Maroon Memories: David Obua steals derby honours

David Obua celebrates his late goal
David Obua celebrates his late goal
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A last-gasp goal from David Obua handed Hearts all three points at Easter Road and left Hibs boss John Hughes still looking for his first victory over the Jam Tarts.

Hibs had skipper Chris Hogg back in the starting line-up after struggling with a back injury and Liam Miller was also on from the start, having missed the last two matches due to a calf injury and suspension.

Hearts made four changes, Michael Stewart dropping out of the squad altogether and Suso Santana, Ismael Bouzid and Craig Thomson taking their place on the bench.

Laryea Kingston, Eggert Jonsson, Ian Black and Ryan Stevenson filled the gaps in Jim Jefferies’ starting 11.Hearts had an early opportunity when David Templeton cut in from the right to get a shot in from the edge of the box, but Graeme Smith was down well to push it away.

Hibs could also have bagged an early opener themselves when Ian Murray and Colin Nish combined to set up Derek Riordan, only for Jamie MacDonald to get a hand to the shot, sending it trickling just wide of the left-hand post.

Obua should have put the visitors in front in 15 minutes when Kingston floated a free kick into the six-yard box but was just inches away from connecting.

David Wotherspoon then carved out a chance for Hibs, racing down the right and whipping the ball across for Paul Hanlon, only for the young defender to send his downward header wide. Hearts came closest to a goal in 23 minutes when Black’s ball in from the left was headed straight back out to the feet of Kingston by Murray. The Ghana internationalist caught it sweetly from 25 yards out, only for it to crack off the base of Smith’s right-hand post.

MacDonald did well to keep out a shot from John Rankin seven minutes before the break, after the little midfielder was teed up by Nish on the edge of the box.

After the break Hearts almost cost themselves a goal when a poor pass back from Marius Zaliukas left MacDonald in trouble, the keeper fluffing an attempt to clear it and instead the ball came off his ankle and just past for a corner. Hibs were awarded a penalty in 52 minutes when Zaliukas brought Rankin down just inside the box. Lee Wallace did everything possible to put Anthony Stokes off as he stepped up to the spot and then Obua joined in, but the Irishman calmly slotted home to the keeper’s right.

Hearts levelled in 71 minutes after a long kick from MacDonald found Obua and the gangly Ugandan knocked it on for Calum Elliot. The Hearts sub, on to replace Gary Glen, was challenged by Smith, who had raced off his line and the ball rebounded to Suso, who rattled it straight into an empty net.

The Jambos hit a dramatic late winner when a ball in from Templeton from the left took a slight touch from Elliot before being rattled high into the back of the net by Obua from just a couple of yards out.

Hearts: MacDonald, Wallace, Jonsson, Palazuelos, Black, Kingston, Obua, Stevenson, Templeton, Zaliukas, Glen.

Hibs: Smith, Wotherspoon, Hogg, Hanlon, Murray, Thicot, Miller, Nish, Stokes, Riordan, Rankin.