Football: Cameron sharp

Heart of Midlothian 2 Cameron 30, 79 Dundee United 0 Attendance: 14,414
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THE brilliance of Colin Cameron restored Hearts to the position they craved when the midfielder's two goals allowed the Tynecastle side to take advantage of Rangers' slip and assume joint leadership of the Premier league.

If Cameron's first-half opener was impressive, his 79th-minute strike which sealed the game was beyond compare. He embarked on a 50-yard run and rounded two floundering Dundee United tackles before drilling in a right-foot shot from the tightest of angles.

However, Dundee United, seeking to end a miserable run that has yielded just one win in nine league games, had presented a firm barrier to any attacking ambitions in the early stages, swamping the midfield and giving Hearts' playmakers, Steve Fulton and Cameron, little room for manoeuvre.

The United captain Maurice Malpas almost gave the visiting side the lead in the 14th minute with a dipping volley but Hearts' young goalkeeper Roddy McKenzie had it covered. Six minutes later, Hearts carved out their first real chance when Thomas Flogel's shot was flipped on by Neil McCann for Stephane Adam, but the United goalkeeper Sieb Dykstra just got to the ball first.

However, Hearts got their reward in the 30th minute when Cameron put his side ahead with his seventh goal of the season. The midfielder's darting run was picked out by Fulton's 40-yard pass and, although his header was blocked by Malpas, it fell kindly for Cameron to rifle in a shot from 12 yards.

Siggi Jonsson had a great opportunity to restore parity just before half- time but the former Arsenal player's shot was blocked after he failed to take the invitation to hit it first time.

That glimpse of goal seemed to galvanise United and their approach to the second half was characterised with much more vigour. Indeed, had Mark Perry taken advantage of Kjell Olofsson's fine 50th-minute cross, they would have scored. However, the central defender's header was wide of the target.