Callum Paterson scored a first-half headed double as Hearts beat Hibernian to heighten the hosts' fears of facing a Premiership relegation play-off.

In an error-strewn opening 45 minutes, Paterson provided two moments of quality in three minutes to hand relegated Hearts the initiative.

Jordon Forster gave Hibs hope in the second half with a powerful header.

But Terry Butcher's side could not find a leveller and remain just one point above the play-off spot.

A minute's applause for politician Margo MacDonald and former Rangers, Hearts and Scotland star Sandy Jardine preceded kick-off.

When the action started, nerves seemed to get the better of both sides.

The ball took a battering in the early stages and Kevin Thomson's wild effort from distance was typical of the lack of quality on show.

Neither set of players was having much joy when it came to finding someone wearing the same jersey.

The game was crying out for someone to take the initiative and Sam Stanton stepped up with a neat lob to get himself beyond the Hearts back line, but there was no-one in the six-yard box to apply a finish to his dangerous delivery.

Hearts players celebrating

Paterson (centre) found space to score in the Hibs box twice in the first half

That seemed to give the home side self-belief and Liam Craig's cross from the left was met by Jason Cummings, but his header dropped just wide.

Cummings tried his luck with a left-foot shot from 35 yards but MacDonald gathered at the second attempt.

Stanton again looked to threaten with an industrious break forward but Scott Robertson was unable to gather on the edge of the area.

Against the run of play, the visitors went up the park and scored from a corner. Billy King delivered and Paterson's downward header bounced beyond the reach of Ben Williams for Hearts' 500th derby goal.

And the roof looked like caving in on Hibs a couple of minutes later. Kevin McHattie curled a free-kick into the area and Paterson rose again to nod home.

It was all-too much for some home fans, who headed for the exit doors.

Hibs made a brighter start to the second half, with Alex Harris seeing a shot deflected past the post, and minutes later Forster's header was cleared off the line.

Thomson then drove an effort into the side netting, after a nice drop of the shoulder to create some space on the edge of the area.

McHattie warmed the hands of Hibs goalkeeper Williams with a fierce drive from distance in Hearts' first serious foray forward of the half.

Hearts goalkeeper MacDonald made a decent low stop from a Craig free-kick, after Scott Robinson had downed Cummings on the edge of the area.

And, in the 69th minute, the hosts grabbed a foothold. Thomson's quick free-kick caught the visitors out and Ryan McGivern eventually delivered into the area, where Forster was perfectly placed to power home a header.

As Hibs battled for a leveller, Thomson picked out substitute Duncan Watmore with a perfect pass but Dylan McGowan was on hand to snuff out the danger.

Forster goal

Forster powered home a header as Hibs reduced the deficit in the second half

Home substitute James Collins passed up a glorious chance to square it with five minutes left. Hearts failed to clear their lines and the ball cannoned into Collins' path, but the striker missed his kick completely from a few yards out.

Butcher's side poured forward in the closing stages but could have been caught at the other end. Ryan Stevenson found himself through on goal but his lob dropped the wrong side of an upright.

Hibs continued to search for the equaliser as the clocked ticked down but could not find the quality, leaving themselves in serious danger of facing a two-legged play-off to save their top-flight status.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (5)

Hibernian

  • 01 Williams
  • 18 Maybury Booked
  • 03 McGivern Booked
  • 08 Robertson Booked (Watmore - 67' )
  • 23 Forster
  • 05 Nelson
  • 07 Harris
  • 38 Thomson
  • 35 Cummings (Collins - 72' )
  • 26 Stanton
  • 10 Craig

Substitutes

  • 14 Collins
  • 15 Boateng
  • 16 Stevenson
  • 17 Tudur Jones
  • 19 Handling
  • 21 Murdoch
  • 22 Watmore

Heart of Midlothian

  • 01 MacDonald
  • 12 Paterson
  • 03 McHattie
  • 15 Holt
  • 05 McGowan
  • 04 Wilson
  • 19 King (Walker - 82' )
  • 08 Robinson Booked
  • 18 Carrick (McKay - 88' )
  • 07 Stevenson
  • 28 Nicholson (Smith - 57' )

Substitutes

  • 09 McCallum
  • 13 Ridgers
  • 14 Walker
  • 16 McKay
  • 17 Smith
  • 29 Oliver
  • 30 McGhee
Ref: Bobby Madden
Att: 14,806

Match Stats

Shots

12 7

On target

6 5

Corners

6 4

Fouls

20 14

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Hibernian 1, Hearts 2.

90:00 +6:26 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Hibernian 1, Hearts 2.

90:00 +5:05

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Alan Maybury.

90:00 +0:35

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by David Smith.

89:19

Attempt missed. Ryan Stevenson (Hearts) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

87:23 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hearts. Brad McKay replaces Dale Carrick.

83:14

Attempt missed. Michael Nelson (Hibernian) header from the centre of the box misses to the left following a corner.

82:52

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Danny Wilson.

81:01 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hearts. Jamie Walker replaces Billy King.

79:44

Foul by Jason Holt (Hearts).

79:44

Kevin Thomson (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

77:13

Attempt saved. Kevin McHattie (Hearts) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

76:49

Billy King (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

76:49

Foul by Alan Maybury (Hibernian).

73:54

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Michael Nelson.

72:31

Foul by James Collins (Hibernian).

72:31

Jason Holt (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

71:42 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hibernian. James Collins replaces Jason Cummings.

70:03 Booking

Booking Alan Maybury (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card.

70:00

Billy King (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

69:57

Foul by Alan Maybury (Hibernian).

68:59 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Hibernian 1, Hearts 2. Jordan Forster (Hibernian) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ryan McGivern with a cross.

68:02

Foul by Dylan McGowan (Hearts).

68:02

Samuel Stanton (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

66:41

Foul by Ryan Stevenson (Hearts).

66:41

Alex Harris (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

66:24 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hibernian. Duncan Watmore replaces Scott Robertson.

65:25

Callum Paterson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

65:25

Foul by Scott Robertson (Hibernian).

64:07

Billy King (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

64:07

Foul by Alan Maybury (Hibernian).

63:07

Attempt saved. Liam Craig (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

60:12

Foul by Scott Robinson (Hearts).

60:12

Jason Cummings (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

59:20

Jason Holt (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

59:20

Foul by Kevin Thomson (Hibernian).

57:50 Booking

Booking Scott Robinson (Hearts) is shown the yellow card.

57:43

Foul by Scott Robinson (Hearts).

57:43

Scott Robertson (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

56:43 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hearts. David Smith replaces Sam Nicholson.

55:41

Attempt saved. Kevin McHattie (Hearts) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

54:00

Attempt missed. Michael Nelson (Hibernian) header from the centre of the box misses to the right following a corner.

53:44

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Jamie MacDonald.

53:23

Attempt saved. Kevin Thomson (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

52:21

Scott Robinson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

52:21

Foul by Scott Robertson (Hibernian).

50:17 Booking

Booking Scott Robertson (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card.

50:11

Kevin McHattie (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

50:11

Foul by Scott Robertson (Hibernian).

48:47

Attempt saved. Jordan Forster (Hibernian) header from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal.

48:17

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Kevin McHattie.

47:15

Foul by Ryan Stevenson (Hearts).

47:15

Kevin Thomson (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

46:20

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Danny Wilson.

46:07

Attempt blocked. Alex Harris (Hibernian) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

45:00

Second Half begins Hibernian 0, Hearts 2.

45:00 +1:05 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Hibernian 0, Hearts 2.

45:00 +0:51

Hand ball by Dale Carrick (Hearts).

45:00 +0:14

Sam Nicholson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00 +0:14

Foul by Kevin Thomson (Hibernian).

42:37

Attempt saved. Liam Craig (Hibernian) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

41:49

Foul by Danny Wilson (Hearts).

41:49

Samuel Stanton (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

40:53 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Hibernian 0, Hearts 2. Callum Paterson (Hearts) header from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Kevin McHattie following a set piece situation.

40:11

Sam Nicholson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

40:11

Foul by Ryan McGivern (Hibernian).

39:25

Ryan Stevenson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

39:25

Foul by Kevin Thomson (Hibernian).

39:00

Jordan Forster (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the left wing.

38:57

Foul by Dale Carrick (Hearts).

36:56 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Hibernian 0, Hearts 1. Callum Paterson (Hearts) header from the right side of the six yard box to the top left corner following a corner.

36:26

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Alan Maybury.

36:11

Foul by Kevin Thomson (Hibernian).

36:11

Billy King (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

34:53

Attempt blocked. Liam Craig (Hibernian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

34:14

Jason Cummings (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

34:14

Foul by Jason Holt (Hearts).

32:15

Attempt saved. Jason Cummings (Hibernian) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

29:20

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Kevin McHattie.

27:54

Foul by Dylan McGowan (Hearts).

27:54

Jason Cummings (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

26:26

Jason Holt (Hearts) wins a free kick on the right wing.

26:26

Foul by Samuel Stanton (Hibernian).

26:05

Attempt saved. Dale Carrick (Hearts) header from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

25:20 Booking

Booking Ryan McGivern (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card.

25:09

Dale Carrick (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

25:09

Foul by Ryan McGivern (Hibernian).

24:21

Foul by Jason Holt (Hearts).

24:21

Kevin Thomson (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

22:54

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Michael Nelson.

20:27

Kevin McHattie (Hearts) wins a free kick on the right wing.

20:27

Foul by Jason Cummings (Hibernian).

18:53

Attempt missed. Jason Cummings (Hibernian) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

18:08

Foul by Callum Paterson (Hearts).

18:08

Liam Craig (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

15:07

Hand ball by Samuel Stanton (Hibernian).

9:14

Foul by Alex Harris (Hibernian).

9:14

Kevin McHattie (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

7:26

Foul by Samuel Stanton (Hibernian).

7:26

Sam Nicholson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:20

Foul by Billy King (Hearts).

6:20

Kevin Thomson (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

5:03

Attempt missed. Kevin Thomson (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

2:03

Attempt missed. Dylan McGowan (Hearts) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

1:32

Foul by Ryan McGivern (Hibernian).

1:32

Billy King (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:04

Billy King (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:04

Foul by Ryan McGivern (Hibernian).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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