SPL v Hearts
HEARTS 4 DUNFERMLINE 0 Date: 17/12/11
Attendance: 11988, Kick Off: 3:00pm.
Referee: Charlie Richmond
The Pars first league match at Tynecastle for over five years failed to bring any Christmas cheer to the East End team. Hearts never looked back after taking an early lead and Jim McIntyre maitained that there would be no sucess until his team stopped leaking goals. This was to be the fifth time this season rhat the Pars were to concede four goals in a match.
Dunfermline made two changes from the side that lost at Ibrox; Joe Cardle and Paddy Boyle dropped out and in came Liam Buchanan and Paul Burns. The home side made two changes as well with Andy Webster and Stephen Elliott starting instead of Eggert Gunnthór Jónsson and Ryan Stevenson.
The Pars kicked off attacking the goal at the Gorgie Road end and slackness in the home defence allowed Buchanan a shot at goal after just 37 seconds and then Paul Willis to fire a good goal into the Hearts six yard box. Play switched to the other end and Burns conceded a corner on the right. When Ian Black whipped that over to the back post Ryan McGowan knocked it down for Stephen ELLIOTT to ram into the Pars net right on two minutes.
Dunfermline responded with a useful Andy Barrowman header that Kello saved at his left hand post. McGowan fired a shot on target from another Black corner but straight into the arms of Gallacher. back at the other end and Willis got the better of McGowan who mistimed his tackle and the youngster smacked a shot from 20 yards that went over the crossbar.
On 12 minutes Alex Keddie had a great chance after a corner from the right was returned by David Graham. Unfortunately the central defender pulled his shot across goal from the left and out beyond the right goalpost. Back at the other end Keddie turned another ball behind for a corner that Marius Zaliukas this time powered into the Roseburn Stand. Two more corners followed for the Jambos but fortunately these didn`t create the ame dangeras previously.
Jamie Hamill skinned Burns on the left on 19 minutes and the Pars lived dangerously as the ball whizzed through the visitors` box. The Fifers reply was a low shot from Graham that Kello held. It was Hearts that again looked likely to score with Templeton speeding down the left to send a ball across the goal with Paul Gallacher touching the ball away.
Keddie picked up a yellow card midway through the half for a crude tackle on Adrian Mrowiec, Then on 26 minutes Mehdi Taouil played a neat one two to break in on the right and curled a fantastic effort just over the bar. Next minute however TAOUIL did find the net. Perseverance on the left allowed the ball to be played to the goalscorer who sent the ball past Gallacher from the edge of the box. It looked rather easy, 2-0
In 32 minutes Willis delivered a useful free kick from the right towards the far post but only a corner could be won and from that Barrowman`s header went over the bar. Hearts sixth corner of the game in 35th minute was not taken by Gallacher but Hardie cleared.
Two minutes later Hamill swung a tempting ball into the Pars box and were fortunate Black failed to get the touch that would have directed the ball into the net. Then three minutes from the break Zaluikas headed a Black free kick narrowly wide left, that could have been curtains. At just two goals down and showing a healthy appetitite to attack there was still some hope that the second half could belong to Dunfermline.
Half time: Hearts 2 Dunfermline 0
Macca`s men were out early for the re-start and Willis showed intent with a surging run up the right from Willis. Kello was made to pull off a great save to deny Buchanan on 50 minutes after Graham`s ball in from the left was teed up for him. Immediately Barrowman had a good chance at the right post but unfortunately could not head home.
Hearts broke fast with Taouil feeding Elliott on the right from where he smashed a shot into the sidenetting. Templeton and Elliott continued to cause the Pars defence difficulty. Taouil took on Keddie to manage a neat ball into Templeton in front of the right post but he drove the ball across goal and out on the left.
In 62nd minute Joe Cardle replaced Andy Barrowman with David Graham joining Buchanan upfront. A Willis corner from the right was headed back across goal by Hardie and as the ball pinged about the Hearts box until Taouil`s overhead clearance did the job.
There was a real let off four minutes later when Burns appeared to push Templeton in the box. Referee Chralie Richmond allowed Hearts the advantage of a clear shot at goal but they failed to hit the target and Webster ended up yellow carded for his challenge at the far post.
On 71 minutes Hardie tried to twist his way ourt of defence while surrounded by three opponents; he beat off two to raise applause of the travelling support but he failed to beat off the third and TEMPLETON went in on goal to thrash the ball beyond Gallacher. 3-0.
Andy Kirk and then Ryan Thomson were introduced in favour of Buchanan and Mason but Hearts continued to flow forward with great composure. Scott Robinson fired over the top after Black`s free kick rebounded off Burns in the Pars wall.
Hearts replaced their front men with Ryan Stevenson and Rudi Skacel coming on and the two off them could not convert an 86th minute goalmouth scramble. Eventually Skacel did get a shot after a cut back from the left but his aim was too high. Stevenson and Black kept Gallacher deployed but in the second minute of added time a real pile driver of a shot from Stevenson was parried up in the air by the Pars keeper and SKACEL followed in to head home, 4-0.
Paul Gallacher was injured in attempting to keep out the goal and could not continue due to a shoulder injury but Referee Charlie Richmond blew the final whistle immediately from the kick off to make it unnecessary for anyone else to don the keeper`s shirt. It was Hearts sixth home win of the season and right from the second minute it really never looked like being anything else.
HEARTS: Marián Kello; Jamie Hamill, Marius Zaliukas, Andy Webster, Ryan McGowan; David Templeton (Arvydas Novikovas 82) Stephen Elliott (Ryan Stevenson 84), Scott Robinson, Adrian Mrowiec, Ian Black, Mehdi Taouil.(Rudolf Skacel 72)
SUBS NOT USED: Jamie MacDonald (GK), John Sutton, Brad McKay, Chris Kane.
SCORER: Elliott (2), Taouil (27), Templeton (71), Skacel (92)
YELLOW CARD: Webster (66), Hamill (73)
DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher, Andy Dowie, John Potter, Alex Keddie; Paul Willis, Paul Burns, Gary Mason (c)(Ryan Thomson,75), Martin Hardie, David Graham, Liam Buchanan (Andy Kirk 72), Andy Barrowman (Joe Cardle 62).
SUBS NOT USED: Chris Smith (GK), Pat Clarke, Shaun Byrne, Kerr Young.
YELLOW CARD: Keddie (23), Burns (63), Dowie (65), Hardie (81)
WEATHER: Fine 4C
NEXT MATCH: (home) SPL v St Johnstone
Saturday 24th December 2010, kick off 1:30pm
Ladbrokes Championship: Saturday 18th March, Dunfermline v Ayr United kick off 3.00pm