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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 October 2006, 14:52 GMT 15:52 UK
Hibernian 2-2 Hearts
By Colin Moffat

Andrius Velicka scored twice at Easter Road
Velicka was the hero for Hearts
Hibernian began life without Tony Mowbray by throwing away a two-goal lead in a thrilling Edinburgh derby.

Merouane Zemmama shot Hibs into an early lead after some delightful footwork and Chris Killen added a header from a corner on 16 minutes.

Hearts hit back with an Andrius Velicka header and lost Saulius Mikoliunas to a red card early in the second half.

But the 10 men equalised when Velicka shot beyond keeper Zbigniew Malkowski, who was culpable for both goals.

In a tale of two keepers, Hibs were denied an injury-time winner when Craig Gordon produced a marvellous diving save to keep out a Rob Jones header.

Mowbray may have left to take over at West Brom but it was a maddeningly familiar afternoon for the Easter Road support.

Have Your Say on 606: Give your thoughts on the match

Hibs threatened to steamroller their city rivals with their slick passing and movement but were undone once again by defensive frailties.

During a typically frantic opening spell, it took a moment of cool thinking to give Hibs a fifth-minute lead.

Ivan Sproule broke down the right and Michael Stewart pounced on his low cross before pulling the ball back across goal.

Zemmama collected Killen's lay-off and he took out two Hearts defenders as he feigned a shot before eventually slotting the ball home from close range.

Hibs started very well in the Edinburgh derby
Hibs started very well but could not preserve their lead

Hibs were making all the running and doubled their lead on 16 minutes when Killen got a glancing header to Zemmama's near-post corner and the ball flew past Gordon.

The five-man midfield of the home side were running the show and Hearts were struggling to cope with Zemmama's trickery on the left flank.

However, the visitors were given a foothold in the game following a blunder from Malkowski.

The accident-prone Polish goalkeeper came charging off his line to collect a deep cross from Lee Wallace and was left floundering as Velicka's tame header from 16 yards bounced into an empty net.

Paul Hartley almost drew the sides level but could not make significant contact with a high ball dropping over his shoulder.

The second half began at a more sedate pace but the atmosphere cranked up again when Mikoliunas was sent off just short of the hour.

The Lithuanian was one of five players booked in a tempestuous first 45 minutes and was fortunate to avoid another caution for stamping on David Murphy.

But he saw red for a foolish tug on Sproule after he had conceded possession.

Hibs were in the ascendancy against the 10 men but once again gifted Hearts a soft goal.

Velicka ran on to a long ball over the top of the Hibs defence and drilled a low shot in at Malkowski's near post, with the keeper looking far from convincing.

Hibs had a strong claim for a penalty when Sproule was upended by Gordon before Zemmama's strike was deflected on to the crossbar.

With 92 minutes on the clock, Jones powered a header towards the top corner of Gordon's net but the Scotland keeper managed to get fingertips to the ball and save his side a point.


Hibernian: Malkowski, Whittaker, Martis, Jones, Murphy, Sproule (Shiels 85), Scott Brown (Fletcher 81), Thomson, Stewart (Glass 70), Killen, Zemmama. Subs Not Used: McNeil, Benjelloun, Shields, Konte.

Booked: Sproule, Zemmama, Thomson, Scott Brown, Killen. Goals: Zemmama 5, Killen 16.

Hearts: Gordon, Tall, Pressley, Berra, Wallace, Mikoliunas, Hartley, Zaliukas (Aguiar 75), Cesnauskis, Velicka (Makela 81), Mole (Beslija 67). Subs Not Used: Banks, Neilson, Fyssas, Bednar. Sent Off: Mikoliunas (59).

Booked: Pressley, Mikoliunas, Velicka, Berra. Goals: Velicka 28, 72.

Att: 16,623

Ref: C Richmond



SEE ALSO
Venus set to join up with Mowbray
15 Oct 06 |  Hibernian
Ivanauskas hails Gordon heroics
15 Oct 06 |  Heart of Midlothian


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