Another loss at Tynecastle

Last updated : 15 September 2002 By Firparkcorner

Pre match preparations
Hearts made the better start and Woods made the first of what turned out to be a string of superb saves when he blocked Valois' early free kick. We managed to withstand the opening pressure and we dominated for most of the first half. Lehmann and McFadden were causing the Hearts defence no end of problems and the front pair combined to open the scoring.

McFadden shimmied past Steven Pressley before hitting the byline and crossing deep to the back post. Lehmann set himself as the ball came over and he hit a textbook volley past McKenzie.

The Hearts defence was struggling to cope with our dangerous crosses and McKenzie had to look alert to punch away a deflected Sengewald header. However, the second goal was not to be delayed for long. Lehmann and Sengewald combined to head a corner back across the goal and McFadden was perfectly placed to score with a header into the corner.

Hearts instantly stepped up the pace and had pulled one back before half time. Mark de Vries was the key to almost everything Hearts did and he got them back into the game when he headed home a free kick.

We could have gone in 3-1 up at the break but Dirk Lehmann couldn't beat McKenzie from a tight angle.

Terry Butcher would have warned his players to expect Hearts to come out all guns blazing in the second half and we simply couldn't cope with them. Whether we were tired from Tuesday's exertions or the midfield could not cope under pressure without Pearo and Leitch is up for debate. Whatever happened, we were swept away by a better team in full flow and if it was not for some excellent goalkeeping and defending we would have been on the end of an embarrassing scoreline.

The first chance fell moments into the half but de Vries missed his header and when Kirk appeared behind him he could only watch in disbelief as Sengewald cleared his header off the line. The equaliser was only delayed though and when Kirk was given a free header from eight yards he made no mistake.

Three magnificent saves from Woods kept us level but with eighteen minutes to go, Hearts scored the winner. Valois' cut back evaded a number of players before finding Boyack all alone. He took a touch and then slammed the ball past Woods.

We managed to force a couple of corners and free kicks but we did not look like recovering any of our lost points. The match was put beyond us when a long ball sent Kirk clear and he beat Woods to seal the game. Indeed, had Woods not produced a sensational save from a Valois volley, the score would have been even higher.

We should not be too downhearted at this result. We were missing two of our most important players and we should never expect anything at Tynecastle anyway. We have taken bad beatings from worse Hearts sides than this. As it is, we are still comfortably mid-table and if we can recreate this performance next week we have a good chance of taking something from East End Park.