Honours even but position maintained
Hearts battled to a hard-fought 0-0 draw with bottom of the table Falkirk at Westfield today, but stayed five points clear in third after Aberdeen lost to Celtic and Dundee United could only draw with Kilmarnock.
The Tynecastle side had the better of the opening 15 minutes and a barrage of chances which should have seen them take the lead. Michael Higdon had Falkirk's best chance here minutes when he found himself with space inside the box, his resulting shot got caught under his feet and was easily cleared by Wallace.
Hearts showed on many occasions in the half the way in which they turn defence into attack and Calum Elliot in particular made some great runs and opened up numerous opportunities. Andy Driver had the chance to put the Jambos ahead on 11 minutes when a superb run from Bruno Aguiar allowed him to cut through the Falkirk defence and when it seemed he would take the shot on goal he laid it off to Driver who seemed to surprised by the pass and ended up dragging his shot just wide of the Falkirk goal.
On18 minutes Ruben Palazuelos whipped the ball low across the front of goal where the waiting Marius Zaliukas was waiting to just tap it over the line, but as Zaliukas launched towards he ball Cregg did just enough to get himself between the ball and Zaliukas and ensure the ball went for a corner.
Driver was involved in much of Hearts play along with Aguiar. Driver made a dashing run down the right hand side and whipped the ball in for the on-coming Obua who headed the ball towards goal only to see Mallo tip the ball over the bar.
Although Hearts had certainly created a lot of chances a goal just eluded them and it was honours even at half time but you couldn't help but feel that the Jambos should have been ahead.
After a lively first half you could have been forgiven for thinking the same would come in the second half, however the game turned on its head and became a very scrappy affair.
Michael Higdon caused the Hearts defence some trouble on the 52 minute when he managed to get himself in behind the defence and onto the end of a looping ball, Higdon headed the ball goal wards but Kello saved easily.
Both teams had efforts on goal but neither troubled the keepers. You sensed that a moment of magic could win the game fir either team. On 63 minutes it seemed as though that magic might come from Lee Wallace who bombed down the left from his own and half and set up Andy Driver, Driver wound up the shot but could not guide it past Mallo in the Falkirk goal.
Falkirk began to defend a lot deeper and Hearts started to push up. Csaba Laszlo introduced both Mrowiec and Nade onto the pitch and although Hearts looked more dangerous as a result they just could not find a goal.
In the end Hearts had to settle for taking a point away from the Falkirk Stadium and due to results from other grounds it's as you were in the race for Europe.
Falkirk: Mallo; McNamara, Barr, Pressley, Scobbie; Cregg (Robertson 78), Riera, O'Brien, Arfield; McCann, Higdon. Subs not used: Olejnik, Holden, Bullen, Aafjes, McBride, Mitchell.
Hearts: Kello; Neilson, Karipidis, Zaliukas, Wallace; Obua, Stewart (Nade 68), Palazuelos, Driver; Aguiar; Elliot (Mrowiec 78). Subs not used: MacDonald, Tullberg, Jonsson, Cesnauskis, McGowan.
Referee: Eddie Smith
Top man: Lee Wallace
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