always developing and learning new things. The manager has come in and implemented new things, so the whole squad are working hard to get that nailed down for the next five games and going into next season.

“He knows how he wants to play and knows what he wants to do. We’ll all work hard and it’s important for me to develop my game and find different positions I can play in. At the end of the day you want to play football, so learning a new position can aid me in that respect.”

Shaw admitted it’s been a change to always being in the box looking for a “poacher’s finish”, but he told the club website: “The manager has asked me to go out and do a job in a new position and I am working hard to implement what he wants to see from me in that wide position.

“Hopefully I’m doing that well and maybe I’ll get a chance back in the first team.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908532.1555426831!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908532.1555426831!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Oli Shaw","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Oli Shaw","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908532.1555426831!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/albert-kidd-responds-to-sandy-clark-tirade-and-is-truly-sorry-hearts-never-won-league-1-4908684","id":"1.4908684","articleHeadline": "Albert Kidd responds to Sandy Clark tirade and ‘is truly sorry’ Hearts never won league","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555479000000 ,"articleLead": "

Albert Kidd has advised Sandy Clark to stop living in the past after the former Hearts striker revealed he wanted to “kick his head in”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908683.1555445343!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Albert Kidd scored twice for Dundee against Hearts, denying the Jambos the title in 1986. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Kidd was instrumental in Hearts missing out on the Scottish title on the last day of the season at Dens Park in 1986 after scoring two late goals for Dundee against the visitors, who needed just a point to win the league.

Celtic’s 5-0 victory over St Mirren on the same afternoon was the required margin to leapfrog Hearts in a dramatic finale.

But Clark, speaking on Radio Scotland’s Off the Ball programme on Saturday, was more angered by Kidd’s subsequent conduct. He claimed Kidd “rubbed salt in the wounds” with his comments about being a Celtic supporter.

Kidd, who now lives in Australia, has often been invited as guest of honour to Celtic supporters’ functions.

“Albert Kidd, who is somebody I don’t know that well, I would like to have kicked his head in,” said Clark. “Not then, his comments [since] and his bit about teams he supported.”

Kidd has been taken aback by the strength of feeling displayed by Clark over three decades later.

“Had he said this right after the game and continued to say this for a couple of years, so be it and I wouldn’t have been surprised, but 33 years on, is a long time between drinks,” said Kidd, who recalled meeting Clark at the Scottish Football Writers’ Association Dinner in Glasgow in 2016.

“Thirty minutes into the function, I noticed Sandy Clark at a table nearby. I approached him and greeted him saying: ‘Sandy Clark, it has been a while sir, how are you?’ His response was delayed and my first thought was: ‘jeez he doesn’t know me’.

“I proceeded to tell him who I was and he answered by saying: ‘I know who you are’. So the conversation was fabulous and lasted eight to ten seconds.

“I knew from that moment that he was still hurting and if I continued speaking, he may well have got a bit out of sorts.

“I would like it to be put on record by saying that I am truly sorry that Hearts never won the championship in 1986,” added Kidd.

“Yes, I had a hand in the end result and Celtic, who I follow and support, benefited greatly.

“However, I must say that I was sincerely and absolutely gutted for all of the lads at Hearts on that day in May 1986 at Dundee – and this includes Sandy Clark, who I respected as a very good professional football player and who I first met and played against way back in 1979/80 when he was the captain at Airdrie and I was captain at Motherwell.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALAN PATTULLO"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908683.1555445343!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908683.1555445343!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Albert Kidd scored twice for Dundee against Hearts, denying the Jambos the title in 1986. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Albert Kidd scored twice for Dundee against Hearts, denying the Jambos the title in 1986. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908683.1555445343!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-most-memorable-victories-over-celtic-in-the-last-30-years-1-4908677","id":"1.4908677","articleHeadline": "Hearts' most memorable victories over Celtic in the last 30 years","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555441822036 ,"articleLead": "Hearts face Celtic in the 2018/19 William Hill Scottish Cup final next month, looking to lift the trophy for the ninth time in the club's history.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908664.1555446103!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts celebrate Rudi Skacel's goal in the 2-1 Scottish Cup semi-final win over Celtic"} ,"articleBody": "

Here, we look back at some of the Tynecastle side's most memorable victories over the Hoops in the last three decades...

" ,"byline": {"email": "ensport@edinburghnews.com" ,"author": "Kathleen Oates"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908664.1555446103!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908664.1555446103!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts celebrate Rudi Skacel's goal in the 2-1 Scottish Cup semi-final win over Celtic","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts celebrate Rudi Skacel's goal in the 2-1 Scottish Cup semi-final win over Celtic","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908664.1555446103!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908665.1555446129!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908665.1555446129!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kyle Lafferty scored the only goal as Hearts beat the double-treble winners at Tynecastle during their early run of form that saw them top the table.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kyle Lafferty scored the only goal as Hearts beat the double-treble winners at Tynecastle during their early run of form that saw them top the table.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908665.1555446129!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908666.1555446143!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908666.1555446143!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts ran riot as they brought Celtic's 69-game unbeaten run to a shuddering halt. 16-year-old Harry Cochrane scored the opener before Kyle Lafferty and David Milinkovic (x2) also got on the scoresheet","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts ran riot as they brought Celtic's 69-game unbeaten run to a shuddering halt. 16-year-old Harry Cochrane scored the opener before Kyle Lafferty and David Milinkovic (x2) also got on the scoresheet","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908666.1555446143!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908667.1555446160!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908667.1555446160!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts set up a mouthwatering all-Edinburgh Scottish Cup final with a late, late win over Celtic in the semis. Craig Beattie scored an injury-time penalty, before THIS celebration...","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts set up a mouthwatering all-Edinburgh Scottish Cup final with a late, late win over Celtic in the semis. Craig Beattie scored an injury-time penalty, before THIS celebration...","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908667.1555446160!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908668.1555446173!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908668.1555446173!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts travelled to Parkhead for this League Cup quarter-final, with a brace from Andrius Velicka in the last 13 minutes securing victory for the Jambos under coach Stevie Frail.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts travelled to Parkhead for this League Cup quarter-final, with a brace from Andrius Velicka in the last 13 minutes securing victory for the Jambos under coach Stevie Frail.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908668.1555446173!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908669.1555445736!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908669.1555445736!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts spoiled Celtic's title-winning party as Kestutis Ivaskevicius, Andrew Driver and Michal Pospisil gave them a 3-1 win, with ex-Jambos captain Steven Pressley replying for the Hoops","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts spoiled Celtic's title-winning party as Kestutis Ivaskevicius, Andrew Driver and Michal Pospisil gave them a 3-1 win, with ex-Jambos captain Steven Pressley replying for the Hoops","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908669.1555445736!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908670.1555445738!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908670.1555445738!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Roman Bednar did the damage as Hearts went joint-top of the SPL with this win. Managers Gordon Strachan and John McGlynn were sent to the stand as a Neil Lennon error gifted Hearts the winner","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Roman Bednar did the damage as Hearts went joint-top of the SPL with this win. Managers Gordon Strachan and John McGlynn were sent to the stand as a Neil Lennon error gifted Hearts the winner","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908670.1555445738!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908671.1555445739!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908671.1555445739!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts took a big step towards a second-place finish with this win in which they went 2-0 up inside the first 10 minutes and kept a clean sheet, eventually finishing a point clear of Rangers in third.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts took a big step towards a second-place finish with this win in which they went 2-0 up inside the first 10 minutes and kept a clean sheet, eventually finishing a point clear of Rangers in third.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908671.1555445739!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908672.1555445740!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908672.1555445740!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts were two goals up inside 20 minutes at Parkhead, with ex-Celtic striker Mark Burchill netting the second. The Jambos held on to record a fine win and clean sheet.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts were two goals up inside 20 minutes at Parkhead, with ex-Celtic striker Mark Burchill netting the second. The Jambos held on to record a fine win and clean sheet.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908672.1555445740!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908675.1555445741!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908675.1555445741!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Colin Cameron's late penalty capped an incredible comeback from Hearts as they overturned a two-goal deficit to win 3-2 and helped secure a third-place finish.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Colin Cameron's late penalty capped an incredible comeback from Hearts as they overturned a two-goal deficit to win 3-2 and helped secure a third-place finish.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908675.1555445741!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908673.1555445742!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908673.1555445742!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts' second league win of the season over Celtic, with Scott Crabbe and John Millar on target for the Jambos despite John Collins pulling one back with five minutes to play","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts' second league win of the season over Celtic, with Scott Crabbe and John Millar on target for the Jambos despite John Collins pulling one back with five minutes to play","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908673.1555445742!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908674.1555445743!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908674.1555445743!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "David Hagen's second-half goal was hugely instrumental in Hearts avoiding relegation. The Jambos finished just 7 points clear of basement side Dundee United but were just 10 points off third as well.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "David Hagen's second-half goal was hugely instrumental in Hearts avoiding relegation. The Jambos finished just 7 points clear of basement side Dundee United but were just 10 points off third as well.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908674.1555445743!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908676.1555445744!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908676.1555445744!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts recorded a comprehensive victory over Celtic at Tynecastle thanks to goals from George Wright, Craig Levein and Scott Crabbe. The Jambos eventually finished second.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts recorded a comprehensive victory over Celtic at Tynecastle thanks to goals from George Wright, Craig Levein and Scott Crabbe. The Jambos eventually finished second.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908676.1555445744!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/unreal-amount-of-support-hibs-marvin-bartley-thanks-fans-for-messages-after-racism-row-1-4908618","id":"1.4908618","articleHeadline": "‘Unreal amount of support’ - Hibs’ Marvin Bartley thanks fans for messages after racism row","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555434400000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs midfielder Marvin Bartley has thanked fans “of various clubs and people of all creeds and colours” for the support he received in the aftermath of a racial abuse incident during the Edinburgh derby with Hearts at Tynecastle earlier this month.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908616.1555434395!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Marvin Bartley (right) battles for the ball with Hearts striker Uche Ikpeazu in the Edinburgh derby. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

The 32-year-old was targeted as he warmed up during the Ladbrokes Premiership clash, which Hibs won 2-1 thanks to a double from Daryl Horgan, with footage emerging of a Hearts fan branding the former Burnley and Leyton Orient player a “n*****” and a “black c***”.

Bartley posted a statement on social media after being made aware of the footage, in which he said: “I take everything that is thrown at me, as untrue as it is, when playing [at Tynecastle] and simply get on with it, but the one thing that I refuse to accept is racial abuse.

“So maybe it is time to take action against these small-minded, ignorant people. Let’s not let it creep back into OUR game!”

Earlier today Bartley returned to social media to show his appreciation to those who had contacted him in the immediate aftermath.

In a message posted on Twitter, the midfielder wrote: “Just logged onto an unreal amount of messages of support from fans of various clubs and people of all creeds and colours nationwide. 
“Thank you all for taking time out of your day to show support! #NoToRacism”.

A 38-year-old man was arrested by Police Scotland in the days following the derby, and charged with allegedly directing racial language towards Bartley during the game.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908616.1555434395!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908616.1555434395!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Marvin Bartley (right) battles for the ball with Hearts striker Uche Ikpeazu in the Edinburgh derby. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Marvin Bartley (right) battles for the ball with Hearts striker Uche Ikpeazu in the Edinburgh derby. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908616.1555434395!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5775052899001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/edinburgh-evening-news-football-app-to-close-1-4908584","id":"1.4908584","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh Evening News football app to close","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555429602000 ,"articleLead": "

The Edinburgh Evening News football app is to close as we improve how you get the very latest on our mobile-friendly website.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908583.1555429346!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The EEN football app will close."} ,"articleBody": "

We are constantly trying to improve the way we deliver the latest news and insight about the Capital's football clubs and have decided to close our downloadable app as our responsive website is the best place to go for updates.

The app will close shortly and will be removed from the Google Play and Apple stores, so please go to our Sport section to keep on top of what is happening at Hearts and Hibs.

You’ll see that we are constantly building on how we cover match days and how we bring you the latest transfer news and rumours from around the world. There will be new sections on the site for both match coverage and transfer news.

We will also be continuing to bring you more data-driven insight into your club and the league they play in and more opinions about what is happening on and off the pitch.

So, bookmark the Hearts or Hibs section on your browser, follow us on Facebook and Twitter and we’ll see you in the stands.

" ,"byline": {"email": "sam.shedden@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "EEN Reporter"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908583.1555429346!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908583.1555429346!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The EEN football app will close.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The EEN football app will close.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908583.1555429346!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/crime/hearts-fan-banned-from-scottish-cup-final-after-trying-to-smuggle-smoke-bomb-into-hampden-1-4908476","id":"1.4908476","articleHeadline": "Hearts fan banned from Scottish Cup Final after trying to smuggle smoke bomb into Hampden","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555423544000 ,"articleLead": "

A HEARTS fan will miss the Scottish Cup Final after trying to sneak a smoke bomb into Hampden Park.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908576.1555428444!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Pyrotechnic devices were set off at the semi-final match at Hampden. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

Stuart Brunton was snared as he turned up for the Jambos semi final clash with Inverness Caledonian Thistle last Saturday.

READ MORE: Notre-Dame fire: Authorities say devastating blaze ‘fully extinguished’

The 21 year-old, of Gracemount, Edinburgh, was held after a smoke canister fell out his pocket after going through the turnstiles.

It lead to Brunton appearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

READ MORE: Scotland’s gay rugby players offer thanks to Scott Hastings

He pled guilty to a charge of possessing a controlled substance which emits smoke.

Brunton will be sentenced next month.

But, Sheriff Allan Findlay meantime banned him from entering a football stadium within the UK.

It means Brunton will not be back at Hampden for the Hearts and Celtic final on May 25.

For all the latest Scottish news, sport and features click here, or head to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908576.1555428444!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908576.1555428444!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Pyrotechnic devices were set off at the semi-final match at Hampden. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Pyrotechnic devices were set off at the semi-final match at Hampden. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908576.1555428444!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/comment-opportunity-knocks-for-hearts-bobby-burns-after-whirlwind-year-1-4908470","id":"1.4908470","articleHeadline": "Comment: Opportunity knocks for Hearts’ Bobby Burns after whirlwind year","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555422830000 ,"articleLead": "

Bobby Burns has emerged as Hearts’ first choice at left-back. Joel Sked looks at a player who will play a key role for the rest of the campaign.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908468.1555422825!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts' Bobby Burns celebrates during the 3-0 win over Inverness at Hampden Park. Picture: SNS/Alan Harvey"} ,"articleBody": "

Opportunity and luck are intertwined. The former often presents itself on the back of the latter. Famous American personality Oprah Winfrey says luck is the meeting of preparation and opportunity.

For Hearts teenager Bobby Burns he has been granted such opportunity. To not only gain valuable first team football at Tynecastle but also the chance to become a club legend at such a young age.

His fortune has come on the back of the misfortune of others, as is so often the way in football. Serious injuries to Demetri Mitchell and Ben Garuccio has meant Craig Levein being without his first and second choice left-backs since the end of March.

He has been forced to tweak his side, something he has had to become familiar with such has been the nature of Hearts’ injury record. In the win over Aberdeen and loss to Rangers the Tynecastle boss opted for a back three using Jake Mulraney and Jamie Brandon as wing-backs respectively.

However, for the last two games, Burns has been fielded on the left of a back four. Not just any fixtures, but an Edinburgh derby and Scottish Cup semi-final. Two significant matches.

It is not a situation Levein would have liked to have been in, fielding a 19-year-old in a position he has experience in but not one he has played regularly.

This time last year Burns was still at school, head boy at St Malachy’s College in Northern Ireland. Despite playing with Glenavon at the time, Burns left with two A* and an A in his A-levels.

The move to Hearts and the transition to full-time football in the summer did not dissuade Burns from further education, the player has undertaken a part-time Open University degree in maths and business management.

Not only does it highlight the mature head on the player’s shoulders but also the personal transformation across the last 12 months. A lot has happened.

The 19-year-old showed promise on his debut in the Betfred Cup against Cove Rangers in a midfield role before playing the full game against Raith Rovers a few days later. It suggested that despite his lack of experience of full-time football he would be in around the first-team squad for the season.

Circumstances change quickly in football. Hearts were well stocked at left-back and in the centre of midfield, allowing Burns to join Livingston on loan a few days prior to the close of the summer transfer window.

It wasn’t an overly fruitful loan spell with just three starts and eight appearances overall. Yet, three of those did come against the Old Firm.

Recalled in January, there was the feeling that he would be used more often at Tynecastle especially with inconsistencies at left-back but that wasn’t to be the case, only a watching brief from the stands. That was until an appearance from the bench against Rangers which was enough to see him installed for the visit of Hibs.

Up against Daryl Horgan, Burns had a difficult afternoon. Over the piece he did not have a particularly bad game but it was Horgan who scored both goals, the Irishman proving too quick.

He was a lot more comfortable up against Tom Walsh as Hearts progressed to the Scottish Cup final with a 3-0 win at Hampden Park.

It means Burns is now in pole position to take a starting berth at the showdown against Celtic on Saturday, 25 May.

Between now and then he has five games in which he can get further up to speed with the demands of the left-back position in Scotland, while building a relationship with Christophe Berra.

There should be little doubt about Burns’ technical qualities. He takes care of the ball well, passes firmly and accurately and can be a threat from wide. Yet, an area of concern regards the player’s pace and acceleration, especially as his captain also has similar issues.

It makes the next five games vital.

Burns will come up against Daniel Candeias and James Tavernier when Rangers come to Tynecastle on Saturday. He will have another meeting with Horgan, this time at Easter Road, while Aberdeen have the strong running of Connor McLennan or the jinking qualities of Niall McGinn to contend with.

It is preparation for facing the best winger in the country. It is highly unlikely Burns and James Forrest will come up against each other in the last league game of the season, but they will in the cup final.

Forrest is rapid, over short and long distances. He is a danger inside and outside. His mere presence has full-backs questioning what is about to happen next. The biggest quality in combating the Scotland international is focus. A drop in concentration for a split second will see him take advantage.

With help from team-mates, more game time, with that concentration, with a clear head and determination, Burns can reach that level to keep Forrest quiet when it matters in May.

If he succeeds he could have played a pivotal role in helping Hearts lift the Scottish Cup and stop the treble treble. Doing so will complete a whirlwind 12 months for the player and see him earn his place in Heart of Midlothian history.

To keep up-to-date with all our stories from across Edinburgh and the Lothians like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

Sign up to our newsletter: enter your email in the box at the top of this article to get daily updates straight to your inbox.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908468.1555422825!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908468.1555422825!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts' Bobby Burns celebrates during the 3-0 win over Inverness at Hampden Park. Picture: SNS/Alan Harvey","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts' Bobby Burns celebrates during the 3-0 win over Inverness at Hampden Park. Picture: SNS/Alan Harvey","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908468.1555422825!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5755565579001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/why-stevie-mallan-should-win-hibs-player-of-the-season-award-1-4908387","id":"1.4908387","articleHeadline": "Why Stevie Mallan should win Hibs’ Player of the Season award","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555416469000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs host their Player of the Year award ceremony at the end of this month - and there’s really only one obvious contender, writes Patrick McPartlin

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908383.1555417215!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stevie Mallan has enjoyed an impressive debut season with Hibs since joining from Barnsley during the summer. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

Fans of most clubs would no doubt bite your hand off if you offered them a versatile midfielder who would reach double figures for goals and assists, play nearly every game and was still in his early twenties.

Hibs have exactly that in Stevie Mallan, but the former Barnsley man is something of a polarising figure with the Easter Road faithful.

A quick glance on social media midway through the season would have presented a rather negative view of the ex-St Mirren youngster, despite a near-perfect start to life in green and white with a debut double in the Europa League qualifier against NSI Runavik and the same again in the return leg in the Faroe Islands.

Mallan’s arrival coincided with the departure of Dylan McGeouch to Sunderland and Scott Allan’s return to parent club Celtic and although he briefly played alongside fellow former Buddy John McGinn, the Scotland international had joined Aston Villa by the end of the summer transfer window, and the last third of what was widely regarded as the best midfield outwith Celtic last season had left the building.

Former Hibs head coach Neil Lennon accepted he would have a hard time replacing the trio, but the lengthy pursuit of Mallan, the near-constant link with a return for Allan - permanent or otherwise - and the arrival of veteran Australia international Mark Milligan and Republic of Ireland cap Daryl Horgan to join Marvin Bartley, Vykintas Slivka and the emerging talent of Fraser Murray looked like good acquisitions on paper.

Throughout a season where Hibs have used 35 players in total, and myriad combinations in midfield under Lennon, joint caretaker-managers Eddie May and Grant Murray, and now Paul Heckingbottom, Mallan has been the one constant as he has featured in every game bar one, and has played the full 90 minutes in all but six matches - as well as the full 120 minutes plus penalties of the Betfred Cup quarter-final defeat to Aberdeen in September.

Like most players in the squad, he suffered a dip in form mid-season but since the departure of Lennon has scored three goals and contributed five assists, including the winner against Livingston last month, and the pass for Daryl Horgan’s decisive second against Hearts at Tynecastle last weekend.

He has 13 goals and 11 assists for the season so far, and it’s not inconceivable that both those numbers will rise before the end of the season.

It’s worth remembering that Mallan only turned 23 last month but has already played more than 160 senior games for St Mirren, Barnsley and Hibs.

His stats this term are all the more impressive given he played just eight times last season and completed the full 90 minutes in just half of those matches.

He stands a very good chance of winning the club’s Player of the Year award - although Hibs fans will ensure there is plenty of competition - but while there’s no question that the new coaching staff have benefited the team as a whole, and many individuals, the work Heckingbottom has done with Mallan is particularly notable.

He’s filled four positions, operating on the left and right of midfield, as well as in the middle and just behind the front two.

Heckingbottom’s tactical awareness has seen him tweak his formation to get the best out of his squad, and it’s to Mallan’s credit that, wherever he is asked to play, he tends to deliver.

Ostensibly a central midfielder, the bulk of his goals and assists under Heckingbottom have come from left or right midfield.

Mallan’s adaptability has had a positive effect on his team-mates too.

His ability to operate on either side of the midfield has allowed Vykintas Slivka to operate in a more central role when called upon, which has got the best out of him, while Stephane Omeonga has also been accommodated in the middle.

As soon as Hibs took the lead against Hearts, Heckingbottom changed things up, pushing Omeonga further forward to give the defence an out-ball, and getting Mallan to sit deeper.

It worked well as Hibs created a further three chances as a result of the switch.

Heckingbottom’s tactical nous has rightly received plentiful praise but his squad have played a big part in its success, none more so than Mallan.

In terms of Mallan’s team-mates, Lewis Stevenson has, as usual, been a model of consistency at left-back while the arrival of forward Marc McNulty and midfielder Stephane Omeonga at the halfway point of the season have seen Hibs play with a renewed sense of vigour.

In defence, right-back and club captain David Gray, and veteran centre-half Darren McGregor, have had decent campaigns while winger Daryl Horgan has been quietly effective in midfield, although his output suffered following Lennon’s decision to shoehorn him into the number 10 role in a bid to spark some creativity into his stuttering team during the autumn / winter dip.

Florian Kamberi hasn’t had the same impact as his first few months with the club but has still racked up 13 goals and seven assists and the striker remains a popular character with fans and players while versatile midfielder / defender Mark Milligan has grown into a key player since his return from the Asian Cup.

Mallan has been picked by every management combination Hibs have had this season, but what sets him apart from colleagues such as Slivka or Stevenson is what he brings to the team. He may not have the enforcer tendencies of Marvin Bartley, or the light-footedness of Ryan Gauld, but 13 goals and 11 assists so far make it hard to leave him on the bench. No other Easter Road midfielder has come close to contributing similar.

It’s unlikely that Mallan will repeat those numbers next season, especially with Scott Allan in the team, but his versatility and threat from dead balls, as well as his willingness to shoot from pretty much anywhere inside the opponent’s half makes him a very useful player to have around - especially under a head coach like Heckingbottom.

A case could be made for any of three or four players to win Hibs’ Player of the Year award - but none as convincing as Mallan’s.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908383.1555417215!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908383.1555417215!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Stevie Mallan has enjoyed an impressive debut season with Hibs since joining from Barnsley during the summer. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stevie Mallan has enjoyed an impressive debut season with Hibs since joining from Barnsley during the summer. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908383.1555417215!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908384.1555417217!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908384.1555417217!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Mallan has chipped in with two goals - including the winner against Livingston - and three assists under Paul Heckingbottom. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mallan has chipped in with two goals - including the winner against Livingston - and three assists under Paul Heckingbottom. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908384.1555417217!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908385.1555417220!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908385.1555417220!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Mallan scores with a trademark effort from distance in a 6-0 win over Hamilton in October 2018. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mallan scores with a trademark effort from distance in a 6-0 win over Hamilton in October 2018. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908385.1555417220!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908386.1555417222!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908386.1555417222!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Heckingbottom has got the best out of Mallan following his arrival in February. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Heckingbottom has got the best out of Mallan following his arrival in February. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908386.1555417222!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/scottish-football-live-ibrox-legend-tells-dave-king-to-stump-up-parkhead-link-with-polish-side-striker-to-make-celtic-return-rangers-allocation-cut-hearts-ace-will-wait-on-contract-1-4908123","id":"1.4908123","articleHeadline": "Scottish Football Live: Ibrox legend tells Dave King to stump up | Parkhead link with Polish side | Striker to make Celtic return | Rangers allocation cut | Hearts ace will wait on contract","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555414372000 ,"articleLead": "

Follow The Scotsman’s daily blog as we keep you updated with all the latest news, views, rumours and much more from around Scottish football.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908121.1555414368!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Celtic manager eyes striker return. Picture: SNS/Alan Harvey"} ,"articleBody": "

Refresh for live updates.

For all the latest Scottish news, sport and features click here, or head to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908121.1555414368!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908121.1555414368!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Celtic manager eyes striker return. Picture: SNS/Alan Harvey","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Celtic manager eyes striker return. Picture: SNS/Alan Harvey","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908121.1555414368!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5785066117001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-v-manchester-united-programme-sells-for-more-than-4-000-1-4908309","id":"1.4908309","articleHeadline": "Hearts v Manchester United programme sells for more than £4,000","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555411717000 ,"articleLead": "

A Hearts programme from a game against English giants Manchester United in 1960 has sold at an auction for around £4,500.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908305.1555412117!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A Hearts programme sold for more than �4,000. Picture: SNS/Alan Harvey"} ,"articleBody": "

The item went on sale at Stacey’s Auctioneers and Valuers on Monday and had an estimate between £30 and £40.

However, it sold for more than 100 times the price with the hammer going down at £3,600. A buyer’s premium was added to take it to around £4,500, making it one of, if not the most expensive Hearts programmes ever.

It is from Hearts’ 10-game tour of North America at the end of the famous 1959-1960 season in which the team won the league and League Cup double.

The Jam Tarts met Manchester United, managed by Matt Busby, on four occasions during the tour but this particular item is from the American League Soccer News ahead of the clubs’ meeting in New York, a game which Manchester United would win 3-0 in front of more than 10,000 fans at Triborough Stadium.

It advertises “Manchester United of England vs’ Hearts of Scotland - English and Scottish Booters Again Welcomed to New York.”

The Americans were delighted to witness the teams compete.

It read: “It’s an honour to welcome distinguished guests, a pleasure the second time while on a third occasions we consider them “one of the family”. And that is our sentiments today as we again extend a friendly hand to Manchester United, of England and Hearts (sic) of Midlothian, of Scotland.”

Football fans in New York were familiar with the Capital side, Hearts having embarked on a nine-game North American tour in 1958.

They defeated Manchester City 6-5 at the illustrious Ebbets Field, which was home to the Brooklyn Dodgers until 1957.

“Hearts, too, are no strangers, having staged the memorable May 1958 exciting game, played in a torrential downpour before 25,000-odd spectators, against Manchester City, of England, edging the English team by a 6-5 score. Since that eventual game, Hearts last summer visited Austrialia (sic), where they made a shambles of the Down Under Patriots, winning by lopsided 13-0, etc., scores on a 10-game tour.

“Hearts, newly-crowned champions of the Scottish First Division, are under the leadership of Tommy Walker, a former Scottish international player, as is Matt Busby.”

It added: “Tommy Walker, Manager of Hearts, had an early international baptism. At 18 years of age in 1935, he was Scotland’s youngest player against England and Wales. He had a total of 25 international appearances during his playing career.”

The programme also noted that Jimmy Wardhaugh, who captained the side in the “spine-tingler” against Manchester City as he was “now playing for Dunfermline Athletic”.

Manchester United received the “British Commonwealth Cup” for wining the game after it was donated by former United player Ira G. Harrison. He had also presented Hearts with the “New York Empire State Cup” for the win over City in 1958.

The Jam Tarts won five of their ten games during the 1960 tour, including a 4-0 defeat of United, gaining their revenge a few days later.

To keep up-to-date with all our stories from across Edinburgh and the Lothians like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

Sign up to our newsletter: enter your email in the box at the top of this article to get daily updates straight to your inbox.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908305.1555412117!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908305.1555412117!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A Hearts programme sold for more than �4,000. Picture: SNS/Alan Harvey","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A Hearts programme sold for more than �4,000. Picture: SNS/Alan Harvey","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908305.1555412117!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908306.1555412123!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908306.1555412123!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The first page of the Hearts v Manchester United programme. Picture: Stacey's Auctioneers","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The first page of the Hearts v Manchester United programme. Picture: Stacey's Auctioneers","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908306.1555412123!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4908307.1555412127!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4908307.1555412127!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The reverse of the Hearts v Manchester United programme. Picture: Stacey's Auctioneers","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The reverse of the Hearts v Manchester United programme. Picture: Stacey's Auctioneers","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4908307.1555412127!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5795246155001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/lower-leagues/hibs-ladies-defeat-spartans-to-set-up-cup-final-against-glasgow-city-1-4907830","id":"1.4907830","articleHeadline": "Hibs Ladies defeat Spartans to set up Cup final against Glasgow City","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555392600000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs Ladies remain on course to land a fourth consecutive SWPL Cup after seeing off Capital rivals Spartans Women 3-0 at Broadwood.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4907829.1555344294!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs Ladies Goalkeeper Jenna Fife made an important save before her team had scored"} ,"articleBody": "

The Hibees will play Glasgow City, who thrashed Rangers 5-1 in the weekend’s other semi-final, at Airdrie’s Penny Cars Stadium on Friday, May 10. The game kicks off at 7.35pm and will be broadcast live on BBC Alba.

It was Debbi McCulloch’s Spartans though that came closest to breaking the deadlock on Sunday, Tegan Reynolds seeing her seventh-minute strike tipped on to the bar by Hibs No.1 Jenna Fife.

Hibs made headway however and opened the scoring in the 17th minute when Lauren Davidson converted at the back post following Rachael Small’s corner.

They doubled their advantage ten minutes after the restart, substitute Amy Gallacher making an immediate impact as her cutback was finished off by Jamie-Lee Napier.

Hibs rounded off a fine afternoon with a third after 75 minutes, Napier this time the creator for Lia Tweedie, who, just moments prior had replaced Small, and found the bottom corner with a precise finish.

Although disappointed, Spartans have little time to recover as they travel to Forfar on Scottish Building Society SWPL 1 duty tomorrow night.

Meanwhile in SWPL 2, Hutchison Vale host Dundee United at Saughton Enclosure.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4907829.1555344294!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4907829.1555344294!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs Ladies Goalkeeper Jenna Fife made an important save before her team had scored","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs Ladies Goalkeeper Jenna Fife made an important save before her team had scored","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4907829.1555344294!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/every-team-in-top-six-will-fear-hibs-1-4907947","id":"1.4907947","articleHeadline": "Every team in top six ‘will fear Hibs’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1555392600000 ,"articleLead": "

Jonathan Spector believes Hibs will be a team to fear in the battle for a Europa League place as they go into the final five matches of the season unbeaten in eight matches.

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Hibs have taken 20 points out of a possible 24 since Paul Heckingbottom was appointed head coach, a run which not only clinched a top-six finish but climbed the club to fifth with a derby win over rivals Hearts.

Following the victory at Tynecastle, a first in Gorgie in six years, Heckingbottom made it clear the eyes of both him and his players were now firmly fixed on the two teams ahead of them, Aberdeen and Kilmarnock.

Six points in front, those two clubs are in pole position to claim European football depending on the outcome of the Scottish Cup final between Celtic and Hearts.

But with the top six teams now going head-to-head on a weekly basis, Spector, who will be experiencing the Premiership’s “split” for the first time, believes that situation could rapidly change.

Hibs kick-off their bid to catch the Dons and Killie with a home match against Celtic on Sunday, a fixture they won this time last year and, with three of their five matches to be played at Easter Road, Spector insisted opposition teams will be wary.

The veteran American defender said: “We knew how important it was for the club to finish top six, which we have done. Now we want to push on and see how high we can go in the table.

“With the run of form we are on we have a great chance to progress and test ourselves against the top teams in the league.

“I don’t think the other teams will fancy taking us on right now, especially at Easter Road, with the run we are on. Confidence is high and we are pushing in the right direction. I think they’ll be looking at us and thinking ‘tough game’.

“That’s a great testament to how the team has been doing. It will be a big test for us but they’ll be coming into games knowing it will be tough and that they’ll have to be at their best to beat us.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4907946.1555352358!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4907946.1555352358!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jonathan Spector is looking forward to some fierce battles","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jonathan Spector is looking forward to some fierce battles","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4907946.1555352358!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}