Hearts edge tetchy derby
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Marius Zaliukas settled a feisty Edinburgh derby as Hearts beat Hibernian 1-0.
Marius Zaliukas settled a feisty Edinburgh derby as Hearts beat Hibernian 1-0 at Easter Road.
In a game of few chances and littered with free-kicks, the Lithuanian defender struck decisively nine minutes from time after a mistake from Hibs keeper Andrew McNeil.
The visitors had the first opening of the match as a cross-field pass found its way to Andrew Driver, whose firmly-hit shot was beaten out by McNeil.
Hibs started to apply some pressure and Scott Brown shot straight at Craig Gordon before Steven Fletcher headed into the arms of Scotland's number one.
John Collins' side had numerous opportunities from set-pieces around the box, but were unable to make any count, with Fletcher among those to be wasteful.
David Murphy almost scored an unfortunate own goal three minutes before half-time as his miscued clearance was pushed over the bar by McNeil.
The second half saw little in the way of goalmouth action until Hearts grabbed the winner on 81 minutes.
McNeil flapped at a deep free-kick and Zaliukas seized on the loose ball to drive his volley inside the post with the aid of a deflection.
Hibs responded with substitute Ivan Sproule forcing a smart stop out of Gordon late on, while Brown's overhead kick at the keeper was the final meaningful action of a tetchy affair.