By: Hibernian Media on 09 May, 2018 21:46
Hibernian suffered a 2-1 defeat in the Edinburgh Derby at Tynecastle Park on Wednesday evening.
Kyle Lafferty opened the scoring for Hearts midway through the first half, with an equaliser being found in the second half via 48th minute penalty from Flo Kamberi.
The winner came from a set-piece as Steven Naismith headed in from six yards out. Despite late pressure from Neil Lennon’s side, another leveller could not be found.
Head Coach Lennon opted to make one change from the 0-0 draw art Pittodrie, bringing in Brandon Barker in place of Jamie Maclaren. This also changed the formation from a 3-5-2 to a 4-2-3-1, with Barker and Martin Boyle attacking the left and right flanks.
This change appeared to have had the desired effect as Hibernian found joy down the wings in the early knockings, despite not seriously threatening Jon McLaughlin in the Hearts goal.
The first chance of the game came the way of Darren McGregor after Boyle had been fouled. A free-kick from Scott Allan found the defender who could only send his header wide of the upright.
Hibernian kept moving forward with the ball and were getting up the park, but a well-marshalled home defence were able to quell the danger.
On-loan winger Barker was the main attacking outlet for Hibs, but saw one shot blocked and another from distance saved by McLaughlin by the 15-minute mark.
Hearts eventually began to gain a foothold in the game and got the ball into the box with Steven Whittaker having to make a block on Steven Naismith. From here, the first contentious moment of the game arose as Lafferty fly into a late challenge on Lewis Stevenson, but only received a caution for the tackle.
Within eight minutes Hearts had a penalty appeal turned down as Naismith fell under the challenge of Efe Ambrose, but Craig Thomson waved away the appeals. Despite this, the hosts were ahead within a minute.
The ball was poked in the direction of Lafferty who was then able to stroke the ball beyond Ofir Marciano to open the scoring with 25 minutes on the clock.
Now in the ascendency, Hearts had chances through Christophe Berra and Harry Cochrane, whilst at the other end, Barker forced a save from McLaughlin.
Boyle’s night was ended early through injury, with Dylan McGeouch his replacement. Hibs ended the half well with Allan and Barker both coming close to an equaliser.
After the break, Hibernian started on the front foot after a change back to a 3-5-2 and were able to take advantage of some sloppy defending to level via a penalty, which was awarded when Stevenson was tripped by Jaoquim Adao in the 48th minute.
Kamberi showed nerves of steel to send McLaughlin the wrong way from 12-yards and bring his side level in Gorgie.
Despite having the wind in their sails, Hibernian were unable to capitalise, and instead Hearts regained the lead within nine minutes.
A free-kick from the right was attacked by Naismith, who was able to guide his header into the far corner to restore Hearts’ lead.
Both sides fought hard to win the midfield battle, but it was fast-becoming a stalemate, with neither side fashioning any chances.
Lennon shuffled his pack once again, bringing on Maclaren for Paul Hanlon and Vykintas Slivka for Allan, with the latter substitution almost bearing fruit.
The Lithuanian midfielder picked the ball up, drove towards the box and slipped the ball into Barker’s path, only for the winger to miscue his effort and send it over the bar.
Hibernian kept putting pressure on the Hearts backline, but were struggling to make headway, as Hearts were intent to try to hit their visitors on the break.
A late chance fell the way of Maclaren as a Darren McGregor header from a corner was blocked and fell to the Australian as he was off balance, but his shot was not hit cleanly McLaughlin saved.
Six minutes were added on at Tynecastle, but Lennon’s side were unable to find an equaliser – with Kamberi coming closest with a half-volley on the turn.
The defeat ended Hibernian’s chances of finishing second place in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Heart of Midlothian: McLaughlin, Smith, Hughes, Berra, Amankwaa (Cowie, 69), Lafferty, Milinkovic (McDonald, 90), Naismith, Mitchell, Cochrane (Callachan, 84), Adao. Substitutes not used: J.Hamilton, Moore, Henderson, C.Hamilton.
Hibernian: Marciano, Ambrose, McGregor, Hanlon (Maclaren, 68), Boyle (McGeouch, 41), Whittaker, Allan (Slivka, 78), McGinn, Stevenson, Barker, Kamberi. Substitutes not used: Bell, Bartley, Swanson, Shaw.
Referee: Craig Thomson.
Attendance: 19,324. Away: 3,568.