Hearts stave off relegation in derby win
Hearts staved off relegation with a 2-0 win in the Edinburgh derby at Tynecastle on Sunday to deny rivals Hibernian the chance to condemn them to the Championship.
Cash-strapped Hearts, who were docked 15 points at the beginning of the season for entering administration, went into the match knowing their 33-year stay in the Scottish top flight could be ended with defeat at the hands of their fiercest rivals.
However, Gary Locke's youthful side showed they will not be going down without a fight as Dale Carrick finished off a good move to fire Hearts in front in the seventh minute.
There was controversy in the 83rd minute when Jordon Forster headed past Jamie MacDonald for what looked like a leveller but his effort was ruled out for offside, with television replays showing it was the wrong decision.
Alan Maybury was then sent off for a second bookable offence before Billy King scored in stoppage time to compound the misery for the Easter Road side.
It ended a run of four consecutive defeats for the Jambos but the win only delays the inevitable for Hearts, who are 19 points adrift at the bottom with seven games remaining, and they could be condemned to the drop if they fail to beat Aberdeen on Wednesday.
"I thought it was a great game and it was a massive win. It was important we gave the fans a big result today," a jubilant Jambos boss Locke said.
"There was a lot of talk going about this week about Hibs coming over here to win the game to relegate us. I think it was important that we showed that wasn't going to happen.
"Over the course of the season it's probably too little too late now but they have showed they are improving and hopefully we've got a strong future."
Hibs boss Terry Butcher was furious with his side and the officials.
"There were too little shots and too few good crosses into the box and you're never going to score on that basis. Having said that when we did score it was chopped off for offside and it never was. It was a horrendous call from the linesman.
"We've gone from being a very difficult team to play against to being a team that concedes goals and then doesn't score at the other end. There's work to be done and we'll certainly work our hardest to put it right."
A large Hibernian support had packed into Tynecastle desperate to see their side send Hearts into the Championship.
However, they were silenced early on when Ryan Stevenson sent a cushioned header into the path of Carrick who took a touch before firing past Ben Williams.
Hearts pushed for a second but David Smith's long-range shot took a deflection and was easily dealt with by the 'keeper.
Williams then produced a superb save to deny Sam Nicholson's powerful shot across goal with the Hibs stopper at full stretch to tip away his effort.
Hibs, who had made six changes for the match, were showing the kind of form that has seen them pick up just one win in 12 matches since their derby victory in January and failed to register a shot on target in the first half.
Terry Butcher's side improved in the second half and were appealing for a penalty when James Collins' fierce strike appeared to hit the arm of Dylan McGowan in the box but referee Steven McLean waved away their protests.
Hibernian thought they had got themselves on level terms in the 83rd minute when Forster headed Lewis Stevenson's cross past MacDonald but his effort was controversially wrongly ruled out for offside.
Maybury was then given his marching orders in the 89th minute for a foul on King, his second booking of the afternoon.
King then grabbed a goal for Hearts in stoppage time as he was sent clean through on goal following a quick breakaway. The youngster rounded 'keeper Williams and kept his cool to calmly slot home his first goal for the Jambos to send the home fans wild.
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