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Hearts 2013

The Football Aid 2013 match at Tynecastle took place later in our season than usual, and that meant conditions were perfect, with bright sunshine and warm weather greeting the players when they arrived at the stadium. The match itself was an extremely tense affair, with the teams evenly matched throughout and defences on top the game ended in a low scoring draw, with the Home team snatching a late equaliser to even things up at 1-1. 

Date: Sunday 2nd June 2013
Venue: Tynecastle
Heart of Midlothian Home vs Heart of Midlothian Away
Kick off: 11am
Legend: Jimmy Sandison
Match Officials: Dominic Falconer, Sam Midwood, Ross McAdam and Hugh Mclean

Before the Home team came out onto the pitch they were treated to an inspiring team talk by Hearts Legend and Football Aid ever present Jimmy Sandison, who talked tactics and strategy as well as encouraging the players to keep going right to the final minute. In the opposite dressing room the Away Captain and regular supporter, Dave Buglass filled the Legend's shoes with an equalling inspiring rallying call to his troops. After marching out onto the Tynecastle turf the usual handshakes were exchanged and the all important team photos were taken before the coin toss was made. This went in favour of the Home side and they chose to kick off.

Despite this the Away team, wearing White shirts and Maroon shorts, were the ones that started the stronger of the two sides. They gained possession soon after kick-off and kept it for some time, coming close to the Home goal on a few occasions, however the impressive Home Keeper Tony Sime was there to stop them each time. The Home team weren’t to be outdone though and they too attacked and defended with skill and aplomb. Both teams were stalwart in defence and refused to let the opposite side create many chances and for some time neither side managed to even get a shot on goal as they were shut out or tackled before they had a chance.

The Away side got exceptionally close though and would have scored had it not been for a controversial offside decision by the near side Linesman which they were none too happy about. They seemed to be making the most progress in the attack as the Home side’s chances were even more few and far between. While the attacking play from both sides wasn’t able to create the opportunities the supporters craved, the lack of opportunities spoke volumes for the quality of both teams' defences.

At this point in the game the Away team's Centre Half pairing of Dave Buglass and Mark Kirk had been crucial in stopping the Home side from breaking through the defence. It was the same with impressive Home No 4 Daryll Phillips, who along with central partner Rhys Legget was doing a great job in keeping out the Away attack, and the big Centre Half showed his attacking talents when he carried the ball all the way to the opposition box after a great run from deep inside his own half.

The Away side continued to come close to scoring though and almost broke the deadlock when an excellent cross was played into the box, however No 9 Kris Lee wasn’t quite able to get his head to it. With over half of the first 45 min played the Keepers still hadn’t had much work to do and both defences continued to enable them to have a trouble free morning. That was until a free-kick was played into the Away team's box and the Home Captain Barry McNeill looked like he might be able to fire it past Dave Mackay but he was out muscled by the impressive Away No 5 Mark Kirk who denied him the shot.

Not long after the Home side were pushing forward once again and a high speed collision left two opposing players on the ground after a clash of heads. A quick assessment by pitch-side physician Alan Stewart led to Home No 9 David Irving being escorted off for a short break to recover from his blow; however the big Striker was back on the field shortly after, keen to seek that elusive opening goal.

Play resumed as normal and the Home side seemed to be pushing even harder for a goal and they nearly scored when No 8 Sean Hunter made it into the box and took a shot; however his effort went just wide of the post. The Away team hit back and tried to force an error out of the Home backline, however half time arrived soon afterwards, with neither side able to break the deadlock.

Half Time: Heart of Midlothian Home 0 - 0 Heart of Midlothian Away

At half time there was plenty of discussion amongst both teams as they tried to work out the best strategy to get that elusive breakthrough. After a brief interval the players marched resolutely back onto the pitch to continue the game. The half started brightly and was immediately made interesting by a long shot from way out by Away Captain Andrew Harland which nearly made it over the Keeper's head; however Sime's excellent diving save kept the ball out of the net and preserved his clean-sheet.

Prolific Striker Andy Harland succeeded soon after though, when a long pass slipped past the defence found him in the clear. He proceeded to chip the ball cleverly over the out-rushing Tony Sime and into the back of the net from just inside the box. The deadlock had finally been broken with the Away team taking the lead in the 48th min (0-1).

The Home side nearly responded not long after though when they were awarded a free kick close to goal, however the resulting kick only resulted in a corner. Unfortunately they weren't able to make anything of the resulting kick and the score remained as it was for the time being. Both sides were working hard to get chances at goal but the defences remained strong throughout this period.

With the Home side pushing hard for an equaliser the Away team were able to create a few chances on the break and they came close due to the creative play of their Captain, Andy Harland, however on each occasion they were unable to provide the finishing touch. The Home side also had some close chances, with the closest of these being a header from Home No 11 Peter McNeill from a corner, which forced a spectacular save from Keeper Dave Mackay on his line.

The impressive No 1 was needed again moments later when a pass came into the box and No 7 Ian Reay hammered the ball towards goal but Mackay was equal to the effort, tipping the ball onto the bar and when it bounced down it was cleared by the ever alert Away defence.

The Away side looked like they might pull further ahead when they went for goal once again but the shot from No 7 Andrew Alexander was well saved by the Keeper and the follow up effort from Midfielder Charlie Legget was deemed offside. However with only mins on the clock the Home side's persistence finally paid off after they received yet another free kick near the box. No 17 Lee Hyslop curled the ball into the box and without another touch being applied it somehow managed to find its way past the Away defence, and the unlucky Mackay in goal, before nestling in the corner of the net. The scores were now level in the 85th minute (1-1).

Both sides went in search of a winner in the dying minutes of the game, however neither side was able to break down the opposition's defence again and the scores ended level after a thoroughly enjoyable 90 mins. The game ended up being one of the lowest scoring in our season, however there was no shortage of drama and tension throughout and the watching fans gave the Hearts players a deserved standing ovation when they marched off the pitch at the end of the game.

Full Time: Heart of Midlothian Home 1 - 1 Heart of Midlothian Away

Man of the Match Home: Daryll Phillips
Man of the Match Away: Dave Buglass
Moment of the Match: Dave Mackay

Home Team: Tony Sime, Dean Bowman, Daryll Phillips, Rhys Legget,
Bradley Chiren, Iain Reay, Sean Hunter, David Irving, Barry McNeill (C), Peter McNeill, Matt Newsum, Kevin Banks, Mark Feehan, Lee William Hyslop
Manager: Jimmy Sandison
Mascot: Chris Irving

Away Team: Dave Mackay, Graeme Sutherland, Dave Buglass, Mark Kirk, Steven Chappell, Andrew Alexander, Dale Rankin, Kris Lee, Charlie Legget, Andrew Harland (C), Davide Ottonello, Graeme Sutherland, Gabriele Benzi
Mascot: Jamie Rankin