4 - 0
Alan Archibald (o.g.) (30)
Juho Mäkelä (39)
Paul Hartley (pen) (89)
Jamie Mole (89)
Derek Stillie .1
Christian Kalvenes .2
David McCracken .3
Stuart Duff .12
David Proctor .28
Alan Archibald .6
Barry Robson .11
Greg Cameron .17
Mark Kerr .7
Craig Conway .15
Noel Hunt .10
Euan McLean .21
Garry Kenneth .18
Lee Mair .5
Willie Easton .23
Grant Smith .30
Craig Brewster .16
Collin Samuel .20
Deividas Česnauskis for Saulius Mikoliūnas (56)
Roman Bednar for Juho Mäkelä (61)
Jamie Mole for Andrius Velička (84)
Collin Samuel for Craig Conway (61)
Mark Kerr (87)
Eddie Smith (Referee)
Not for the first time this season, a failure to take chances cost United dear as Hearts bounced back from European elimination to keep the pressure up on league leaders Celtic. Manager Craig Brewster made just one change from the side that drew 1 v 1 with Motherwell last weekend with Craig Conway coming in for Steven Robb.
For Hearts, Valdas Ivanauskas rang the changes with no fewer than six players coming in after Thursday’s scoreless draw in Prague.
Despite the changes, for the opening half hour it looked like Hearts were suffering a European hangover, and United created several opportunities to open the scoring. Craig Gordon did well to block a close range volley from Noel Hunt after nine minutes. Stuart Duff came even closer with a header from six yards hitting the crossbar. Hunt eventually had the ball in the net after Gordon had somehow blocked another Stuart Duff header from point blank range, only for a late and controversial offside flag to cut short celebrations.
Not having had a save of note to make, Derek Stillie was picking the ball out of his net on the half hour mark. Andreas Velicka latched on to a Mikoliunas through ball and his powerful shot from the left of the box deflected high into the net off the unlucky Alan Archibald. The game swung in Hearts’s direction and Mikoliunas almost added a second, shooting inches over after a fine save from Stillie.
The second goal came on 38 minutes, a fine cross from Beslija on the right touchline left Juho Makela with the easiest of chances, tapping home from a couple of yards out. Mikoliunas could have added a third after being left unmarked at a corner but shot into the side netting. Even so, a two-goal deficit for United at half time was incredibly harsh. United battled away in the second half, but with Hearts better organised goals looked more likely to come from long range – or mistakes.
Substitute Cesnauskis came closest in the early stages after the restart, striking the face of the bar with a powerful drive from twenty-five yards. For United Hunt almost converted a cross from Samuel, and Robson and Duff were off target with shots from distance. The visitors’ last opportunity came and went when Samuel’s low cross flashed across goal with Hunt unable to connect.
If United was unlucky with the first goal, it was simple mistakes that lead to Hearts’s late third and fourth goal. With barely two minutes to go, Beslija was brought down for a penalty and Paul Hartley converted the spot kick. Then on the stroke of full time, United lost possession to Bednar, who crossed for Jamie Mole to tap in. Four goals certainly flattered Hearts, with United once more left to rue missed opportunities at key stages in the game.
|Derek Stillie (GK)||32||11||-||45||-|
|Collin Samuel (sub)||25||11||-||102||10|
No league table has been added for this season.