Driver stunner sinks battling Killie

Andrew Driver showed Hearts fans exactly what they had been missing as his stunning goal earned them a 1-0 SPL victory over Kilmarnock.

Last Updated: 15/09/09 at 23:03 Post Comment

Driver: Rattled home brilliant winner

Driver: Rattled home brilliant winner

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Starting his first match of the campaign after injury, the winger netted a superb half-volley to see off Kilmarnock at Tynecastle and earn the Jambos their first league success this term.

Craig Bryson hit the post for the visitors as both sides missed a succession of chances in a match postponed from Saturday due to a lorry fire on the M8.

Driver had been missing with heel and thigh problems but was one of three changes to the home side from the 2-2 draw at St Johnstone 16 days ago, with Ruben Palazuelos recalled and Marian Kello starting in goal after Janos Balogh reported ill.

On-loan Celtic goalkeeper Mark Brown made his Kilmarnock debut, while the fit-again Jamie Hamill came in for Manuel Pascali.

The additional recovery time allowed Killie captain Kevin Kyle to be named among the substitutes following the knee injury which forced him out of the Scotland squad.

After a slow start, the visitors created a good chance in the 14th minute when an unmarked Gavin Skelton headed Mehdi Taouil's cross over from 12 yards.

Conor Sammon then sent an angled shot straight at Kello after a mistake in the home defence moments before Suso Santana almost caught out Brown with a swerving effort at the other end.

Craig Thomson almost picked out Jose Goncalves with a corner but a Killie defender got a vital touch.

The visitors were playing some nice stuff at times but got caught committing too many men forward in the 31st minute.

Palazuelos broke and although Killie initially looked to have survived, Driver pounced on a poor clearance to score a stunning half-volley on his weaker right foot.

Gary Glen could have doubled the lead eight minutes before half-time but he could not direct his header from Lee Wallace's whipped cross.

Thomson then tried his luck from long range before Driver had the ball in the net again only to be hauled back for a foul on Taouil.

Killie should have levelled on the stroke of half-time when David Fernandez headed a long throw-in over from six yards.

And the visitors were desperately unlucky not to score soon after the restart when Fernandez's delicious flick set up Bryson for a first-time shot that hit the near post.

Sammon then blazed over from the inside-left channel before Suso missed a golden chance to make it 2-0 when he headed Thomson's cross too close to Brown from six yards.

Killie boss Jim Jefferies waited only 10 minutes to introduce star striker Kyle, who replaced Fernandez.

Suso was now rampant and he put the ball on a plate for Michael Stewart, only to see his skipper blaze over.

Kyle demonstrated his threat with a header which drifted narrowly wide, before Killie withdrew Skelton for Danny Invincibile.

Suso was beginning to tease Killie defenders and followed up a couple of stepovers with a low shot just the wrong side of the far post.

Kello then hurt himself snatching Frazer Wright's header from the top corner before David Obua continued the theme of missed headers when he powered Suso's cross over the bar.

With just over 15 minutes remaining, Hearts brought off Glen for Christian Nade, who had been dropped from the starting XI.

Stewart's first-time strike then cleared the woodwork before Kyle volleyed into the side-netting after being put through by a long clearance.

Killie made their final change when Graeme Owens came on for Gary Hay before Suso was just wide again with a low shot.

The visitors should have stolen a point when Invincibile scuffed his finish after he and Sammon got in each other's way.

And Invincibile's late header was another chance which went begging.

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Scottish Premiership

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Aberdeen 0 0 0
2 Celtic 0 0 0
3 Dundee 0 0 0
4 Dundee Utd 0 0 0
5 Hamilton 0 0 0
6 Inverness 0 0 0
7 Kilmarnock 0 0 0
8 Motherwell 0 0 0
9 Partick 0 0 0
10 Ross Co 0 0 0
11 St J'stone 0 0 0
12 St Mirren 0 0 0

Updated Thu, 26 Jun 2014

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