Hearts' Lawrence Shankland admits Martin Boyle stole his thunder - but there's plenty more to come after derby debut goal
Goals win matches – and they can also alter how a match is identified.
This all happened within a few blinks of the eye. No wonder Shankland failed to hide the impression that he had been robbed afterwards. He was a matter of seconds away from enjoying a dream start to his Hearts career. What Tynecastle striker wouldn’t want their first competitive goal to be a derby winner at Easter Road?
No sclaffed effort this one either. Shankland’s strike after 22 minutes can stand repeated viewings.
Barrie McKay’s dinked ball was masterfully controlled with his chest by Shankland before he had the presence of mind to tuck the ball beyond the onrushing David Marshall.
It was a goal good enough to win any game, never mind a derby. So Shankland was especially deflated by what happened in the dying moments as Hibs struck a late equaliser. It meant everyone was talking about Boyle’s contribution rather than his own.
“It's a sickener for us, conceding that late in the game,” he said. “Everyone knows that. At the end of the day, we got a point away from home in a derby. But yeah, he (Boyle) probably did steal my thunder.”
Hearts were their own greatest enemy. Perhaps even Shankland, otherwise excellent, must take some share of the blame.
He failed to take a chance to put his side 2-0 up although he was always stretching to reach Alan Forrest’s cross. McKay was also denied by Marshall on two occasions.
“At the start of the second half, we made three good chances,” said Shankland. “Marsh made a really good double save to be fair, and I think there was another one as well.
“But when you get they chances you need to get the second goal. And had we got it I think we would've saw the game out. It would've given us a lot better situations in which to hold on.”
Shankland acknowledged that there was despondency in the away dressing room on Sunday afternoon after a 100 per cent start to the season was plucked from Hearts’ grasp. Confidence was briefly dented.
“It knocks it obviously when you go into the changing room and you've conceded that late. It feels like a defeat,” he admitted.
But the striker resolved to look at “the bigger picture” as Hearts contemplate what’s to come. “We've not lost the game and that's the most important thing," he said. "It was a decent performance from us and there's plenty of positives to take.”
The Edinburgh derby had lived up to expectations in terms of noise and colour – and drama. Just not the drama he wanted. “They're really good games to play in,” he said. “It was part of me coming here was to play in these kind of games for this club.
"I enjoyed it, but I could've enjoyed it a lot more if they hadn't spoiled the party at the end. It wasn't to be.”
Attention now shifts towards Sunday's clash with his former side Dundee United. Friendships will be put to one side as he seeks to make someone pay for the evident frustration.
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