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SPL: Hearts 0 Hibernian 0

Hibernian claimed a point against a weakened Hearts to remain unbeaten in the Edinburgh derby this season.

The Tynecastle side had both the majority of the possession and the chances but failed to put their city rivals to the sword to give their fans some New Year cheer.

The home side made three changes for the derby fixture, with China-bound Ryan McGowan, Gordon Smith and flu victim Andy Webster out, with Dylan McGowan, Scott Robinson and Arvydas Novikovas all coming in.

Pat Fenlon recalled on-loan Manchester City defender Ryan McGivern in place of Lewis Stevenson from the team that defeated Celtic at Easter Road on Saturday.

The first shot on target did not come until midway through the first half when a cross from the right by Eoin Doyle found Paul Cairney inside the ball but the Hibernian midfielder’s weak effort was straight at Jamie MacDonald.

Hearts should have gone into the lead when a long ball from Ryan Stevenson was missed by the Hibernian defence and Andy Driver got in behind, but his effort skipped just wide of Ben Williams right hand post.

The home side could have been reduced to 10-men going into the break as Stevenson made a studs-up challenge on James McPake, but referee William Collum let the midfielder off.

John McGlynn’s side should have taken the lead early in the second half as Mehdi Taouil’s strike from the edge of the area was palmed into the path of McGowan by Williams and the rebound then hit Stevenson but went out of play.

Hearts had a chance to break the deadlock when Callum Paterson linked up with fellow substitute Jason Holt and the midfielder turned past McGivern but the defender came to the rescue when Holt beat Williams with his chance, clearing the ball.

Hibs were then handed a golden opportunity to take the lead as Doyle once again tried his luck from the left hand side of the box, his effort was palmed by MacDonald onto McGowan and into the path of Griffiths, but the Australian defender managed to clear the danger.

Into injury-time, John Sutton had a golden chance to claim victory as he got onto a Jamie Walker corner, but his header struck the bar.

Thu 3 January, 2013
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