Sun 07 Aug 2022
Hibernian v Heart of Midlothian 22/23
HT 0-1
Hibernian Hibernian
Hearts Heart of Midlothian
Match Report

Martin Boyle scored a dramatic late leveller this afternoon as the spoils were shared in the first Edinburgh Derby of the new season.

Despite a strong first half showing from the Hibees, we trailed for almost an hour after Lawrence Shankland had given Hearts the lead against the run of play.

After the break, the roles were reversed with the visitors enjoying the best of the action before being hit by Boyle’s late sucker-punch.

Lee Johnson made one enforced change to the side that defeated St Johnstone on the opening weekend of the new cinch Premiership campaign.

Josh Campbell came in to replace the suspended Jair Tavares. Paul Hanlon returned to the matchday squad and was amongst the substitutes.

He was joined on the bench by new signing Boyle, who was given a thunderous welcome by the home support on his return to the Club.

We started the match as brightly as the Leith sunshine and carved out a couple of good opportunities in the opening moments.

The first came when Chris Cadden played a neat one-two with Elias Melkersen before delivering a fine cross for Youan at the front post, however the striker could not make a clean connection with his shot and Craig Gordon gathered.

Moments later, we broke down the left with Marijan Čabraja playing a wonderful dink over the head of Michael Smith for Youan to get onto and his angled, near post shot was beaten away by Gordon.

We kept up the pressure as Melkersen and Ewan Henderson almost got on the end of Cadden’s whipped delivery that fizzed across the face of the Hearts goal.

It took Hearts until the 18th minute to have an effort on goal and it came when Smith’s diagonal found Shankland and his angled effort was deflected wide by Rocky Bushiri.

Four minutes later the visitors broke the deadlock. Barrie McKay was the architect, dinking a ball in behind that Shankland ran onto and slotted away beyond David Marshall.

Buoyed by the opening goal, Hearts pressed for a quick-fire second and went close when McKay’s floated delivery found Liam Boyce at the back post, however his header lacked the power and direction to beat Marshall.

Having started so well, we were a little shocked to find ourselves trailing and the visitors took full advantage by gaining a foothold in the midfield battle.

Robbie Neilson’s side were pushing for a second goal and Alan Forrest had an effort from distance that drifted off target.

We were soon back on the offensive and unlucky not to level on 30 minutes when Nohan Kenneh’s header from Joe Newell’s free kick looped back across goal only for Shankland to hook it clear just in front of goal before Melkersen could pounce.

The action was relentless and as full-bloodied as we expect from our local derby. On 31 minutes Newell went close with a rising effort that ended just over Gordon’s crossbar.

It took an acrobatic save from Gordon to keep his side ahead as the game headed towards half-time. The Scotland 'keeper clawed away a Youan header with a strong right hand when most expected the net to ripple.

We were almost caught flat-footed at the start of the second half as McKay was sent clean through in the opening seconds. Only a wonderful recovery tackle from Ryan Porteous prevented him from testing Marshall.

We had Marshall to thank soon after when he pulled off a stunning double save to deny Shankland and McKay in quick succession from point-blank range.

An injury to Campbell meant a reshuffle for us and a second debut for Boyle as the Australia international returned to a hero's welcome.

Despite the change it was the visitors doing most of the pressing and they appeared comfortable to sit in and hit on the break, which they were doing to good effect.

Jorge Grant stung the hands of Marshall with a low drive before Nathaniel Atkinson had an effort deflected wide by Rocky as Hearts looked to add to their slender lead.

Time was against us and we would rally late on. There was a late chance for Boyle as he latched onto a long ball from Marshall, he side-stepped two challenges before seeing his shot deflect just wide.

With the game into time added on it appeared we would get nothing from the contest when Rocky headed over at the back post with the goal at his mercy.

Yet, with the final kick of the game, Starman Boyle sealed his dream return with a goal as he lashed a Youan cut back into the Hearts net to spark wild scenes of celebration.

Hibernian: Marshall, Čabraja, Porteous, Kenneh (Doyle-Hayes 79’), Newell, Cadden, Henderson, Melkersen (Doidge 54’), Youan, Campbell (Boyle 62’), Bushiri. Substitutes not used: Dąbrowski, Miller, Hanlon, Bojang, McGregor, O MacIntyre.

Heart of Midlothian: Gordon, Smith, Halkett, Haring, Grant (Devlin 77’), Shankland, Boyce (Halliday 88’), Rowles, Forrest (Atkinson 62’), McKay, Cochrane. Substitutes not used: Stewart, Mackay-Steven, Neilson, Sibbick, Henderson, Ginnelly.

Referee: John Beaton.

Attendance: 20,179.