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Late Wonder Goal Denies Hibs A Deserved Derby Win

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A 40 yard wonder goal from Hearts’ Turkish defender Alim Ozturk deep into stoppage time secured a valuable point for the league leaders in a hard fought Edinburgh derby this afternoon at Easter Road.

Hibs had taken the lead in the first half through Dominique Malonga and had chances to wrap the game up, but typically Hearts’ never say die attitude ensured their unbeaten record continues.

Head Coach Alan Stubbs made one change to the starting line up who hammered Livingston last weekend with Liam Fontaine returning to the team in place of Callum Booth.

Hearts started brightly and Prince Buaben would have opened the scoring but for a last gasp tackle from Paul Hanlon.

At the other end, Scott Allan and Danny Handling combined well but the youngsters strike was well saved by Neil Alexander.

Midway through the first half Hibs almost grabbed the lead when a long ball caught out Danny Wilson and Alexander allowing Jason Cummings to touch it to Malonga but the striker over hit his return pass and the ball rolled wide, much to the relief of the Hearts’ fans behind the goals.

Scott Allan then produced a 30 yard strike which flew inches over the bar before Hearts almost scored against the run of play when a long ball from Callum Paterson was misjudged by Hanlon allowing Soufian El Hassnaoui a clear run on goal but the striker’s shot was well saved by Oxley.

Hibs eventually grabbed a deserved lead just before the break when an Allan corner from the right was met by Liam Fointaine’s powerful header which was blocked by Adam Eckersley, Cummings following up was cleared from the goal line then deflected off Hanlon into the path of Malonga who hammered the ball high into the net.

Incredibly with a quarter of the season gone, this was the first time Hearts had been behind.

Alan Stubbs’ men started the second half where they left off and Allan’s cross was flicked just wide of the post by Malonga.

Allan, who was in top form then produced a sparkling run before being brought down on the edge of the box by Buaben, earning the Hearts’ midfielder a yellow card. Malonga’s free kick rebounded off the Hearts’ wall to Allan but his first time effort went well wide.

Hanlon then did well to block a Buaben effort as the Gorgie men fought to get back into the game.

Robbie Neilson then made two substitutions within the space of three minutes with Jamie Walker replacing El Hassnaoui and Jordan McGhee replacing the injured Danny Wilson.

Hibs had a claim for a penalty rejected then referee Madden stopped the game to warn Stubbs about his protestations.

A few minutes later Oxley was harshly booked for time wasting then with 10 minutes remaining Hearts were reduced to ten men after Paterson was sent off for a bad tackle from behind on Malonga as the Hibs forward broke away.

Hearts continued to attack in search of an equaliser and despite their man advantage, the Hibs players sat back and allowed them to create chances.

Deep into added time Ozturk ran unchallenged into the Hibs half before unleashing a sensational 40 yard strike which crashed off the bar into the net, sparking wild scenes amongst the Gorgie faithful and chants of ‘We are Unbeatable’.

Hibs: Oxley, Gray, Hanlon, Fontaine, Robertson, Stevenson, Handling (Stanton 73’), Allan (Harris 73’), McGeouch, Malonga, Cummings (Kennedy 83’). Substitutes not used: Perntreou, Craig, Heffernan, Booth.

Hearts: Alexander, Paterson, Wilson (McGhee 57’), Oxbturk, Gomis, El Hassnaoui (Walker 54’), Nicholson, King (Buchanan 86’), Bauben, Sow, Eckersley. Substitutes not used: Hamilton, McHattie, Holt, Pallardo.

Referee: Bobby Madden.

Attendance: 14,562

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