Gers leave it late to hurt Hearts

Steven Naismith was the hero once again for Rangers as the SPL champions staged a dramatic late comeback to win 2-1 at Hearts on Saturday.

Last Updated: 02/10/10 at 14:26 Post Comment

Naismith: The hero for Rangers

Naismith: The hero for Rangers

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Rudi Skacel marked his first start for Hearts with a first-half opener, before Kyle Lafferty came off the bench to haul Rangers back into the match.

Just when it looked as though both teams would have to settle for a draw, Naismith - who also grabbed the winner against Bursaspor in the Champions League - secured all three points deep into injury time.

Nikica Jelavic - ineligible for Europe - and Vladimir Weiss were both back in the starting line-up for the lunchtime clash. Lee McCulloch and Kirk Broadfoot both dropped out of the side, with hip and foot injuries respectively.

Skacel made his first start for Hearts, as boss Jim Jefferies made five changes from last week's defeat against Motherwell.

Only some last-gasp defending from Hearts prevented Rangers from taking the lead early on.

An attempt from Jelavic was blocked by goalkeeper Marian Kello and fell to the feet of Steven Davis but he was denied the opener when Ismael Bouzid cleared his shot off the line.

It was Hearts who opened the scoring with 12 minutes gone. Kevin Kyle flicked into the path of Skacel and a mix-up between Madjid Bougherra and goalkeeper Allan McGregor allowed him through on goal and to bundle into the back of the net.

Miller then went to ground in the box but pleas for a penalty were ignored by referee Craig Thomson.

Rangers pushed forward in search of the equaliser in a bid to haul themselves back into the game before the interval.

They were not too far away when Sasa Papac's cross was touched on by Naismith for Jelavic but an acrobatic overhead kick from the Croatian - similar to the one he scored against Dunfermline - was pushed over the crossbar by Kello.

Hearts could have doubled their advantage after the restart when Calum Elliot shrugged off David Weir and tried his luck with a shot at goal that fell inches wide of the post.

At the other end, Weiss was only able to produce a weak effort that was comfortably smothered by the goalkeeper as the home side defiantly clung on to their lead.

The champions threatened again when the clearance from a Weiss corner fell to the feet of Papac but his poweful volley was blocked by Kello, before Davis blasted well over after collecting a flick on from Jelavic.

With time running out for Rangers, Steven Whittaker had a go with a shot from distance that clipped team-mate Naismith but was still gathered by Kello at the near post.

Lafferty was then thrown into the action for Jelavic with 15 minutes to go, while Hearts replaced goalscorer Skacel with Ryan Stevenson.

Four minutes later, Lafferty equalised. Darren Barr was booked for hauling down Naismith 25 yards out and the Northern Irishman stepped up to dispatch a low free-kick into the back of the net.

Hearts should have restored their lead just moments later when Kyle met a cross from Craig Thomson only to squander a great chance by nodding over from six yards.

But it was Naismith who had the final say three and a half minutes into injury time when he embarked on a solo run before sending a left-foot shot past Kello to snatch the points for Rangers.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Friday, 19 September 2014
19:45
Partick 1-2 St Mirren  
Saturday, 13 September 2014
15:00
Dundee Utd 2-2 Hamilton  
Kilmarnock 2-1 St Mirren  
Partick 3-1 Inverness  
Ross Co 1-2 Motherwell  
St J'stone 0-1 Dundee  
12:45
Celtic 2-1 Aberdeen  
Sunday, 31 August 2014
12:30
Dundee 1-1 Celtic Report
Saturday, 30 August 2014
15:00
Hamilton 4-0 Ross Co Report
Inverness 2-0 Kilmarnock Report

Scottish Premiership

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Hamilton 6 6 13
2 Inverness 6 5 13
3 Dundee Utd 6 3 13
4 Celtic 5 8 10
5 Dundee 6 2 10
6 Kilmarnock 6 0 10
7 St J'stone 6 -2 9
8 Partick 6 2 7
9 Aberdeen 5 -1 6
10 Motherwell 6 -4 6
11 St Mirren 6 -7 3
12 Ross Co 6 -12 0

Updated Fri, 19 Sep 2014

Footer 365

Premier League: Queens Park Rangers draw 2-2 with Stoke at Loftus Road

Niko Kranjcar’s late free-kick secured QPR a 2-2 draw at home to Stoke to spoil Mark Hughes’ return to Loftus Road.

Premier League: Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal wary over a lack of European football

Louis Van Gaal believes a lack of Champions League football this season could damage Manchester United’s title hopes.

Premier League: Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini not concerned by Yaya Toure's form

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has no concerns over the form or commitment of midfielder Yaya Toure.

Mail Box

Be Careful What You Wish For, Gooners

That's the message from a Man United fan in the mailbox. Plus, thoughts on Paul Lambert's new contract, the Alan Pardew dilemma at Newcastle and lots more...

No, Wenger IS To Blame For Failure...

The backlash to the backlash to the backlash sees Arsene Wenger getting a good kicking while we also have mails on Chelsea, Newcastle, Everton and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property