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Business as usual as Hibs lose yet another Edinburgh derby

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Despite the positive statements coming from Easter Road about changing the style of play, increasing the confidence of the players and bringing in quality rather than quantity, it was business as usual at Tynecastle this afternoon with Hibs’ players resorting to the aimless long ball tactics of last season and Hearts emerging as comfortable winners.

Head coach Alan Stubbs made two changes to the starting line-up that beat Livingston last Saturday. Danny Handling returned from suspension replacing Paul Heffernan and Michael Nelson taking over from the injured Paul Hanlon.

With Hearts’ two first choice goalkeepers injured, youngster Jack Hamilton took his place in goal.

After thirty minutes of neither team creating a chance, Hibs were given a great chance to take the lead when Hamilton collided with Handling inside the box and referee Collum pointed to the spot.

Skipper Liam Craig took the resultant penalty but missed the target with a poorly struck effort.

Mark Oxley then made a superb stop to deny Sam Nicholson before Jordon McGhee’s volley flew inches past the post just before the break.

Several players had been booked in a bad tempered first half including Scott Robertson for persistent foul play.

His behaviour did not improve in the second half and the travelling support were calling on Stubbs to replace him as it was apparent that he was in danger of being shown a red card.

With 15 minutes remaining and Hearts dominating possession, Sam Nicholson picked up the ball in midfield, nutmegged Robertson before hammering in a superb left foot drive that flew into the net off the post.

Two minutes later Buaben went down easily under the challenge from Robertson and the referee immediately pointed to the spot and showed the Hibs’ midfielder a red card.

Bauben then showed Craig how a penalty kick should be taken and side footed the ball high into the net to secure the three points.

With five minutes remaining Farid El Alagui was denied by an instinctive stop from debutant Hamilton, unbelievably his first save of the match.

With time running out Hearts were reduced to ten men when Osman Sow was show a straight red card for an elbow on Nelson then in stoppage time El Alagui produced a fine piece of skill before sending a right foot volley into the Hearts’ net for the team’s first and only shot on target.

With the remaining Hibs’ fans screaming for the players to put in one last attack, they continued to give away unnecessary free kicks and Hearts easily held on to secure the win.

After the game Stubbs insisted that he had seen positives from his players but he seemed to be in the minority judging by the mood of the long suffering supporters as they once again left Tynecastle with no points.

Heart of Midlothian: Hamilton, McGhee, McHattie, Gomis, Ozturk, Wilson, King (Walker 58’), Buaben, Sow, Holt (Oliver 72’), Nicholson (Keatings 85’). Substitutes not used: Hollis, Smith, McKay, Smith.

Hibernian: Oxley, Gray, Stevenson, Craig, Forster, Nelson, Harris, Robertson, El Alagui, Handling (Allan 85’), Stanton (Kennedy 79’). Substitutes not used: Perntreou, Heffernan, Tudur Jones, Booth, Cummings.

Referee: Willie Collum.

Attendance: 17,288.

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