Lawrence Shankland brilliance wins Edinburgh derby as Hearts and Hibs miss a penalty apiece

Hearts' Lawrence Shankland (C) celebrates scoring a last minute winner against Hibs at Easter Road. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)Hearts' Lawrence Shankland (C) celebrates scoring a last minute winner against Hibs at Easter Road. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Hearts' Lawrence Shankland (C) celebrates scoring a last minute winner against Hibs at Easter Road. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Hearts striker atones for spot-kick error with last-gasp Easter Road winner

It was maybe just as well that there was no bodycam in the home technical area or a microphone pinned to manager Nick Montgomery but it is unlikely that the reactions to Lawrence Shanklad’s late winner would have been fully PG.

The late intervention by the footballing authorities limited the advertised access all areas element of Sky Sports’ coverage but technology still had a role to play in proceedings. Especially early doors.

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But in the end it was all about human capabilities as Hearts showed the preservation and patience and the prolific finishing ability needed to dig out the winner, with Shankland atoning for an early missed penalty and curling a stoppage time strike beyond David Marshall and into the top corner to allow Hearts to hang onto third spot and open up an eight-point lead over their city rivals.

It also provided Hearts with their first derby win in four games and Steven Naismith with a managerial victory to add to those he enjoyed when he was on the pitch decked out in maroon.

With a quarter of an hour gone both sides had penalty appeals backed up by VAR. But it was the human frailties – and some goalkeeping heroics – that determined the outcome.

Normally a frantic, all action affair when the two capital clubs meet, this one was no different and what it lacked in quality, it tried to make up for with a competitiveness that spoke to the importance of the fixture, not just for bragging rights but also for points as everyone continues to jostle for position in a congested Premiership.

And only a very brave or stupid man would have attempted to call a winner as the momentum seesawed. Perhaps the missed penalties and the identity of the men who missed the penalties hinted at what was to come.

First it was the in-form Lawrence Shankland, who went looking for his 16th goal of the season, after referee John Beaton was called to the monitor to take a closer look at the moment Rocky Bushiri’s arm was struck by the ball. The Scotland striker was casual in his execution, though, and was denied by the post.

Just minutes later, Beaton’s initial reaction to Kye Rowles handling a Dylan Vente shot was backed up by VAR and Martin Boyle took the spot kick. This time Zander Clark dived the right way and pushed it onto the post..

The Hearts goalkeeper is well aware that fit again former Scotland No 1 Craig Gordon is prowling around the periphery of the starting line up, waiting for any chance to break back into the team, and he seems determined not to relinquish his place without a fight.

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And on a night when the frantic pace of the game, and some sloppy passing, saw play rage from end to end, another couple of quality saves denied Hibs, with both Josh Campbell and Dylan Vente foiled.

While Hibs largely stuck to their preferred tactic of playing out from the back, there was an occasional directness when they played a long ball over the top for the Dutchman to race onto.

But Hearts were alert to that danger and with it looking more and more likely that a moment of brilliance or an error would be needed to separate the sides, Shankland stepped up.



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