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Friday, 18 January, 2002, 19:02 GMT
Livingston break Hearts
Steven Pressley wins the challenge with David Bingham
Livingston 2-0 Hearts

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Livingston put a stop to Hearts' fine run of results with a win in a bad tempered match at Almondvale.

Second half goals from David Bingham and David Fernandez were enough to secure three points and consolidate their grip on third place in the table.

The tackling was fierce and frenzied all afternoon and there was little in the way of good football to entertain the crowd.

The visitors were handicapped when defender Alan Maybury was dismissed in the first half for kicking out at an opponent.

The home side had several key players missing, most notably defender Marvin Andrews who is away on international duty with Trinidad.

The game was littered with fouls
Ricardo Fuller takes a tumble
Hearts are still without the injured goalkeeper Antti Niemi and Kevin McKenna is away on international duty with Canada.

McKenna was replaced by Scott Severin - the only change to team which beat Aberdeen last week at Tynecastle.

Hearts had the first chance of the game after two minutes when Ricardo Fuller robbed a hesitant Oscar Rubio in the penalty area but the home defence quickly recovered and Gary Bollan snuffed out the threat.

Moments later, Stephane Mahe's cross from the left found Steven Pressley up in attack but the defender's header was weak and Nick Culkin saved easily.

The visitors had an opportunity when the ball fell to Fuller eight yards from goal but the big striker was off-balance and blasted his shot over the bar.

After 17 minutes Culkin did well to save a Steve Fulton shot after the midfielder had pounced on a loose ball at the edge of the box.

Constant fouls by both side were ruining the game as referee Dougie McDonald blew for foul after foul.

There was drama in the 33rd minute when Maybury was shown a straight red card for a challenge on David Fernandez.

Both players had clashed on the touch-line and, as the ball stuck underneath Fernadez, the full-back swung his boot taking both man and ball.

Referee McDonald had no option but to dismiss the ex-Leeds player and then had to separate both benches as things turned ugly on the touchline.

Stephen Simmons replaced Gary Wales after Maybury was sent off and nearly made an early impact.

Culkin did well to flick the youngster's header over the bar after Fulton had swung in a free-kick.

Steve Tosh and Tommi Gronlund challenge
Steve Tosh and Tommi Gronlund challenge
There was no surprise when the home side took the lead in the 54th minute although the high quality of the goal was not in keeping with the rest of the match.

The overlapping Phillipe Brinquin volleyed a Quino pass to the back post where Bingham was unmarked and headed past McKenzie from six yards out.

Moments later, at the other end, Fuller took a snap-shot which Culkin did well to push past the post for a corner.

In the 66th minute, the home side doubled their lead with an almost identical goal to their opener.

Brinquin again crossed from the right and this time it was Fernandez who sent a diving header home from close range.

A miserable afternoon for the Edinburgh side was complete when Simmons had a late penalty kick saved by Culkin after a foul on Fuller.

Livingston: Culkin, Brinquin, Rubio, Anderson, Bollan, Hart (Makel 84), Quino, Tosh, Bingham, Wilson, Fernandez (Lowndes 74).

Subs Not Used: McEwan, Caputo, Santini.

Booked: Rubio, Fernandez, Brinquin, Wilson.

Hearts: McKenzie, Maybury, Pressley, Webster, Mahe, Flogel, Severin, Gronlund (Adam 68), Fulton, Fuller, Wales (Simmons 38). Subs Not Used: Gordon, Kirk, McCann.

Sent Off: Maybury (32). Booked: Maybury, Fuller, Severin, Simmons, Fulton.

Att: 9,150

Ref: D McDonald

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Scotland's Bill Moulds
"Livingston's 3rd win of the season over Lothian rivals Hearts"
Livingston coach David Hay
"It was an enjoyable match... we deserved our victory"
Hearts manager Craig Levein
"Up until the sending off I thought we controlled the game"
Links to more Scot Prem stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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