Hearts 0-0 Hibernian: Edinburgh derby ends in stalemate

Despite missing defensive duo Ryan McGowan and Andy Webster, Hearts will feel they should have claimed all three points in a tense derby clash
Hibernian managed to hang on to claim a point against a weaken Hearts side to remain unbeaten in the Edinburgh derby this season.

The Tynecastle side had both the majority of the possession and the chances but couldn’t put their city rivals to the sword to give their fans some New Year cheer.

The home side made three changes for the derby fixture, with China-bound Ryan McGowan, Gordon Smith and flu victim Andy Webster out, with Dylan McGowan, Scott Robinson and Arvydas Novikovas all coming in.

While Pat Fenlon was able to recall on-loan Manchester City defender Ryan McGivern in place of Lewis Stevenson from the team that defeated Celtic at Easter Road on Saturday.

The first shot on goal didn’t come until midway through the first half when a cross from the right by Eoin Doyle found Paul Cairney inside the ball but the Hibernian midfielder’s weak effort went straight into the arms of Jamie MacDonald.

Hearts should have gone into the lead when a long ball from Ryan Stevenson was missed by the Hibernian defence and Andy Driver got in behind, but his effort skipped just wide of Ben Williams right hand post.

However the Hearts players were enraged as during the build-up Robinson was taken out by James McPake inside the box, but referee Willie Collum had waved away the claims before Driver had his shot at goal.

The home side could have been reduced to 10 men going into the break as Stevenson made a studs up challenge on McPake, but this time referee Collum ruled in favour of the Jambos, letting the midfielder off as the goal  remained goalless at half-time.

John McGlynn’s side should have taken the lead at the start of the second half as Mehdi Taouil’s strike from the edge of the area was palmed into the path of McGowan by Williams and the rebound then hit off of Stevenson and luckily for the Hibs stopper went out of play.

Hibernian then had a to take the lead when Cairney found Doyle in space on the left wing and as the Irish striker made his way into the box his effort sailed over MacDonald’s bar and into the visiting fans behind the goal.

But it was Hearts who should have took the lead when Callum Paterson linked up with fellow substitute Jason Holt and the midfielder turned past McGivern but the defender came to the rescue when Holt beat Williams with his chance, clearing the ball to safety.

Hibs were then handed a golden opportunity to take the lead as Doyle once again tried his luck from the left hand side of the box, his effort was palmed by MacDonald onto McGowan and into the path of Griffiths, but the Australian defender managed to clear the danger.

Into injury-time, John Sutton had a golden chance to claim victory as he got onto a Jamie Walker corner, but his header struck off the bar.

Neither side could find the goal that would give their fans some New Year cheer as they settle for a point apiece.