Hibernian 0-0 Hearts: Jambos survive Griffiths effort to claim a derby point

The on-loan Wolves striker looked to have claimed all three points for the Easter Road side with a stunning free kick which was cruelly ruled out by the assistant referee
Hearts survived a Leigh Griffiths free kick that looked to have crossed the line to claim a vital point away to local rivals Hibernian.

Despite their off-field problems the Tynecastle side remain undefeated in the SPL Edinburgh derbies, having drawn all three so far this season.

Pat Fenlon stuck with the same starting line-up that helped Hibernian make it into the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup with victory over Kilmarnock last week, which meant new signing Kevin Thomson had to settle for a place on the bench.

The visitors were forced into making one change from the side that defeated St Johnstone on Tuesday, with Darren Barr missing out through suspension leaving Callum Tapping to replace him in midfield.

With just over quarter of an hour gone Hearts had two chances to take the lead, as firstly Michael Ngoo had a strike deflected after an Arvydas Novikovas cross, then John Sutton diverted a Danny Wilson header towards goal, but the home side managed to clear.

Hibs had a superb chance to claim the lead with half an hour gone as Tom Taiwo swung a ball to the edge of the area for Scott Robertson to get onto, but as the midfielder made his way into the box he was met by Kevin McHattie, who closed down the danger.

Despite the home side having the majority of the play during the closing stages of the half, it was Hearts who had the best chance on the stroke of half-time, as Wilson got onto the end of a Novikovas free kick, but he could direct his effort beyond Ben Williams.

The second half started in the same vein as the first, with both teams launching the ball long, but there was no quality in the final product, as they both failed consistently to trouble either Williams or Jamie MacDonald in goal for each side.

On the hour mark the best strike of the game came not from a striker, but a centre-half, as Hearts skipper Andy Webster picked the ball up on the edge of the box after Hibs had failed to clear a Jamie Walker free kick and hit a volley which Williams was forced to beat away.

The visiting fans were livid with 20 minutes remaining on the clock as Tapping darted into the box only to be pushed to the ground by Alan Maybury, but referee Euan Norris waved away the complaints.

Hearts were almost makers of their own downfall, as Wilson, in his penalty box, headed a long ball into the path of Leigh Griffiths, but the striker’s effort sailed over the bar.

With a quarter of an hour left Hibernian should have had the opener as Griffiths smashed a 30-yard free kick off of the bar with replays showing the ball crossing the line before coming back out, but the assistant referee ruled it out.

Home boss Fenlon gave new boy Thomson a run out for the final five minutes, but they couldn’t find the goal that would have sealed a deserved victory.