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Page last updated at 16:52 GMT, Saturday, 22 November 2008

Hearts 2-1 Falkirk

Andrew Driver (right) celebrates his winning goal
Driver (right) scored a fine individual goal to win the game

Andrew Driver's superb solo effort ensured that Hearts came from behind to dump Falkirk and consolidate their place in third in the SPL.

Steve Lovell toe-poked the visitors into an early lead against the run of play as they searched their first win at Tynecastle in 13 years.

But Bruno Aguiar's accurately curled free-kick levelled matters three minutes later.

And Driver weaved through the Bairns defence to score after the break.

Hearts had started without influential midfielder Michael Stewart through suspension, but replacement Ruben Palazuelos helped them dominate early possession.

Christian Nade, looking fitter after recent criticism of his fast-food diet, teed up Aguiar on the edge of the box, but the midfielder dragged his shot wide.

Nade and Eggert Jonsson had close-range efforts blocked and Aguiar volleyed inches over from 16 yards.

Falkirk looked to be missing the injured influential trio Dean Holden, Scott Arfield and Jackie McNamara.

Arnau Riera came into the side along with the inexperienced Des McCaffrey and Chris Mitchell, who was earning his first start of the season.

But it was the Bairns who went ahead against the run of play after 16 minutes.

Michael Higdon slipped a pass through to Lovell and the striker ran clear of the defence before toe-poking the ball past goalkeeper Janos Balogh.

Steve Lovell celebrates scoring the opening goal
Lovell had given Falkirk the lead in Edinburgh

The lead lasted a mere three minutes, however, after Aguiar planted a 20-yard free-kick in the top-right corner of the net following Darren Barr's foul on Nade.

Falkirk settled their nerves and Mitchell's free-kick bounced just past the post.

Driver just failed to pick out Jonsson inside the Bairns box, while Marius Zaliukas failed to keep his header down after being picked out by Aguiar.

David Obua's introduction as a second-half sustitute was interrupted when he was sent from the field to take off some jewellery.

But it was quickly followed by a golden moment when Driver, who was due to switch to the other wing to make way for the Ugandan, weaved his way through the defence before rounding the goalkeeper and slotting the ball home.

Falkirk, who had won three out of the last four meetings with Hearts, pressed for an equaliser and a long-range effort from Mitchell forced a fine save from Balogh.

From the corner, Aguiar cleared off the line to prevent a Lee Bullen header saving a point for the Bairns, while Higdon failed to covert a fine Mitchell cross.


Hearts manager Csaba Laszlo:
"If we stay in third place at the end of the season, I will be happy, but I am not satisfied.

"The positives was the second half, but the first was a catastrophe and we talked about that in the dressing-room.

"I must compliment our opponents as they did not sit back in the second half and try to play on the counter attack and, if we can continue that, we can develop Scottish football.

"The two goals were reward for the work we have done with Bruno and Driver on the training field."

Falkirk head coach John Hughes:
"To score and the concede an equaliser within five minutes was disappointing.

"I felt it was a foul on Darren Barr as I thought Christian Nade was backing into him.

"In terms of effort and commitment and going about the game in the right manner, it was great, but we will not win football matches if we lose goals like their second.

"We gave it one rousing go in the last 10 or 15 minutes and could have got something from the game.

"And I thought the two boys who made their first starts of the season, Mitchell and McCaffrey, did well."


Hearts: Balogh, Neilson, Berra, Zaliukas, Lee Wallace, Jonsson (Obua 60), Aguiar, Karipidis, Palazuelos, Driver, Nade (Makela 90).
Subs Not Used: MacDonald, Thomson, Mole, Templeton, Brown.

Booked: Lee Wallace.

Goals: Aguiar 18, Driver 59.

Falkirk: Flinders, McCaffrey, Barr, Bullen, Mitchell, Riera (Mark Stewart 85), McBride, Cregg (Barrett 67), O'Brien, Higdon, Lovell.
Subs Not Used: Olejnik, Lynch, John Stewart, Moffat, Staunton. Booked: Riera, Mitchell.

Goals: Lovell 16.

Att: 13,009

Ref: E Smith


BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Hearts' Andrew Driver and Bruno Aguiar 9.00 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.



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see also
SPL as it happened
22 Nov 08 |  Scottish Premier
SPL photo gallery
22 Nov 08 |  Scottish Premier


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