Hearts Can Do No Wrong
Updated Wednesday, 15th December 2010
Everything in Jim Jefferies' garden is rosy at the moment.
Jim Jefferies may have to invest in a scowling mask to present to the public as they are not used to seeing him smile. It is hard not to see him with a wide grin on his face these days as Hearts continue on a fine seam of form. Last night saw his Hearts side secure their six league win in a row. Thanks to last night's 2-1 win over Motherwell, Hearts are now three points behind second placed Celtic and six ahead of Inverness in fourth. Kevin Kyle's 60th-minute penalty sealed the win for Hearts to open up a six-point lead over Inverness. Hearts conceded their first goal in six games when Keith Lasley scored just before half-time, seconds after Hearts had gone in front thanks to Mark Reynolds' own goal, which came after a brilliant overhead kick from David Templeton. The Old Firm looked like racing away from the rest of the SPL after both won their opening eight games of the season but Hearts are now the form team to watch out for.
Jefferies said: "Who would have thought at the start of the season when Rangers and Celtic got off to a flyer, everyone said it was going to be a record gap. But now we're coming up to Christmas and we've got ourselves three points behind. That's a fantastic achievement for the players, it's eight out of nine games we have won. The place is buzzing, it was bedlam in the dressing room after the game because they knew it was a big win. Motherwell are a good side and they actually played quite well. We lost a couple of boys (Ian Black and Eggert Jonsson) before the game who were in the side. So to come to a place where we don't have a great record and come out on top shows the improvement we've made. I thought we deserved it because we made the better chances."
Motherwell were led by head of youth development Gordon Young who felt his team looked short of sharpness. Young said: "We suffered for not playing in the last three weeks. It was ideal getting back in the game just before half-time. The feeling in the dressing room was we could build on that, but I don't think we kicked on and the penalty didn't help." Motherwell were angered by a number of decisions by referee Stevie O'Reilly, including the penalty, when Templeton was quick to go down following contact from Stephen Craigan. Well midfielder Steve Jennings was shown a straight red card after putting his hand on the referee's shoulder and speaking to him about a rejected penalty claim after Marius Zaliulkas had won the ball from Alan Gow. Young was not sure whether Jennings had been punished for comments or the touch on the shoulder and said: "I wouldn't like to comment on that because I don't know the circumstances."
Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)
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