Hearts-Hibs derby has everything but a winner: pyro, fan disorder, VAR and contentious penalty award

Shankland’s 26th goal of the season earns Jambos a point – but Hibs will contest award of spot kick

The only thing this Edinburgh derby lacked was a winning goal. We had entertainment, some very good football, pyro, a controversial penalty decision, VAR and fan disorder. In the end, Hearts and Hibs had to settle for a 1-1 draw.

Lawrence Shankland's 26th goal of the season cancelled out an opening strike from Emiliano Marcondes at a packed and drenched Tynecastle. It was the Hearts captain's penalty that will be the talking point, though, coming via a debatable spot-kick award. Will Fish was deemed to have fouled Kenneth Vargas on 42 minutes and after a VAR review, referee Kevin Clancy's decision stood amid outcry from the visitors and their fans.

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Fish and Vargas collided in the box after the Hibs defender lost control of the ball. There was contact but was it enough for a penalty, and who initiated it? Shankland didn't care, keeping his cool when being forced to wait by idiotic visiting fans throwing objects at him from the Roseburn Stand. Unlike the last derby, when he missed from 12 yards, he made no mistake.

Hearts' Kenneth Vargas goes down in the box after a challenge from Hibs' Will Fish.Hearts' Kenneth Vargas goes down in the box after a challenge from Hibs' Will Fish.
Hearts' Kenneth Vargas goes down in the box after a challenge from Hibs' Will Fish.

Twenty-one points separate third-placed Hearts and Hibs in seventh. This match did not reflect the gap in the Premiership standings. Hibs were the more assured team in the first half and created better chances. Yet Hearts showed resilience in adversity. They battled back for a point.

The visiting Hibs fans were in boisterous spirits and let off pyro before, during and after the match. Some let themselves down, though, with the chucking of cups, coins and bottles at Hearts players. It is only a matter of time before someone gets hurt.

Hibs started strongly, with Hearts looking uncomfortable in the 4-2-3-1 formation they had switched to, abandoning their more traditional 3-5-2. It was no surprise that Hibs got the opener on 28 minutes. Martin Boyle was sent through on goal by Dylan Vente and while Nathaniel Atkinson was able to block his fellow Australian’s shot on the line, the rebound fell to Marcondes and he showed composure to net.

Hibs then became too passive. Hearts' moment came on 42 minutes. Clancy decided that Fish fouled Vargas in the box and awarded a penalty. On the advice of VAR, the official went to the pitchside monitor to review his decision and after what felt like an age, he stuck with the decision. Then it was Shankland’s turn to wait, as objects rained down from the Hibs fans behind the goal. Eventually, the Hearts talisman took it – and made no mistake, netting high past David Marshall. He stood, arms outstretched, in front of the silenced away support.

Second-half specialists, Hearts came out the traps much faster this time around. Their best chance of the half so far came on 69 minutes. Fish did well to block a Vargas effort but the ball rolled into the path of Shankland, whose delicate chip just sailed over the bar. Then it was Hibs' turn to go close as Myziane Maolida headed narrowly wide in what was becoming an end-to-end encounter.

The increasingly prominent Alan Forrest had a goalbound shot blocked by Rocky Bushiri and Vargas ought to have done better than slash wildly over the bar from a promising position. The derby needed a moment of composure.

However, it never came in a tame conclusion. In time Hibs may view this as a good point in their quest for the top six, now a point behind Dundee, but there was a sense of injustice from those in green as they exited into the damp night.