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Hearts 2010

Still nursing the hangover from Hearts' home 4-1 defeat to Rangers the day before, twenty-four Jambo diehards gathered at Tynecastle with a look of delight on each and every face. Judging by the smiles, this group of fanatics had clearly put the misery of the previous day behind them and were eager to get out on to the Gorgie pitch and live the dream in the first game of the Football Aid 2010 calendar. 

Sunday 28th March 2010
Hearts Home vs Hearts Away
Tynecastle Stadium
KO: 11:00 am
Legends: Jimmy Sandison, Steven Boyack, Alan McLaren and Alan Lawrence
Match Officials: Peter Burns, Terry Donnelly, Ben Burton and Gordon Linton.

Excitement gathered in the Sunday sunshine as the Home side won the toss and got the ball rolling, however the first chance came for the Away team in just under 2 mins, when a string of well-worked passes initialised by Alan Lawrence saw a through ball from Andrew Alexander to Robert Pool put behind by the home goalkeeper Bob Butchard, in what would be the first of many stops.

It was clear it would take something special to beat Bob Butchard today when with 9 mins gone he gathered well from Alan Bartlemans edge of the box effort, the through ball coming again from the Away No 10 Andrew Alexander who was already establishing himself as a key figure in the centre of the park.

15 mins in saw the first chance for the Home team, Steven Boyack, who was once signed by Craig Levein for £50,000, picked up the ball at the back before sending it wide to Football Aid regular Jim Rae. Rae played the ball to Dougie Downing and his accurate pass looked promising but the ball was pinched away from Michael Pattison in the Away defence.

With just over half way gone in this first half both teams were still in search of that opening goal. A good throw from the Home keeper found Captain Michael McCandlish just inside his own half. McCandlish showed a real touch of class as he lobbed the ball over the opposition player and continued to drive forward into his opponents half. The show didn't end there for McCandlish as he played an inch perfect pass to William Gerrard whose effort was collected by Liam Butchard between the Away goal.

A few minutes later some good link up play between the Home team's Gerrard and Pattison allowed Gerrard to strike a testing shot from distance but the keeper matched it.

The officials brought the first half to a close with the Away team looking the more dangerous pushing forward, showing drive and determination but credit had to go to the defensive duties of the Home team; Wilson, Buglass, Rae and Boyack who had been rock solid.

Half-Time: Hearts Home 0-0 Hearts Away

The Away team which now consisted of ex-Scotland internationalist Alan McLaren at left back got the game under way, however it was clear Jimmy Sandison had voiced a few inspiring words in the dressing room at half time as the Home team looked determined to take control of the game.

After 51 mins a wonderful turn and break of pace by Alexander of the Away team allowed Pool to play Fraser in for a strike at goal. This was an excellent move which was only outshone by a fantastic save by Bob Butchard, who with saves such as this, was now beginning to live up to his nickname of The Cat.

The Away team were now starting to play some attractive football, with playmakers Robert Pool and Jamie Smith continuing to add pressure to the Home defence. A move which was started by Alan McLaren saw Pool do well to get to the by-line before delivering a left-footed cross into the box which was met with a powerful header by Charlie Legget, however again Bob Butchard made the save.

19 mins into the second half and the ball was picked up on the half way line by the Maroon jersey of Jim Rae, the unmarked Rae continued to drive forward and with nobody closing him down he shot from distance but his well struck shot narrowly scraped by the post.

Even with this being the first Football Aid event of the season it was clear that we would be unlikely to see many encounters as close as this. There were some half chances but at this stage no team was looking likely to break the deadlock.

Things were to change on 67 mins when Away No 4 Barry Duncan intercepted the ball and played it forward to Alexander who drove forward until the half way circle, before using excellent vision to pick out Neil Fraser out wide. Fraser took one touch before a fantastic strike from outside the box screamed over the top of the acrobatic keeper and in to the back of the net... A goal that even Hearts goal machine John Robertson would have been proud of! (0-1)

The celebration was one to match the goal, Fraser wasted no time in whipping his shirt of to display the body of a true athlete before throwing himself to the floor and tumbling over. The referee was almost as quick to brandish his yellow card but this would surely not bother Fraser, who will relish this moment for years to come.

The lead only seemed to double the Away team's hunger for success and minutes later a great run from Michael McCaughey resulted in Fraser missing a chance from the six yard box which would have been easier to score than the wonder goal previously.

With time ticking away The Boys in Maroon continued to keep their heads held high and a long range effort from their Captain McCandlish was well held by keeper Liam Butchard.

Minutes later and a McLaren foul on McCandlish just outside the box allowed Rae to step up to the plate with a free-kick which he could only blast over the bar.

With only a few minutes left on the clock the Away team pushed forward yet again. Pool played the ball inside to Barry Duncan who looked for a forward pass, though with nothing on the cards, Duncan struck a beautiful shot from 25 yards towards goal. Bob Butchard looked stunned as the ball rocketed past him, striking the underside of the woodwork and dipping into the net! (0-2) an incredible strike from Duncan was greeted with great applause from the watching fans; however unlike fellow scorer Fraser, it appeared Duncan was not a fan of The Full Monty, as his top stayed firmly on while he punched the air in jubilation.

Again the Home team remained hungry and straight from the kick-off pushed forward, Centre Half Dave Buglass was in complete control here as he paced forward and let fly from the edge of the box. With the keeper beat it looked like it could be another moment to remember, but unfortunately for Buglass, the woodwork came to the rescue for the Away team.

With the final whistle drawing the match to a close the Away team left the field in jubilation but the Home team also had every right to be delighted with their strong performance from start to finish.

Final Score: Hearts Home 0-2 Hearts Away

Man of the Match Home: Dave Buglass
Man of the Match Away:
Robert Pool
Moment of the Match:
Neil Fraser

Home Team: R Butchard, I Wilson, S Boyack, J Sandison, D Buglass, J Rae, M McCandlish, D Downing, R Aitchison, W Gerrard, M Pattison, B Millar, C Murphy.

Mascots: Ben Buglass and Jordan Reid

Away Team: L Butchard, M McCaughey, A Lawrence, A McLaren, B Duncan, C Legget, P Caldwell, R Pool, A Bartleman, N Fraser, A Alexander, D Irving, J Smith.

Mascots: Daniel Duncan and Christopher Irving