The game was hard fought and both teams tried to press. A downpour before the match started left the surface fast and wet and the result was a spectacle for the spectators. The play zipped from one end to the other and the tackles were hard and enthusiastic. The referee managed to book six players though it was not a ‘dirty’ game.
The action in the first half revolved around half a dozen free kicks from shooting range. Stevie Hammell had two curlers to the postage stamp corner and Moilanen had to be at his best to save. In half an hour it seemed that we had a penalty. Clarkson was running out of the box when he was felled. It looked like the offence took place inside the line but the ref awarded a free kick just outside. As the kick was on the left of the penalty area Derek Adams had a go. His low, drilled shot was deflected off a defender and we were one up.
On the stroke of half time Scott Leitch (who received a standing ovation when he was subbed in the second half) made a defensive tackle. He took the ball cleanly but the ref took the view that studs had been shown and the captain, who vehemently argued his case, was booked. Hartley’s shot was firmly hit but Gordon Marshall failed to hold it. Level at the break.
The second period was again packed with full hearted commitment from both teams but little in the way of goalmouth action. Defences were on top and the Hearts management paid a compliment to Craigan and Partridge by substituting de Vries.
With ten minutes left Fagan replaced Leitch and we chased hard for the winner. A late ‘Well free kick caused panic in the Hearts defence and another deflection almost gave us the winner but the ball passed the post on the wrong side.
Just after the fourth official displayed the ‘three minutes added’ board Marshall pulled off a flying save to guarantee a point. Both sides should be happy with the draw.
The team has restored its self respect and can look forward to next week’s encounter with Dundee United.