Date: 31st October 2010 at 9:17pm
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Hearts hold the distinction of having been involved in the first game ever televised live in the UK on a Sunday – back in 1986 at Tynecastle. Our fine run of performances (and results) came to a shuddering halt that day against Alex Ferguson`s Aberdeen, when it took a last-gasp scrambled goal by John Colquhoun to prevent a defeat.

Ever since then, I`ve had a clinical phobia about televised Sunday matches involving Hearts. With the today`s visitors lining up against their previous management team and centre-forward, it was no surprise to find that Kilmarnock were seriously “up for it” from the first minute. Sadly, Hearts weren’t.

Apparently Mixu had Hibs playing hoofball for 2 years, to the dismay of their fans – so it was a major surprise to find his new team playing some of the best passing football we`ve witnessed at Tynecastle this season.

Killie dominated the midfield with some crisp and accurate passing which Hearts simply couldn`t match. Taouil was his usual lively self, showing great control and trickery, while at the back Sissoko, Wright and Pascali hardly gave Kyle and Calum Elliott a look at the ball. The movement and spirit of this Kilmarnock team certainly betrayed their league position. Today, they simply got close to every Hearts player and allowed them no time to bring the ball under control.

Killie went ahead in injury time at the end of the first-half. A free-kick was awarded against Zaliukas (unjustly I thought) and Hearts defence stood mesmerised as Frazer Wright ran 10 yards across the penalty spot to glance a header past Kello. 2 half-time substitutes (Stephen Elliott and Craig Thomson) did improve things a bit for Hearts, allowing us to spend more time in the Killie half. However so much of our passing and control was poor, resulting in half-chances having to be snatched at. Templeton then replaced Mroweic in an attempt to produce an extra attacking route on the left. Although he ran at the defence on a few occasions, his crosses were poor.

2 late goals from the visitors sealed their win. The first was a fast break which resulted in Sammon placing an excellent shot inside Kello’s left-hand post. The second was a cheeky high shot by Eremenko from 30 yards which sailed over Kello, after Hearts had needlessly lost possession.

Pass-marks could only really go to Suso, Zaliukas and substitutes Stephen Elliott and Craig Thomson – while Kyle, Jonsson and Palazuelos were downright awful.

A win today would have taken Hearts into 3rd place in the SPL with a creditable 17 point tally from 10 matches. We can still reach that 17 points figure by beating Hibs at Easter Road, but it will require a much more spirited and focused performance from the players

Oh? and it`s a televised Sunday fixture too !!

 

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