Football: Hamilton's goal fails to keep Hearts alive

Real Mallorca 1 Heart of Midlothian 1 Real Mallorca win 2-1 on agg
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The Independent Online
HEARTS WENT out of the European Cup-Winners' Cup last night despite securing a creditable draw in the second leg of their first-round tie here. The Scottish side paid a heavy price for their home defeat two weeks ago.

The game had gone ahead despite a protest by the Hearts chairman, Leslie Deans, about the size of the goals. Because of problems with the surface at the Luis Sitjar Stadium there was a 10cm difference in height between the posts. However, the match was given the go-ahead after a Uefa delegate had listened to the referee and officials from both clubs.

Hearts' chief executive, Chris Robinson, said: "We only agreed to play because of our supporters and the security issue. The goalposts have quite literally been moved. It was a 10cm difference from the base of one post to the other."

Hearts, backed by a huge following including a number of Scottish holidaymakers, shrugged off their concerns to make a promising start as they dominated the first half. Mallorca, who had not conceded a goal this season, sat back and let Hearts do the running.

However, the Scots suffered two blows in the space of four minutes at the start of the second half as first Mallorca scored and then the influential Neal McCann was forced out of action.

Mallorca took the lead when Ariel Lopez headed home powerfully after being left unmarked six yards out. Hearts then lost McCann when he was carried off on a stretcher following a hefty challenge.

Hearts pulled level on the night with a goal from Jim Hamilton 15 minutes from time. Stephane Adam crossed from the right and Hamilton glanced in a header off the far post. It revived Hearts' hopes but time eventually ran out.

Real Mallorca: Galvez; M Soler, Siviero, Marcelino, Dani (Nino, 80), Stankovic, Lauren, Olaizola, F Soler (Carreras, 85), Arpon, Lopez (Biagini, 81). Substitutes not used: Franco, Carlos, Rufete, Paunovic.

Heart of Midlothian: Rousset; Naysmith, Weir, Salvatori, Ritchie, McCann (Holmes, 53), Adam, Hamilton, Locke, Makel (McPherson, 84), Pressley. Substitutes: McKenzie, , Murray, Murie, Horn, Severin,.

Referee: H Albrecht (Ger).