Hibernian 2 Hearts 2

Last updated : 15 October 2006 By Footymad Previewer
Hibs stormed into an early two-goal lead in the game, but Hearts fought back despite being reduced to ten men with the sending off of Saulius Mikoliunas early in the second half.

Hibs raced into the lead with just four and a half minutes on the clock as Merouane Zemmama scored his first ever goal for the Easter Road side, picking up a perfect ball from Chris Killen which he rolled just inside the upright with his left foot.

Despite all the upheaval of the week, the Hibs players did not seem in any way distracted by events off the pitch and dominated the game before stretching their lead on 16 minutes through New Zealand international Killen.

With Hibs in complete control of the play, a moment of madness by goalkeeper Zbigniew Malkowski handed Hearts a lifeline as he came off his line allowing Andrius Velicka to head into an empty net from 17 yards out just before the half-hour mark.

The goal seemed to swing the momentum of the match in Hearts' favour and the pace of the game picked up with a stream of yellow cards dished out by referee Charlie Richmond.

At the start of the second half, Hearts' hopes of staging a comeback took a blow when Mikoliunas was sent off after picking up his second yellow card of the match just as he was about to be substituted.

But Hearts settled well into their new 4-3-2 formation and found the vital goal after 72 minutes when Velicka struck for the second time, striking from 12 yards with the Hibs defence in disarray.

Hibs will count themselves unlucky not have been awarded a penalty shortly after the equaliser following a heavy challenge from Gordon on Ivan Sproule.

Both sides pushed for a winner in the second half and Gordon was instrumental in keeping his side on terms by making a magnificent save from Rob Jones.

But Hibs could not find the final touch to end the Tony Mowbray era with a famous win.