Maroon Memories: Tynecastle rises to acclaim Hibs keeper Goram
When a Hearts crowd rises to acclaim a Hibs player during an Edinburgh derby then perhaps you should start looking for a blue moon in the sky or a month of Tuesdays.
Yet it did happen on Saturday at Tynecastle, where Hearts continued their domination over their old city rivals with a convincing and stylish 3-1 win.
Long after other details of this derby are forgotten, however, the performance of Hibs’ goalkeeper, Andy Goram, will remain vivid. He was simply magnificent.
It was a display filled with acrobatics, uncanny instinct, courage, and determination.
It saved Hibs from what could probably have been their most humiliating defeat in almost 100 years of Edinburgh derbies.
It also showed that brilliance can overcome bigotry. How could one ever forget the spontaneous reaction from the Hearts fans five minutes from the end.
Scott Crabbe lashed a glorious volley towards the right-hand corner of the goal but, amazingly, Goram got to it to perform what was his final act of defiance on a day when he almost single-handedly defied Hearts.
After a split second of silent wonder the maroon end of the ground erupted in a long burst of applause as they chanted the keeper’s name. It was a fitting tribute to a very special performance.
“Scotland don’t have much of a problem as far as the goalkeeping position is concerned,” said Hearts manager Joe Jordan. “He was quite magnificent.
Hearts performed well – the best since he took over, admitted the manager.
They were more determined, much higher in confidence and so far ahead of anaemic Hibs in almost every department.
Only Goram stood between them and a goal avalanche.
As it was, all the goals were crammed into a nine-minute spell in the second half, beginning in 56 minutes when Davie McPherson got to an Eamonn Bannon free kick and knocked the ball across the six-yard area for Craig Levein to head home his third goal against Hibs this season.
Four minutes later, immediately after Hibs had made a double substitution, Hearts grabbed a second when young George Wright got the break of the ball off a defender and steered a low drive inside the right-hand post.
Joe Tortolano then raised Hibs hopes with a fine headed goal before Hearts put the issue beyond doubt.
Goram’s only mistake of the game saw him lose a cross from John Colquhoun, leaving John Robertson with the simple task of heading the ball into the net.
Hibs just didn’t seem to have the stomach to come back again.
Hearts: Walker, Sandison, McKinlay, Levein, Wright, McPherson (c), Colquhoun, Bannon (McLaren 83), Crabbe, Ferguson, Robertson (Harrison 87).
Hibs: Goram, Miller, Milne, Orr (Tortolano 59), Hamilton, Hunter, Weir, Wright, Findlay (Evans 59), Mitchell, McGinlay.