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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 August 2006, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Hearts 4-1 Inverness CT
By Julian Taylor

Mauricio Penilla
Hearts' Penilla holds off Grant Munro at Tynecastle
Hearts shook off their European hangover with a well-deserved victory over Inverness at Tynecastle.

Chilean Mauricio Pinilla, Jamie Mole, Andy Driver and Bruno Aguiar's goals secured the points, while Graham Bayne netted for Inverness.

After a shaky start, Pinilla struck for Hearts, but the battling Highlanders replied with Bayne's shock leveller.

But Hearts then began to dominate and youngsters Mole and Driver both struck before Aguiar added a late fourth.

Hearts head coach Valdas Ivanauskas handed five players their home debuts.

Defender Tiago Costa replaced suspended Robbie Neilson, and midfielder Marius Zaliukas made their first appearances, while Pinilla, Mole and Christos Karipidis all started.

Visiting boss Charlie Christie retained the strike partnership of Dennis Wyness and Graham Bayne following their 3-1 win over Dumbarton in the CIS Insurance Cup in midweek.

Hearts were eager to impress after their midweek European exit in Athens, as they attempted to get back on track domestically.

Ivanauskas' men enjoyed the bulk of the early pressure before making an early breakthrough.

On a swift counter-attack Neil McCann supplied a tempting cross which by-passed Mole, but Pinilla eluded Dods and Tokely to side foot the ball into the net.

However, the Highlanders refused to lose confidence and they shocked Hearts with a well-taken equaliser on the half-hour mark.

Barry Wilson had time to cross and with the home defence static, forward Bayne took advantage to calmly head the ball beyond Craig Gordon.

Dennis Wyness could have added a second when he escaped Karapidis in the box, but couldn't convert a flying header after some good team-work.

Hearts quickly punished Inverness for their ill-fortune when Mole made it 2-1.

From Paul Hartley's free-kick the young striker rose to power a header into the roof of the net beyond Mark Brown three minutes before half-time.

The goal proved most welcome to a nervous home support.

Hearts confidence re-emerged and McCann, full of verve, lashed the ball against the bar with the Edinburgh club seeking to put themselves out of sight.

Ivanauskas then substituted McCann for Andy Driver and replaced Hartley with Bruno Aguiar.

And 18-year-old Driver delivered instantly with the third goal to gift Hearts the points.

The youngster showed terrific composure to lash the ball into the top of the net from a tight angle, when Tokely made a mess of clearing a Mikoliunas cross.

Aguiar added number four when he slid the ball in from seven yards from man-of-the-match Mole's assist.

The goal emphatically sealed an impressive and welcome performance for Ivanauskas.

And it was enough to extinguish the stiff Inverness challenge, as Hearts recorded their biggest-ever SPL victory over the visitors.


Hearts: Gordon, Costa, Pressley, Karipidis, Wallace, Mikoliunas, Hartley (Aguiar 79), Zaliukas, McCann (Driver 76), Pinilla (Makela 86), Mole. Subs Not Used: Banks, Beslija, Fyssas, Lithgow.

Goals: Pinilla 20, Mole 42, Driver 80, Aguiar 90.

Inverness CT: Brown, Tokely (Duncan 82), Dods, Munro, Hastings, Wilson, Black, Rankin, McBain (Keogh 82), Wyness (McAllister 44), Bayne. Subs Not Used: Fraser, McCaffrey, Morgan, Sutherland.

Goals: Bayne 31.

Att: 15,912

Ref: S Conroy

SEE ALSO
Ivanauskas happy with Hearts win
26 Aug 06 |  Heart of Midlothian
Christie upset as Inverness crash
26 Aug 06 |  Inverness CT


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