Hearts' Josh Ginnelly (right) has a header saved by Hibernian goalkeeper Matt Macey
Hearts’ Josh Ginnelly (right) has a header saved by Hibernian goalkeeper Matt Macey

Hearts and Hibernian failed in their bids to reclaim top spot in the Scottish Premiership after a fierce Edinburgh derby ended in a stalemate.

Both goalkeepers pulled off fine stops in a closely-matched contest at Tynecastle to keep the scores level and maintain both sides’ unbeaten starts to the league season.

Hearts’ Craig Gordon denied Martin Boyle twice before thwarting Kyle Magennis with a stunning stop, and Gary Mackay-Steven was rebuffed three times by Hibs’ Matt Macey.

The draw leaves both capital clubs level on 11 points apiece, one behind leaders Rangers, and it means Hibs are unbeaten in their last four visits to Tynecastle.

Not since May 2018 had Hearts beaten Hibs at Tynecastle. Yet, despite their struggles to get the better of them on home turf, they had chalked up victories at Easter Road, and even at Hampden while a division below their rivals.

And early on, the main threats were coming from Robbie Neilson’s side as they looked to leapfrog their rivals in the league.

Ben Woodburn ignored the attention of five white shirts to send a pot shot just over. Liam Boyce’s header missed the target. Stephen Kingsley met a corner before his goal-bound effort was cleared. And a rasping Mackay-Steven shot was pushed away.

Hibs were having most of the ball, but Joe Newell’s cross which unexpectedly hit the top of the bar was their only real opportunity of the opening exchanges.

However, when they began to look after the ball better, the chances arrived. Boyle thumped in a long-range effort which Gordon palmed away, before the goalkeeper tipped around a post after the forward’s frightening pace had stretched the defence.

The game was finely poised, and within a minute both sides had huge chances.

Hibs’ Magennis found space but his close-range shot was weak. Then Mackay-Steven twice forced great saves from Macey – the first from point-blank range as the Hearts winger broke into the box.

Mackay-Steven had been Hearts most dangerous player, but that was his last say in the game as he went off on the hour mark. His replacement, Josh Ginnelly, soon directed a header on target which Macey pushed away.

Hibs had been very much second best since the break but, just as Hearts thought they were on top, they needed their goalkeeper to bail them out.

Moments after Alex Gogic drove a left-foot shot narrowly past, Kevin Nisbet’s cutback found Magennis, but Scotland goalkeeper Gordon, at full stretch, managed to get his fingers to his skidding effort to divert it wide. A stunning stop.

The back and forth action continued right to the end. Nisbet volleyed wide for Hibs. Then Macey had to pull off another stop, this time from his own captain Paul Hanlon, who got into a fankle trying to clear a cross and skewed towards his own net.

Nisbet and Megennis both forced further saves from Gordon as the desperation to find a winner continued, but in then end both had to settle for a point.

Man of the match – Ben Woodburn

Hearts' Ben Woodburn (left)
It could have gone to either goalkeeper, but Hearts’ Woodburn (left) was at the source of most of the home side’s good play, showing great touch and vision

What did we learn?

It’s been a good start to the season for both sides, and the derby showed there’s little between them.

Hearts have found two gems in Woodburn and Beni Baningime, and debutant Barrie McKay showed flashes of what he can add. But Gordon again was the hero for his side.

Hibs had their moments but were under more pressure than Jack Ross would have liked for much of the game. But, they showed a resilience and had chances to claim the three points, and are now four games unbeaten at the home of their rivals.

What’s next?

Hibernian are at home to St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday, 18 September (15:00 BST), while at the same time Hearts are away to Ross County.

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Heart of Midlothian

  1. Squad number1Player nameGordon

  2. Squad number4Player nameSouttar

  3. Squad number19Player nameHalkett

  4. Squad number3Player nameKingsley

  5. Squad number2Player nameSmith

  6. Squad number6Player nameBaningime

  7. Squad number5Player nameHaring

  8. Squad number17Player nameCochrane

  9. Squad number9Player nameWoodburn

  10. Squad number10Player nameBoyce

  11. Squad number11Player nameMackay-Steven

  1. Squad number15Player nameMoore

  2. Squad number18Player nameMcKay

  3. Squad number30Player nameGinnelly

Hibernian

  1. Squad number1Player nameMacey

  2. Squad number6Player nameMcGinn

  3. Squad number5Player namePorteous

  4. Squad number4Player nameHanlon

  5. Squad number27Player nameCadden

  6. Squad number7Player nameMagennis

  7. Squad number11Player nameNewell

  8. Squad number3Player nameDoig

  9. Squad number25Player nameScott

  10. Squad number10Player nameBoyle

  11. Squad number15Player nameNisbet

  1. Squad number8Player nameWright

  2. Squad number13Player nameGogic

Line-ups

Hearts

Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Gordon
  • 4Souttar
  • 19Halkett
  • 3Kingsley
  • 2SmithSubstituted forMooreat 66′minutes
  • 6Baningime
  • 5Haring
  • 17CochraneBooked at 47mins
  • 9WoodburnSubstituted forMcKayat 71′minutes
  • 10Boyce
  • 11Mackay-StevenSubstituted forGinnellyat 62′minutes

Substitutes

  • 13Stewart
  • 14Devlin
  • 15Moore
  • 16Halliday
  • 18McKay
  • 21Gnanduillet
  • 30Ginnelly

Hibernian

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1Macey
  • 6McGinn
  • 5Porteous
  • 4Hanlon
  • 27CaddenSubstituted forWrightat 87′minutes
  • 7Magennis
  • 11NewellBooked at 56mins
  • 3Doig
  • 25ScottSubstituted forGogicat 45′minutes
  • 10Boyle
  • 15Nisbet

Substitutes

  • 8Wright
  • 12Wood
  • 13Gogic
  • 19Gullan
  • 21Dabrowski
  • 23Allan
  • 24McGregor

Referee:
Nick Walsh

Attendance:
18,177

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