Edinburgh rivals share stalemate
Hearts and Hibernian drew 0-0 at Tynecastle in the SPL's Edinburgh derby on Saturday.
Last Updated: 07/11/09 2:41pm
Hearts and Hibernian drew 0-0 at Tynecastle on Saturday in the Scottish Premier League's Edinburgh derby.
The home side went into the game intent on securing three points against John Hughes' high-flying side, but could not take their chances.
Hearts had a late penalty claim when substitute Jamie Mole went down under a challenge from Hibs goalkeeper Graham Stack, but the referee was not interested.
Hibs knew victory would have seen them go joint top of the table alongside Celtic, who visit Falkirk on Sunday.
Hearts, who were looking to avoid a hat-trick of competitive derby defeats for the first time since 1922, were desperate for a win to kick-start their season.
The home support almost had reason to make noise in the opening exchanges when Christian Nade's header from a long throw was deflected just wide for a corner.
Steve Conroy was in lenient mood, refusing to card Abdessalam Benjelloun for a crude challenge on Ian Black or Michael Stewart - who was everywhere - or Liam Miller for kicking the ball away.
The referee finally snapped midway through the half when the excellent Stewart was upended by Anthony Stokes, before Black sent a first-time drive just over from the edge of the box.
Hearts were awarded a succession of corners and long throws but Hibs were standing up to the bombardment.
Having created nothing to that point, the only genuine chance of the half fell to the visitors, but Stokes failed to get good contact on a Colin Nish flick-on from 12 yards.
Hearts twice went close within three minutes of the restart.
Andrew Driver spoilt a fine run straight at the Hibs defence with a tame finish before Arvydas Novikovas was unlucky not to find the net when his spectacular overhead kick was blocked by Lewis Stevenson.
Jason Thomson's flighted cross was then glanced just past the post by Black, who also fired in a mid-range left-foot shot which was comfortably held by Stack.
With barely 10 minutes played, Hibs boss Hughes threw on Riordan for Benjelloun.
Christian Nade headed the latest Jose Goncalves long throw wide before Hibs almost took the lead out of nothing in the 65th minute.
David Wotherspoon drove forward from right-back and let fly from 25 yards, forcing Janos Balogh to spring to his left and tip the ball onto his near post.
Hearts replaced Novikovas with Gary Glen up front midway through the half.
But Hibs were finally enjoying some space, Derek Riordan forcing another fine near-post stop from Balogh before John Rankin blazed over when well placed.
With 18 minutes remaining, Hearts brought off Black for David Obua.
The visitors continued to look the bigger threat, Riordan stinging Balogh's palms with an angled half-volley.
Nade was soon withdrawn for Jamie Mole, whose first contribution was to earn Ian Murray a booking for a mistimed tackle.
Gary Glen shot over the bar two minutes from the end and fired too close to Stack in stoppage-time, Hearts screaming in vain for a penalty as Mole went over the keeper trying to net the rebound.