Football: Millar extends derby run: Hearts gain valuable point to ease pressure on Clark

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

Hibernian. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

HEARTS' substitute, John Millar, ensured his side preserved their remarkable unbeaten run in the Edinburgh derby, scoring a late equaliser last night to ease some of the pressure on his manager, Sandy Clark.

Even in the middle of a dreadful season, which has seen them hovering around the relegation zone, Hearts must have been confident of taking something from a fixture in which they have not lost for five years.

Although their side had not won in 11 league games, the Hearts faithful attended in numbers for the ritual. Hibernian, however, arrived at Tynecastle feeling no doubt that they would seldom have a better chance to inflict defeat on their neighbours.

Nevertheless, events on the field were in keeping with the general pattern of this fixture and genuine chances were rare although Gary Locke, the Hearts full-back, warmed Jim Leighton's hands with an early shot and Keith Wright curled another narrowly wide.

Wright gave Hibs the scent of victory when he scored a well-taken goal nine minutes into the second half. Graham Mitchell delivered a deep cross into the Hearts penalty area where Wright rose unchallenged to head into the top corner.

Hearts replied in spirited fashion, picking up the pace of the game. But despite forcing a series of corners they could do little to upset the concentration of the visitors' defence until 12 minutes from the end when Millar popped up at the near post to head the equaliser from Scott Leitch's corner. Minutes later the same player forced Leighton to his knees to save.

Two minutes from the end, Hibs were denied a winner when Michael O'Neill's shot was tipped away.

Heart of Midlothian (3-4-3): Smith; McLaren, Levein, Berry; Locke (Millar, 65), MacKay, Leitch, McKinlay; Foster (Colquhoun, 62), Johnston, Robertson. Substitute not used: Walker (gk).

Hibernian (4-4-2): Leighton; Miller, Hunter, Beaumont, Mitchell; McAllister (Jackson, 76), Hamilton, O'Neill, Tortolano; Wright, Evans. Substitutes not used: Farrell, Reid (gk).

Referee: D Syme (Rutherglen).