PENALTY MISS SAVES HEARTS
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Mixu Paatelainen missed a late penalty to keep Hearts' Uefa Cup ambitions still alive even though they where reduced to ten men in stoppage time when Austrian Thomas Flogel was given a red card for kicking out at Stuart Lovell.
Referee Stuart Dougal awarded the spot kick for a foul on David Zitelli by Grant Murray, but the Finnish striker chipped the ball over the bar.
Despite a good start from Craig Levein's Hearts, the home side had the greater number of chances but failed to find the finishing touches to give them the win.
Gary Wales had the best chances for Hearts and hit the post after just eight minutes with a superb 25-yard effort that had keeper Nick Colgan beaten.
Colgan managed to deny Wales a goal later in the first half when he got his body in the way to block the shot of the striker from close range.
Marc Libbra hit back for the home side and was involved in most of their good chances. He also hit the post with a left footed shot after a great run but Hearts goalkeeper Antti Neimi must take credit for the touch that diverted the ball onto the woodwork.
Hearts are now two points behind Kilmarnock in the race for the last Uefa Cup spot, but the Rugby Park outfit have a game in hand on the Jambo's.
Hibs boss Alex McLeish dropped star midfielder Russell Latapy for the game and confirmed afterwards that the Trinidad and Tobago international had missed trasining and was being desciplined.
McLeish refused to comment on whether he had played his last game for Hibs but said that no one player was bigger than the club and that any decision to sell him would not be a hard one to make.