Hearts unbeaten run finally ended

Dejection for Hearts captain Danny Wilson at full-time. Picture: SNS
Dejection for Hearts captain Danny Wilson at full-time. Picture: SNS
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THE LAST unbeaten league record of the season in senior football in either Scotland or England ended yesterday when Falkirk defeated Hearts 3-2 at Tynecastle.

The Gorgie side had won 17 and drawn three of their first 20 matches in the Scottish Championship, but game 21 proved a step too far.

Robbie Neilson, the Hearts head coach, said his players had been left disconsolate by the defeat, but vowed to rouse them again.

“You always lose games and it is how you react to your defeat,” he said. “The guys are devastated, but it’s my job to try to keep them calm and level and use it as a catalyst to work doubly hard.”

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With 15 games remaining, league leaders Hearts have a 13-point lead over second-placed Rangers, who have a game in hand after their match away at Cowdenbeath was postponed yesterday due to a frozen pitch.

Hearts had got off to the perfect start, scoring after a minute through Genero Zeefuik. John Baird equalised with a penalty in the 33rd minute before Rory Loy put Falkirk ahead when he cracked a shot into the top corner after 52 minutes.

James Keatings brought Hearts back on level terms when he scored in from close range 17 minutes from time, but it was Falkirk who grabbed the winner with ten minutes remaining as Craig Sibbald curled a superb effort into the bottom corner.

“I think we deserved our victory,” said Peter Houston, the Falkirk manager, whose side moved up into fourth place, the last of the play-off spots. Hibs are third, two points behind Rangers.