First Team

On this day...

25th March 2020

A look back across this years on March 25th...

1989 – Hamilton Accies 0-2 Hearts

What were the teams?

Accies: Ferguson, McKee, Archer, Jamieson, Martin, Miller, Harris, Morrison, Gordon, Prentice, McDonald. Subs: Napier, Frith.

Hearts: Smith, Kidd, Black, Levein, Bery, McPherson, Colquhoun, Mackay, Galloway, Ferguson, Bannon. Subs: Sandison, Robertson.


How did it unfold?

William Hunter (Herald):

All that the scoreline shows is that statistics are like a bikini.

While what they reveal may be interesting, what they conceal is vital.

Picking any number under 10 would be nearer it.

0-5 might do it.

All that the Accies need is to have some onlooker pick over the bones of their season.

But it may not be too pass-remarkable to point out that up to Saturday tea-time they had laboured for 17 hours of football which have produced one mouse of a goal.

What made yet another 90-minute void so aching was that most of the time Hearts could not play for snuff.

They shared the blame for a first-half that lasted longer than a supermarket queue.

Although Hamilton were never at the races on their own turf they had the king.

There was a majesty about the work of Willie Jamieson.

Whether cajoling his forwards or covering for his mates in defence, he was immeasurably taller than all he surveyed.

Accies may not just be waving goodbye to premier-division football, they could be drowning.

When they go, there's no telling how far down they may go, and unlikely that they will be left to drag underneath with them so valuable a goalkeeper as Allan Ferguson.

He had an exciting save from a 30-yard free kick by Iain Ferguson, while Hearts shot three times against his crossbar and headed once off a post.

That was quite a lot of knocking on wood for a squad whose minds seemed to be mainly on their summer holiday. 

Gary Mackay and Dave McPherson had bright little goals.

Kidd, McPherson, and Bannon had their names taken by a referee who appeared suddenly to remember some things about Hearts he had been reading in the papers.

Hamilton's Harris and Martin were also booked.


What happened next?

With two points for a win in those days, Hearts moved onto 24 points in the league table but remained in 7th spot, while Accies were deep in relegation trouble – 11 points adrift of 11th placed Motherwell.

The Jambos followed up their Douglas Park success with another, beating Hibs 2-1 at Tynecastle a week later in front of 22,090 fans. Eamonn Bannon cancelled out Keith Houchen’s opener and who else but Robbo bagged the winner with nine minutes remaining.

Hearts would finish the 88/89 campaign in sixth, Accies remained bottom and were relegated.



2006 – Falkirk 1-2 Hearts

What were the teams?

Falkirk: Howard, Ross, Lecsinel, Rodrigues, Thomson, Dodd, Twaddle, Cregg, Moutinho, Gow, Craig. Subs: Hill, Lawrie, Theobald, Lima, McPherson, Latapy, O’Donnell.

Hearts: Gordon, Neilson, Fyssas, Pressley, Hartley, Goncalves, Cesnauskis, Brellier, Jankauskas, Bednar, Skacel. Subs: Banks, Petras, Berra, Elliot, Camazzola, Mikoliunas, Aguiar.


How did it unfold?

Chris Roberts (Press Association)

Edgaras Jankauskas struck a crucial late winner at Falkirk to keep Hearts on course for the Champions League.

After the sacking of head coach Graham Rix on Wednesday, the Jambos appeared to be heading for a single point at the Falkirk Stadium after Alan Gow cancelled out Paul Hartley's opener.

But Jankauskas came to the rescue with nine minutes remaining to keep Hearts six points ahead of Rangers in the battle for second place.

Interim boss Valdas Ivanauskas' hopes of landing his job on a full-time basis started with a victory but Falkirk head coach John Hughes was unfortunate not have moved a point closer to safeguarding their Bank of Scotland Premier League status.

Ivanauskas made one change from the side which drew with Rangers with Jose Goncalves coming in for the sick Andy Webster.

But, ahead of the Tennent's Scottish Cup semi-final with Hibernian next week, the non-appearance of skipper Steven Pressley after the break with a head injury was also a worry.

Hughes made five changes with Mark Howard, Karl Dodd, Tiago Rodrigues, Pedro Moutinho and Jean Lescinel all coming in.

Hearts did not look affected by the midweek events as they threatened in the fifth minute.

Goalkeeper Howard could only push Hartley's long-range strike into the danger area where Rudi Skacel was following up but the goalkeeper did well to turn his powerful 16-yard shot away.

Falkirk were making it difficult for the visitors, in a scrappy opening, by forcing two successive corners in the 15th minute, but Pressley deflected Mark Twaddle's goalbound shot wide.

The skipper received treatment for a head knock after the second corner which must have given Ivanauskas some concern as his side soldiered on for a few minutes with 10 men.

Pressley was still off the pitch when Falkirk carved out a glorious opportunity to take the lead in the 22nd minute.

Liam Craig swung a great ball towards the edge of six-yard box where Tiago Rodrigues arrived only for the defender to send a glancing header inches past the far upright.

But Hearts made Falkirk pay seconds later as their captain eventually returned to action with a bandage around his head and a change of shirt after opening up a nasty wound.

Skacel found a burst of pace to go past Jack Ross and centre where Hartley arrived to steer the ball past Howard from seven yards out.

Referee Alan Freeland then decided to make his mark and booked Pressley for dissent.

The official then sparked controversy when he awarded Falkirk a penalty in the final minute of the half.

He adjudged Roman Bednar to have handled Gow's free-kick and pointed to the spot.

Gow stepped up himself and, although Craig Gordon made a great save, the Bairns forward followed up to force the ball into the roof of the net.

Hearts lost Pressley at the break and he was replaced by Christophe Berra, who slotted in alongside Goncalves.

But the game came to life in the 54th minute with both sides facing up to each other after some full-blooded challenges from Falkirk.

Julien Brellier went down theatrically under the tackle of Twaddle which earned him a yellow card from the referee.

The midfielder sought retribution and lunged at Craig with a shocking challenge which also saw his name taken.

Jankauskas joined the growing list of cautions for another late challenge before Ivanauskas brought on Calum Elliot for Skacel.

Freeland then booked for Moutinho for a push before Hughes replaced him in the 71st minute for Russell Latapy.

But Hearts snatched the lead again in the 81st minute when Elliot slipped the ball through to Jankauskas.

And, somehow, the Lithuania international forced the ball past on-loan Arsenal keeper Howard and into the far corner of the net.


What happened next?

Three points maintained breathing space for the Jambos who sat second in the league table, six points ahead of third-placed Rangers. Though second bottom, Falkirk had a nine point cushion over Livingston and looked to be safe.

Despite the controversy surrounding another managerial change at Tynecastle, the mood brightened considerably eight days later. Hearts met Hibs in the semi finals of the Scottish Cup and ran riot, winning 4-0 at Hampden.

A memorable season concluded with a second-place finish and Scottish Cup glory.


Click here to watch full highlights of the 2006 match between Falkirk and Hearts on HeartsTV.