First team

Match Report: Hearts 2-2 Hibs

07 October 2023

It was honours even in the first Edinburgh derby of the season.


Played out at a rain-soaked Tynecastle Park, Hearts went two-goals up courtesy of Alan Forrest and a deflected Alex Lowry effort, but the visitors restored parity thanks to Elie Youan’s quickfire double.


Head Coach Steven Naismith made three changes from the side that defeated Ross County in Dingwall last week. Alex Lowry, Alan Forrest and Cammy Devlin were all handed starts, with Odel Offiah, Jorge Grant and Aidan Denholm moved to the bench.


It was the Jambos who got a first sight of goal, six minutes in. Toby Sibbick’s raking ball forward saw Lowry latch on to it inside the Hibs box before blasting an effort on target that David Marshall did well to beat away.


The visitors were next to threaten with a set piece following Devlin’s foul on Martin Boyle. Dylan Vente stepped up from 20-yards out and curled the ball around the wall but wide of Zander Clark’s left-hand post.


The woodwork came to Hibs’ rescue 11 minutes in. A quick Hearts break saw Sibbick cut inside from the right and find Lowry, he skipped across the edge of the box before curling a low left-footed shot off Marshall’s right-hand post.


The Jambos then enjoyed a sustained period of pressure, with Lowry in particular proving too hot for the Hibs defence to handle. On 23 minutes Sibbick moved the ball into the box towards Lawrence Shankland, he showed great strength to hold off his man before teeing up Lowry but he couldn’t catch it cleanly and his effort was stopped by Marshall.


Four minutes later Marshall was at full stretch to save a deflected Shankland effort. Sibbick closed in on the follow up but appeared to be brought down by the Hibs keeper, however, following a VAR check no penalty was awarded.


It mattered not because moments later the Jambos broke the deadlock in style. Forrest darted inside and from 25-yards out arrowed a perfect left-foot shot into Marshall’s top right corner.


The visitors attempted to get a foot back into the game but Hearts soaked up any pressure and continued to look dangerous going forward. The half would end on a sour note though as Stephen Kinglsey left the pitch on a stretcher at the stroke of half time, he was replaced by Offiah.


12 minutes into the restart it was 2-0. Lowry drove into the Hibs box before drilling a low ball towards goal, it took a deflection off Christian Doidge and spun into the far corner of the net.


The two-goal cushion lasted until the 67th minute, when Youan pounced on to a loose ball inside the Hearts box before blasting high and beyond Clark.


Disaster struck a mere minute later, when Youan once again picked up a loose ball to slot home the equaliser.


Shankland went agonisingly close to getting the Jambos back in front with ten minutes remaining. He danced his way through the Hibs defence before lifting a right-foot effort over the bar.


Moments later, the woodwork came to Hibs’ rescue again when Kye Rowles blasted a shot that deflected up via a green shirt and cracked the crossbar, with Forrest unable to turn in the rebound.


Clark pulled off a strong save to deny Newell with five minutes remaining after the Hibs man was threaded into the box, but the keeper was equal to his effort, blocking his powerful shot.


Hearts went straight up the park and created a chance of their own with substitute Grant played in at the edge of the box but he could only drag his shot wide of the target.


Not even a minute later, the boys in maroon went close again. Shankland played the ball to substitute Beni Baningime, he got it out from under his feet but sent his effort over the bar.


Despite a comfortable showing, the winner proved elusive and both sides were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.


Hearts: Clark, Kent, Kingsley (Offiah, 45’), Nieuwenhof, Shankland ©, Devlin (Grant, 72’), Rowles, Forrest, Sibbick, Lowry (Baningime, 62’), Vargas (Boyce, 72’). Subs: McGovern, Haring, Halliday, Denholm, Tagawa.


Hibs: Marshall (Boruc, 77’), Miller, Fish, Youan, Vente, Boyle, Newell, Jeggo (Levitt, 77’), Obita, Doidge (Le Fondre, 58’), Bushiri (Hanlon, 75’). Subs: Stevenson, Harbottle, Delferriere, Campbell, Whittaker.