Scottish Championship
Hearts2Hibernian1

Heart of Midlothian 2-1 Hibernian

Sam Nicholson's fabulous left-footed strike and a precise penalty by Prince Buaben earned Hearts an Edinburgh derby win in the Scottish Championship.

Those goals and Farid El Alagui's fine consolation lit up a largely poor game as the rivals met on league duty below the top flight for the first time.

Hibs captain Liam Craig knocked a disputed first-half penalty wide.

And there were two red cards with Hibs' Scott Robertson booked twice and Hearts Osman Sow dismissed for using an elbow.

Injuries to goalkeepers Neil Alexander and Scott Gallacher meant Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson had to look further down the pecking order for a goalkeeper.

He opted to give Jack Hamilton his top-team debut, a player he knows well from his time working with Hearts' youth teams.

The 20-year-old's first contribution was an important one, ignoring the Hibs attackers and the din that was whipped round Tynecastle by the swirling wind to punch clear Craig's in-swinging corner.

Willie Collum sends off Hibs midfielder Scot Robertson for bringing down Prince Buaben in the box
Willie Collum sends off Hibs midfielder Scot Robertson for bringing down Prince Buaben in the box

The derby rumbled on for half-an-hour with passion and fierce challenges but precious little in the way of goalmouth action.

Hibs' strapping centre-half Michael Nelson head-flicked a Craig free-kick a few yards wide before having to leave the field to have his eye patched up after taking an accidental thump from Sow's flying elbow.

And then, controversy. Hamilton raced from his line and looked to have got a hand to clear the ball from the on-rushing Danny Handling.

However, in a split second his momentum took him into the Hibs midfielder, who was sent sprawling. Referee Willie Collum booked the goalie and awarded Hibs a penalty, which Craig sliced low and wide.

It summed up the first half, though Nicholson's half-hit shot, which produced a good save by Mark Oxley, and Jordan McGhee's 25-yard volley, which went narrowly wide, still had to come.

They fell either side of a Jordon Forster header over the Hearts bar from six yards, though his team-mate Nelson looked to have put him off as he too leapt to connect.

Jamie Walker came on for fellow wide man Billy King in the second half as Neilson tried to instigate a breakthrough in an error-strewn match which featured five bookings in the first hour.

Farid El Alagui cracks in a beauty of a consolation goal for Hibs
Farid El Alagui cracks in a beauty of a consolation goal for Hibs

But the pattern continued of passes under-hit and over-hit, of defenders closed down so that they resorted to hopeful punts up the pitch for enthusiastic strikers to chase.

Both sets of fans did their part to encourage their heroes and it was the home set who waited in expectation when centre-half Alim Ozturk lined up a free-kick on the edge of the D.

But when his effort clattered the Hibs wall the supporters could have been forgiven for perusing their Edinburgh Festival Fringe brochures to find alternative entertainment.

If they had left at that point they would have missed a touch of class from Nicholson as he dinked the ball past Robertson and darted for goal. His 25-yard strike gave Oxley no chance with 14 minutes remaining.

Four minutes later Robertson was shown a second yellow card and sent off for barging Buaben off the ball in the penalty area and the Hearts midfielder made the visitors pay with an assured finish.

The penalty incident aside, Hamilton had only plucked a few high balls out of the air all afternoon but he made a great save to deny El Alagui a headed goal from eight yards.

Hearts, though, should not have breathed easily because centre-forward Sow was shown a straight red card for elbowing the already bandaged Nelson and in the dying moments El Alagui lobbed the ball over a hesitant Danny Wilson and cracked in a consolation goal for Alan Stubbs' men.

Sam Nicholson blasts home for Hearts
Sam Nicholson makes the breakthrough as he blasts home for Hearts with 14 minutes to go
It was a painful afternoon for Hibs defender Michael Nelson and captain Liam Craig
It was a painful afternoon for Hibs defender Michael Nelson and captain Liam Craig

Line-ups

Hearts

  • 13HamiltonBooked at 31mins
  • 3McHattieBooked at 54mins
  • 5OzturkBooked at 72mins
  • 30McGhee
  • 4Wilson
  • 12KingSubstituted forWalkerat 58'minutes
  • 6Gomis
  • 17BuabenBooked at 33mins
  • 11NicholsonSubstituted forKeatingsat 85'minutes
  • 10HoltSubstituted forOliverat 72'minutes
  • 20SowBooked at 88mins

Substitutes

  • 7Walker
  • 14Smith
  • 16Oliver
  • 19Keatings
  • 22McKay
  • 25Hollis
  • 29Smith

Hibernian

  • 1Oxley
  • 2GrayBooked at 59mins
  • 5Nelson
  • 11StantonSubstituted forKennedyat 79'minutes
  • 6Forster
  • 10CraigBooked at 90mins
  • 16Stevenson
  • 19HandlingSubstituted forAllanat 85'minutes
  • 8RobertsonBooked at 79mins
  • 7Harris
  • 9El Alagui

Substitutes

  • 14Heffernan
  • 17Tudur Jones
  • 20Allan
  • 22Booth
  • 30Kennedy
  • 31Perntreou
  • 35Cummings
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
17,280

Match Stats

Home TeamHeartsAway TeamHibernian
Possession
Home58%
Away42%
Shots
Home7
Away8
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home3
Away5
Fouls
Home19
Away21

Live Text

Match ends, Hearts 2, Hibernian 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Hearts 2, Hibernian 1.

Jamie Walker (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lewis Stevenson (Hibernian).

Booking

Liam Craig (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card.

Jamie Walker (Hearts) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Liam Craig (Hibernian).

Jamie Walker (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Matthew Kennedy (Hibernian).

Goal!

Goal! Hearts 2, Hibernian 1. Farid El Alagui (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner.

Dismissal

Osman Sow (Hearts) is shown the red card for fighting.

Foul by Osman Sow (Hearts).

Michael Nelson (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Jack Hamilton.

Foul by Kevin McHattie (Hearts).

Farid El Alagui (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Michael Nelson (Hibernian) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Scott Allan replaces Daniel Handling.

Substitution

Substitution, Hearts. James Keatings replaces Sam Nicholson.

Foul by Morgaro Gomis (Hearts).

Liam Craig (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Prince Buaben (Hearts).

David Gray (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Goal!

Goal! Hearts 2, Hibernian 0. Prince Buaben (Hearts) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top right corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Matthew Kennedy replaces Samuel Stanton.

Dismissal

Second yellow card to Scott Robertson (Hibernian).

Penalty Hearts. Prince Buaben draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Scott Robertson (Hibernian) after a foul in the penalty area.

Morgaro Gomis (Hearts) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Daniel Handling (Hibernian).

Goal!

Goal! Hearts 1, Hibernian 0. Sam Nicholson (Hearts) right footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Prince Buaben.

Hand ball by Farid El Alagui (Hibernian).

Attempt missed. Samuel Stanton (Hibernian) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Attempt missed. Kevin McHattie (Hearts) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Attempt missed. Samuel Stanton (Hibernian) header from the centre of the box is too high following a set piece situation.

Substitution

Substitution, Hearts. Gary Oliver replaces Jason Holt.

Booking

Alim Ozturk (Hearts) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Alim Ozturk (Hearts).

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

Daniel Handling (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Queen of Sth220066
2Raith Rovers220036
3Hearts220026
4Rangers210113
5Hibernian210103
6Livingston210103
7Cowdenbeath2011-11
8Falkirk2011-21
9Alloa2002-30
10Dumbarton2002-60
View full Scottish Championship table

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