Football: Hearts end Celtic's run

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The Independent Online
Heart of Midlothian. . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Celtic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

(First Edition)

UNBEATEN away from home in the league for 13 months, Celtic's run finally ended at Tynecastle where they lost 1-0.

Ironically, their last defeat was also at Tynecastle on 17 November 1991. There was a day when the neutral fan would have relished a clash between Hearts and Celtic but such has been the recent mediocrity of both sides that only 13,554 fans paid to see the match.

Slippery underfoot conditions made it difficult but Hearts were first to adapt and scored the only goal of the game within 40 seconds. Tosh McKinlay played a high speculative lob into the Celtic penalty area and the defender Mark McNally headed the ball across his penalty box when under no pressure. The ball dropped to Ian Ferguson, who promptly shot low into the net.

Playing with new-found confidence, Hearts should have wrapped the points up by half-time. John Robertson sent Gary MacKay clear after half an hour and only a fine save by the goalkeeper Pat Bonner kept Hearts out. Two minutes later another brilliant save from Bonner blocked Allan Preston, and MacKay shot wide from 20 yards with an open goal at his mercy.

Hearts were denied justified claims for a penalty when Gary Gillespie appeared to push Ferguson inside the box, while at the other end Celtic struggled to find the target with the Hearts keeper Nicky Walker holding Stuart Slater's free kick then diving to keep out a snap shot from Paul McStay. Second- half play followed a similar pattern, though again Hearts should have increased their lead.

As the physical side of the game began to dominate, the referee showed yellow cards to Vata, Mowbray and McStay of Celtic for late tackles and MacKay of Hearts for dissent. Overall, Hearts deserved both points.

Heart of Midlothian: N Walker; A McLaren, T McKinlay, C Levein, G MacKay, P Van de Ven, J Robertson, D Ferguson, I Ferguson (W Foster, 49 min), J Millar, A Preston (A Boothroyd, 89 min). Manager: J Jordan.

Celtic: P Bonner; M McNally, T Boyd, P Grant, T Mowbray, G Gillespie (G Creaney, 62 min), R Vata (J Miller, 54 min), P McStay, A Payton, S Slater, J Collins. Manager: L Brady.

Referee: Mr T D McVicar (Carluke).

Goal: Ferguson (1-0, 1 min).