Hearts missed another golden opportunity yesterday to take an important step towards achieving a realistic objective, when they could only manage a draw against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park. This comes a week after they allowed St. Johnstone to dominate the 2nd half of the Scottish Cup tie at Tynecastle and force a replay at Perth.
After Dieter Van Tournhout was sent off, 10-man Killie then took the lead through Heffernan. It took a last-gasp header from Suso Santana to salvage a point, after Jamie Hamill had also been sent off.
Most fans won`t shed a tear over the midweek defeat by Celtic – even if Hearts ought to have been 1-0 ahead after a minute. Stephen Elliott`s header looked to be over the goal-line before Forster clawed it back out – but Celtic enjoyed their 2nd such break in recent weeks when both referee and linesman failed to spot the situation accurately. The expectations of picking up wins against the Old Firm is significantly lower than that of beating the St. Mirrens and St. Johnstones. The financial situation at Hearts desperately needs to be improved, and a decent Cup run can help significantly. With a home tie against St. Mirren or Ross County as the prize, Tuesday`s game in Perth is a golden opportunity for the club and players to edge closer to a Hampden appearance.
Don`t blow it, Hearts !!
Did anyone else laugh at Kenny Clarks`s interview on Thursday when he argued AGAINST adopting real-time camera technology to resolve these goal-line situations – on the basis that having to keep Old Firm fans waiting for 2 minutes until someone reviewed the footage (like they do in rugby) “wouldn`t bear thinking about” ! Although I can understand that drafting such a rule change in a fair and clear way would be a challenge, Clark`s reason was totally absurd. The SFA seem content to allow the bile which currently gets sung from the stands at an Old Firm match to continue ? so it`s not clear how a wee delay while a panel of refs in the stand review TV footage makes things any worse. True to form, Clark`s reasoning focused on prioritising the perceived feelings of Old Firm fans above the possibility of correcting of a referee mistake DURING the game.
Talking of Kennys, this week has seen handshakes (or lack of them) make headline sports news, The Suarez-Evra saga is getting boring now – racism is abhorrent, but the sight of 2 multi-millionaire opponents arguing about on-field etiquette looks ridiculous. I was also bemused to listen to our media chums on BBC Sportsound discussing the Sergio-Shiels spat as being “good for the game”?. apparently because it gives the media something to write about and therefore it helped to promote yesterday`s match at Rugby Park. Really ? What are the chances that even one person in the 4,327 crowd only went along to see if Paulo and Kenny would shake hands or not ? Interestingly, an interview with Shiels` assistant Jimmy Nicholl gave very little support to the Killie boss, who has moaned about Ayr United and Hibs recently while continuing to suggest that his “football philosophy” is pure and unrivalled. He could become Hibs manager one day with that sort of delusion.