Here’s what Jambos past and present got up to away from Tynecastle over the weekend ...
Neilson kicks off MK Dons league campaign with win
We promise we won’t do a weekly Robbie Neilson update, but his first league match was an important one considering the opponents, AFC Wimbledon, were the team MK Dons dislodged from the football league. There’s no love lost between the two sets of fans, although a sizeable number of Wimbledon supporters did boycott the match. MK Dons prevailed 1-0 thanks to a 63rd-minute penalty and it was a vital three points for Neilson considering the Dons lay 19th in League One at the start of proceedings and were walloped 4-1 by Yeovil last Tuesday night in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Understandably, Neilson was a pleased man. “I’m delighted for the players, the staff, the fans and everyone here,” he said. “Football is about winning matches and to do that you need to work hard – to a man, I thought the lads did that. The guys gave everything, put their bodies on the line and managed to get a great result. Hopefully it gives us a springboard to push on. It’s been a long time since we won at home and hopefully that’s a catalyst for us to push forward.”
Eventful day for Robinson
It’s a long time since Scott Robinson made his Hearts debut as a 16-year-old against Inverness back in 2008. A career that promised so much has taken a downwards trajectory ever since he left Tynecastle. Injuries, to be fair, haven’t helped “Pum” as he was known around Gorgie and he’s trying to rebuild his career in League One with East Fife. The Methil men were on TV on Saturday night away at Brechin (BBC Alba were in attendance) and Robinson would have been keen to impress. He opened the scoring on 11 minutes, but blotted his copybook by picking up a second yellow card with 12 minutes to go. Fortunately for him, East Fife held on for a 1-0 win.
Carrick back among the goals
Speaking of injuries, Dale Carrick has had his fair share despite just being 22 years old. One wonders whether he would have been able to make a tangible impact at Tynecastle had he been off the treatment table for longer. Like Robinson, Carrick has tumbled down the leagues since leaving Gorgie and has found himself in League 1 with Livingston. Carrick had only scored once for David Hopkin’s table-toppers before Saturday’s clash away at Stranraer, but he doubled his tally with the equaliser in a 2-1 triumph over Stranraer.
How did the loanees get on?
Billy King hasn’t been in great form of late and only got a three-minute cameo in Inverness’ 1-1 draw with Hamilton. Angus Beith played the entire match in Stirling’s midfield as they lost 2-0 to Edinburgh City, while Robbie Buchanan got 66 minutes in Brechin’s defeat by East Fife. Dario Zanatta played 77 minutes for Queen’s Park in the 2-1 win against Albion Rovers but didn’t get on the scoresheet, while Ali Roy played the full 90 in Stenhousemuir’s 5-0 victory over Airdrie without finding the net, as did Nikolay Todorov for Cowdenbeath in the 2-0 loss at Annan. At least they got more game-time than Juanma, who was an unused substitute for UCAM Murica as they lost 5-2 at Huesca. Gavin Reilly was back on the bench after a spell injured for Dunfermline, but didn’t make it on to the pitch.