Hearts contest Eckersley’s derby ‘headbutt’ ban

Adam Eckersley is set to miss matches against Raith Rovers and Cowdenbeath. Pic: Ian Georgeson
Adam Eckersley is set to miss matches against Raith Rovers and Cowdenbeath. Pic: Ian Georgeson
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Hearts will contest the two-match ban offered to Adam Eckersley following his clash with Hibs midfielder Scott Allan in Sunday’s Edinburgh derby.

The left-back is alleged to have breached disciplinary rule 200 by head-butting his opponent in an altercation in the second minute of his side’s 2-0 defeat at Easter Road.

No action was taken at the time by match referee Kevin Clancy but, after reviewing footage, compliance officer Tony McGlennan yesterday served the defender with a notice of complaint.

If accepted, Eckersley, who will leave Hearts at the end of the season, would miss Saturday’s home game against Raith Rovers and the trip to Cowdenbeath a week later. However, the club were expected to lodge their appeal before today’s 3pm deadline, which will lead to a hearing tomorrow.

There is a precedent for such a charge being overturned after Rangers striker Kris Boyd successfully appealed following his citation for allegedly headbutting Hibs defender Jordon Forster earlier in the season.

Meanwhile, Hearts will travel to Forthbank to face Stirling Albion in pre-season as they gear up for their return to the Premiership. The match against the Binos, who were last weekend relegated to League 2, will take place on Tuesday, July 14 and is the first friendly of the summer arranged by the Tynecastle club.

The winner of the fixture will collect the Supporters Direct Scotland Cup, which Hearts won when beating Dunfermline in 2013. The Stirling Albion Supporters Trust and Foundation of Hearts both have a significant shareholding in their respective clubs and the fixture has been announced as part of Supporters Direct Scotland’s ‘Supporter Ownership Week’, a week-long celebration of supporter ownership in Scottish football.