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Hearts 2011

Conditions were perfect for Football Aid’s first game of 2011 held in Scotland. The pitch was in absolutely fantastic condition in a hot, sun drenched Gorgie. The Hearts Away team were in their Argentina look-a-like strip and with one player even sporting the name ‘Messi’. The fans, who had turned out in force, were looking forward to a thoroughly entertaining encounter.

Sunday 10th April 2011
Hearts Home vs. Hearts Away
Kick Off: 11.30
Match Officials: Alexs Lukic, Carol-Anne Pettigrew, Gordon Courtney, Robert Williamson
Legends: Alan Lawrence, Jimmy Sandison, Scott Crabbe, Brian McNaughton

The Home side won the toss and got the game underway with no less than two playing legends starting for the Home team, much to the annoyance of Scott Crabbe who was quick to make his feelings known.

It was the Away side who would create the first real chance on goal. Irving in goal could only manage to clear the ball mid way into his own half and it was met first time and headed back into the box. Robert Pool, who had his back to goal, tried to live up to having ‘Messi’ printed on the back of his jersey and attempted to chip the keeper as he was running back to his line. Irving will be glad his blushes were saved by a last ditch clearance.

The Away side dominated the early encounters with the Home team having to be content to try and counterattack. The Home side would be afforded their first glimpse at goal after ten minutes. Paul McPherson looked to be clear through on goal but was cynically scythed down at the edge of the box by captain McNeil. The free kick managed to clear the wall but was aimed straight at Reid who gratefully gathered the ball.

Minutes later the Home side would be awarded an even better chance when Buglass brought down McNeil in the box. With no hesitation match official Alexs Lukic pointed to the spot, TV replays showing the decision had been the correct one. Phillip Bayne lashed the ball into the top left with Reid only managing to get fingertips to it. (1-0)

Despite the scoreline it was still the Away side who were having more of the ball and creating the better chances. Alexander did well in chasing down a lost cause and managed to retrieve the ball just before it ran out and passed back to Crabbe who showed good vision to spot Pattison unmarked on the penalty spot. Pattison set himself up for a stinging left foot effort which came back off the inside of the post with Irving well beaten in goal. The resulting corner brought about the equaliser for the Away team. Scott Crabbe ghosted into the back post completely unmarked and with no hesitation fired the ball past Irving. (1-1)

The game began to turn into an end to end affair with both teams passing up some decent opportunities. Both sides were putting on a good show preferring to try and play the ball on the deck as opposed to knocking long balls over the top

The Away side and Scott Crabbe wouldn’t have to wait too much longer before they were in front. Robert ‘Messi’ Pool lofted a delightful diagonal ball which Crabbe took on the half volley and found the bottom right hand corner leaving Irving with no chance. (1-2)

Half-Time: Hearts Home 1 – 2 Hearts Away

Shortly after the restart the Home side could have been all square after McPherson went down in the box after going shoulder to shoulder with Buglass. The referee on this occasion decided not to award a penalty, much to the disgust of the Home side.

Pattison was next to go close for the Away side. Displaying some nice touches down the right flank, Alexander then whipped in a pin point accurate cross but the best Pattison could do was direct his header over the bar. He was left wondering how he failed to double his side’s advantage.

The pace of the game was beginning to pick up speed with plenty of passes zipping about on the perfect Tynecastle surface. The Home side’s equaliser was a great solo effort. Phillip Bayne notched up his second when he received the ball on the half way line and darted deep into the opposition half, unopposed he let fly from 25 yards and drove the ball into the bottom right hand corner for a well deserved equaliser. (2-2)

Two minutes later the Away side’s lead was almost restored by Alexander who found himself with time to shoot at the edge of the box. His goal bound drive was deflected behind for a corner. The corner was not dealt with by the Home side and skipped across the face of goal. Neither side managed to connect and the ball trundled harmlessly out for a corner.

This scare for the Home side seemed to spur them back into action and it was them who again began to control the game. They created a number of half chances, always built from patient play at the back but were never able to threaten Irving in goal. In keeping with the rest of the game, just as one side looked to be gaining the upper hand the other hit back – this time it was Pool who darted inside the box and had a powerful effort just over the bar from 12 yards.

Midway through the second half the Home side found themselves ahead once again. The Away side looked too casual as Murray showed good strength to win the ball in midfield. His attempted effort was blocked and fell kindly to the lurking Phillip Bayne who showed great composure to control the ball before firing it past Reid. (3-2)

Bayne almost added another minutes later. This time he took the ball on a mazy run, leading the defence in a merry dance, before trying to place an effort in Reid’s bottom left hand corner. This time however, Reid was too good and got down quickly to make an excellent one handed stop keeping the scores level.

The Home side didn’t have too much longer to wait to until they managed to extend their lead further. Murray again showed his defensive capability winning the ball at the edge of his own box before carrying it to the edge of the opposition box where he laid the ball off for Bayne. Bayne was unselfish and played in Paul McPherson who lashed the ball past Reid. (4-2)

The Away side gave themselves a lifeline only a minute later. Pattison took his time and played a cleverly chipped cross into the back post, Irving could only watch as the bar went agonisingly out of reach and fell to Barry Knight who smashed the ball home on the half volley. (4-3)

With still all to play for, the Away team began to pile on the pressure and began to shoot on site. Despite numerous attempts they still failed to trouble Irving in goal however. The equaliser was not long in coming and some more patient play found Andrew Alexander at the edge of the box who showed great skill in beating his man, holding off another and then blasting the ball into the net. (4-4)

After a fantastic display by both teams, the match ended all square. On reflection both teams would be happy with the result

Full-Time: Hearts Home 4-4 Hearts Away

Man of the Match Home: Phillip Bayne

Man of the Match Away: Andrew Alexander

Moment of the Match: Daniel Reid

Home Team: Irving, Sandison, Lawrence, Legget, Fusco, Abetini, Barton, Corstorphine, McPherson, Millar, Legget, Bayne, Carpenter, Liddle, Murray

Mascot: Chris Irving

Away Team: Reid, Joyce, Crabbe, McNaughton, Buglass, Caldwell, McNeill, Alexander, McNeil, Pattison, Pool, Sinclair, Murphy, Knight

Mascot: Ben Buglass