Date: 7th March 2010 at 8:49pm
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Hearts narrowly (but deservedly) lost 1-0 at Tannadice to 3rd place Dundee United today, with the winning goal coming 12 minutes from time from the impressive Gomis – although his shot from 15 yards cannoned off a defender to completely deceive Balogh.

Hearts started the match brightly and were the better team for 20 minutes, managing 2 decent shots at goal. However United started to gain better possession, and for the remaining 70 minutes simply continued to look the more composed and dangerous team. They created several scoring chances, and on another day might have had 3 or 4 goals. Hearts put up a decent show, especially considering how many players were missing through injury and suspension – including captain Michael Stewart who had to withdraw from the team during the warm-up with a hamstring injury. Paul Mulrooney was immediately promoted to the starting 11, and I thought he had a pretty good game in an unfamiliar role until he had to leave the match with cramp after 80 minutes.

As suggested by “Itsnomarooned” on here a few days ago, the shortage of experienced defenders resulted in Jose Goncalves being drafted into the team – and I noted that Jim Jefferies didn`t give a straight answer later to the question of whether Jose was back to stay having signed a new contract, or whether this was just an emergency “one-off”.
I sincerely hope JJ has not incurred the wrath of the Mad One by recalling Goncalves – once Bouzid and Kucharski are back, it will be interesting to see if Jose is “allowed” to continue in the team.

Although it was disappointing to lose this match after winning the previous 3, we need to temper our reaction with the fact that Dundee Utd are re-capturing their best form and that having Zaliukas, Jonsson, Stewart, Black and Palazuelos all missing was bound to handicap Hearts.

Sadly Novikovas made little impact on the wings, and Jamie Mole was completely anonymous. Elliot did a lot of running, but his ball control was poor. Suso had some bright moments, but often made the wrong decision which resulted in his good work being wasted.

Our top player was probably Lee Wallace (with head bandage), and I thought referee Mike Tumilty handled the game very well, which resulted in no bookings.

Let`s hope we have a few more players back for the visit to in-form Motherwell next Saturday !!