Hearts pile pressure on Hibs thanks to dramatic Edinburgh derby win
- 17-year-old Aaron Hickey’s late winner earns Hearts a vital win at rivals Hibernian
- Result moves Hearts off the bottom of the table after first win of the season
- Hibs and boss Paul Heckingbottom booed after latest defeat, with fans protesting outside Easter Road
Hearts came from behind to beat rivals Hibernian after a late strike from 17-year-old Aaron Hickey secured a 2-1 win in a wild Edinburgh derby at Easter Road.
Hickey’s 84th-minute winner earned Hearts their first win of the season and lifts manager Craig Levein’s side above Hibs and off the bottom of the Scottish Premiership table.
But the result piles further pressure on Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom after the home team collapsed following Stevie Mallan’s opening goal.
And there were angry scenes outside of Easter Road following the game, with the result leaving Hibs without a win since the opening day of the season.
With neither team in any sort of form going into the game, both sides’ struggles were apparent during a poor opening half which was high in tension but was lacking in quality.
But the game exploded into life after Mallan opened the scoring with a stunning strike from outside of the box in the 47th minute.
The midfielder was afforded time and space by the Hearts defence and there was nothing goalkeeper Joel Pereira could do as the ball flew into the top right corner from 25 yards out.
Hearts had their first effort on goal two minutes later following a low shot from outside of the box from the excellent forward Ryotaro Meshino, before Hibs midfielder Malker Hallberg had a great chance to double his side’s lead but misfired his shot from inside the box.
Hearts increased the tempo of their play after going behind and put their rivals under pressure through a succession of corners. They pulled level with 20 minutes remaining through striker Uche Ikpeazu, who until then had been kept quiet by the Hibs back four.
Meshino took a corner short before delivering a cross into the box which Hibs failed to clear. The ball then broke to Ikpeazu on the six-yard line and the striker swivelled to poke the ball into the net.
If Hearts’ equaliser was scrappy, Hickey’s winner was anything but.
After picking the ball up on the left edge of the Hibs penalty area, the 17-year-old unleashed a shot which took a slight deflection and looped into the top right corner.
And there was further drama as Hibs had a late equaliser disallowed for a push on Pereira, after Hibs’ Scott Allan had tested the Hearts goalkeeper with a low shot.
There were contrasting emotions at the final whistle as Hibs and Heckingbottom were cascaded with boos from the home fans, while Hearts and Levein soaked up the adulation from a bouncing away end as they celebrated a vital three points.