Wyness strike makes compelling case for Tynecastle

Heart of Midlothian 1 Rangers 1
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The Independent Football

There is a growing campaign of opposition towards Hearts' move to Murrayfield, and yesterday offered the most compelling evidence as to why walking away from Tynecastle is madness on a greater scale than the financial misjudgement that has forced the club into this affair.

The seething atmosphere inside this claustrophobic arena will never be replicated at the cavernous home of Scottish rugby, and if this was the last encounter between these sides at Tynecastle, Dennis Wyness gave it a fine send-off.

The Hearts substitute secured a point with a searing 75th-minute equaliser which, while it will do nothing for the Edinburgh side's bid to close the gap on the second-placed side in the Scottish Premier League - and the Champions' League spot that goes with it - offered some hope next season of being able to split the Old Firm.

That ambition, though, will be tempered by the £17.6m debt that will force Craig Levein to prune back on a wage bill that has already been slashed in the last two years. Such debt is offered as the sole reason for selling Tynecastle to a property developer for around £12m.

Yesterday, more than 2,000 fans staged a demonstration at a local park before marching to Tynecastle. However, if they are unsure that Murrayfield is the future of Hearts, there is little such doubt about Craig Gordon. The teenager goalkeeper underlined his growing reputation with five stunning saves that prevented Rangers from assembling a secure lead until Craig Moore broke the deadlock with a 55th-minute penalty.

Gordon's push-over of a volley from Stephen Hughes illuminated a dull first half. However, the contest caught fire once Rangers scored, largely because the penalty angered most of Tynecastle; Peter Lovenkrands went down as he brushed past Robbie Neilson. "It was incredibly soft," said Levein. Moore ignored the debate and coolly squeezed his right-foot kick past Gordon's dive. Alan Maybury cleared a header off the line from Fernando Ricksen before Gordon arced to tip a Ronald de Boer shot over.

However, a series of substitutions from Levein were rewarded with 15 minutes left. Andy Kirk's first touch after coming on was to head down Steven Pressley's free-kick into the path of Wyness, who lashed a right-foot volley past Stefan Klos.

Hearts then went for broke. Joe Hammill ought to have scored the winner in the last minute when Neil Janczyk's cross fell to him just six yards out, but he tugged his shot wide. Trying to atone, Hammill conjured up a venomous shot in stoppage time that had goal written all over it until Moore bravely threw himself to head it clear.

Heart of Midlothian 1
Wyness 75

Rangers 1
Moore pen 55

Half-time: 0-0 Attendance: 14,598

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