0 - 0
Lukasz Załuska .1
Lee Wilkie .4
Garry Kenneth .18
Mihael Kovačević .19
Paul Dixon .23
Scott Robertson .8
Willo Flood .6
Craig Conway .15
Morgaro Gomis .16
David Robertson .12
Jon Daly .9
Michael McGovern .13
Seán Dillon .2
Danny Grainger .3
Prince Buaben .25
Danny Swanson .14
Roy O'Donovan .10
Warren Feeney .7
David Obua for Christian Nadé (33)
Michael Stewart for Bruno Aguiar (77)
Danny Swanson for David Robertson (62)
Christian Nadé (32)
Cristos Karipidis (51)
Jon Daly (55)
Willie Collum (Referee)
Nothing could separate United and Hearts at Tynecastle this afternoon as the two third-place contenders fought out an entertaining goalless draw in front of Hearts’ biggest crowd of the season.
The main talking point of the afternoon was a crunching late tackle by Christian Nade on Paul Dixon that saw the Hearts striker given a yellow card before he was immediately substituted for his own protection with only 33 minutes gone.
The first half hour offered little in the way of goalmouth action as two five-man midfields cancelled each other out and led to nothing but congestion in the middle of the park with neither team able to get enough time on the ball to build a meaningful attack.
Craig Conway was the first to threaten for United when he cut inside on six minutes and fired a right-foot shot that flew over and wide.
Hearts manufactured their first real opportunity of the match after 28 minutes when Laryea Kingston was allowed to run at goal but his low shot was easily held by Zaluska.
What had been a quiet match for the first half hour then came alive with the Christian Nade challenge. Paul Dixon laid the ball off near the touchline before the big French striker took the left back out with something akin to an American football hit right in front of the dugouts. Referee Willie Collum could have shown a red but he deemed it only a bookable offence. However, Nade did immediately leave the pitch as manager Csaba Laszlo replaced him with David Obua before he could get a second yellow.
Obua was immediately involved in a Hearts breakaway when he was played in wide on the right. With Driver in acres of space on the left, it was Scott Robertson who made a vital block when Obua tried to pick Driver out with a crossfield ball.
As half time approached, Hearts were looking the more likely side and a teasing Kingston ball into the box just needed a touch from Obua but he couldn’t stretch far enough and the ball trickled past the back post. Zaluska then had to look sharp when he was forced to dive at the feet of Obua as the big man bore down on goal.
Immediately after half-time, again it was Hearts who did the pressing. Driver dispossessed Garry Kenneth and drove into the box but his weakly-hit shot was saved one-handed by Zaluska before the Polish keeper gathered it. A minute later Christophe Berra saw his shot hit the side netting, fooling many Hearts fans inside the stadium into thinking it was the opening goal.
On 55 minutes, David Obua was handed another great opportunity when he found himself with the ball at his feet in the centre of the box but he delayed too long and failed to get the required shot in before the ball was cleared.
On the hour mark, Craig Levein made his only change of the match when he replaced David Robertson with Danny Swanson in the hope of opening up Hearts a bit more.
On 67 minutes, again Driver was allowed space to run at goal as he cut in from the left but again his shot was weak and although Zaluska fumbled at the first attempt, he smothered the ball in the end to remove any danger. A minute later, Willo Flood had to make a vital interception after a neat one-two between Kingston and Obua saw Kingston in a shooting opportunity before Flood poked the ball behind for a corner.
The final 20 minutes of the match belonged to United as they pressed Hearts more and more. Indeed, United’s best chance of the match came after 71 minutes when a Swanson corner was met with a bulleted header by Jon Daly but it went agonisingly wide, right in front of the 1,400 United fans who had made the trip to Edinburgh and ensured the away end was a complete sell-out.
United’s final real chance of the match came after 85 minutes when Craig Conway went on a terrific run down the left, beating two men and cutting inside only to be scythed down on the edge of the box for a free kick. Taking the set-piece himself, the ball ended up in the arms of keeper Balogh as it headed toward the near post.
There was to be no last minute winner for either side and the match ended goalless. In a hard-fought but mainly clean game, three players saw yellow – Nade for his challenge on Dixon, Daly for using his arms against Neilson in the air and Bruno Aguiar for a foul on Conway.
|Lukasz Załuska (GK)||26||22||-||41||-|
|Danny Swanson (sub)||21||16||-||30||2|
No league table has been added for this season.