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Page last updated at 12:02 GMT, Monday, 4 January 2010

Smith's joy at dream Hearts goal

Hearts goalscorer Gordon Smith
Smith signed for Hearts from Livingston last summer

Hearts hero Gordon Smith has described his goal against rivals Hibernian in Sunday's 1-1 draw as a dream come true.

The Hearts-supporting striker signed from Livingston last summer and only found out he was making his first start 90 minutes before kick-off.

"I've dreamed about it since I was young. To score my first goal against Hibs is special," said the 18-year-old.

"I was pleased with my performance but I thought I could have kept the ball better sometimes."

Smith put the visitors ahead on the stroke of half-time when he connected beautifully with a Ruben Palazuelos low cross to volley home from 10 yards.

Recalling the moment, he said: "I just saw Ruben cross it, saw the defender was going to miss it and swung my leg."

His powerful strike gave Hibs keeper Graeme Smith, another player making his first start, no chance.

The young striker's parents are keen Hibernian supporters but the tickets Smith got them for the Edinburgh derby were for the Hearts end.

After the game, he joked that there may be a surprise in store for him when he got home.

"I think the doors will be locked," he said.

"My dad's side of the family are all Hearts fans. He's the only one who's a Hibs fan.

"When I was younger, my auntie always used to take me to Hearts games because she's a season-ticket holder and that just changed me."

Smith's goal was not enough to win the match, as Anthony Stokes equalised in the second half for the home side, but nevertheless he plans to have his shirt framed and hung on his wall at home.

With Hearts manager Csaba Laszlo being repeatedly stymied in his attempts to bring in new striking talent, the opportunity is there for younger players at the Gorgie club to push their way into the first team.

"There are a lot of youngsters, like Craig Thomson and Scott Robinson, who have taken their chance and there are others who are good enough if they are needed," said Smith, who made his debut against Dinamo Zagreb last August in a Europa League play-off.

"I'm taking each game as it comes because there are a lot of players injured and when they come back maybe the manager will want to play them.

"I just have to take my opportunity.

"We had a bad start to the season but we are unbeaten in the last five so I think we have turned the corner."



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see also
Hibernian 1-1 Hearts
03 Jan 10 |  Scottish Premier
Smith overjoyed at derby debut goal
03 Jan 10 |  Scotland
Hearts need two strikers - Laszlo
03 Jan 10 |  Scotland


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