Maroon Memories: Late double seals derby victory

Rudi Skacel, right, celebrates his goal
Rudi Skacel, right, celebrates his goal
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Hearts floored Hibs with a late double to stretch their unbeaten run in Edinburgh derbies to nine games.

The Jambos also made it four games without defeat after the 293rd clash between the city rivals to leave their opponents second from bottom in the SPL table – with Hibs manager Pat Fenlon still looking for his first win as boss.

The visitors made five changes with Ian Black, Jamie Hamill, Stephen Elliott, Mehdi Taouil and Scott Robinson all coming into the starting line-up after a 0-0 draw with Aberdeen.

Hibs’ new signing from Sligo Rovers, Eoin Doyle, had to be content with a place on the bench along with fellow striker Garry O’Connor, who had been struggling with a toe injury.

However, four others were introduced to Pat Fenlon’s line-up – Paul Hanlon, Ian Murray, Martin Scott and Victor Palsson – after the Easter Road outfit were held 1-1 at home to Inverness in their last fixture.

Hibs were first to threaten, but Danny Galbraith sliced wildly past the near post after being set up by striker Leigh Griffiths 14 yards from goal.

Lewis Stevenson and Hanlon were both shown yellow cards as Hibs got caught up in a typically frenetic start.

Hanlon, given an unfamiliar right-back role, was quickly under pressure as a result, David Templeton stepping inside the naturally left-sided defender to send a low drive off the outside of the far post then powering another long-range effort wide.

Hearts should have taken the lead after 24 minutes when Elliott pulled the ball back into the path of the unmarked Taouil, who sliced wide from 12 yards, injuring himself in the process before being immediately replaced with Andrew Driver. The visitors again squandered a chance three minutes before the break when Callum Booth was short with his backpass to 
keeper Graham Stack, who pulled down Elliott as he tried to clear. Black, until then the most influential player on the park, did not pack enough punch in his low spot-kick and Stack stretched out a hand to turn the ball wide for a corner.

Hibs took heart from their visitors’ third penalty miss in a row to exert the early pressure after the break.

Black looked to make amends for his penalty miss but was again denied by the fingertips of Stack as the midfielder powered a dipping effort from 25 yards.

From the corner, Black’s cross was headed powerfully by Andy Webster and, although Stack blocked on the line, Ryan McGowan made sure from close range.

However, Hibs immediately headed up the other end and a wild attempt at a clearance by Marius Zaliukas sent Galbraith’s low cross past goalkeeper Marian Kello.

Play was now raging from end to end and Ivan Sproule’s low cross-cum-shot flashed across the face of Hearts’ goal.

McGowan was then fortunate to escape without even a yellow card for reacting angrily to a clumsy Sproule challenge.

Black sent a 20-yard drive inches over the crossbar before Webster rose to meet a long throw, John Sutton played it back into his path and the central defender fired low past Stack.

Driver had an effort stopped by Stack before being cleared off the line by Sean O’Hanlon, before Rudi Skacel finally made Hibs pay on the break, Sutton setting him up to score left-footed.

Hearts: Kello, Hamill, McGowan, Webster, Mrowiec, Zaliukas, Black, Taouil, Elliott, Robinson, Templeton.

Hibs: Stack, Hanlon, Booth, O’Hanlon, Scott, Murray, Sproule, Palsson, Griffiths, Stevenson, Galbraith.