Hearts 0-0 Hibernian

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland

The first Edinburgh derby of 2013 ended in stalemate as Hearts and Hibs failed to muster a goal at Tynecastle.

Andrew Driver had the best chance for the hosts in a first half short of real quality, latching on to Ryan Stevenson's pass to fire across goal.

Stevenson knocked a close-range effort wide for Hearts and Eoin Doyle blazed over for Hibs in an open second half.

Ryan McGivern and Hearts' Dylan McGowan made crucial clearances before John Sutton hit Hibs' bar late on.

Hibs were triumphant when these Edinburgh rivals last met - a 1-0 victory in the Scottish Cup fourth round - but the Easter Road side had not won a Scottish Premier League match against Hearts since May 2009.

Hearts set the early pace in the final game before the SPL's winter break, with Hibs midfielders Jorge Claros and Tom Taiwo quickly realising anything more than one touch in the middle of the Tynecastle pitch would be a luxury.

In the 10th minute, Hibs goalkeeper Ben Williams gave visiting fans a scare as he dropped Driver's speculative cross before James McPake cleared.

Tim Clancy's late sliding challenge on Hearts youngster Kevin McHattie after 14 minutes was the game's first major foul and it drew a stern word from referee Willie Collum but no card.

There was no booking either for Hibs' Irish forward, Eoin Doyle, as he clattered Hearts goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald two minutes later.

Both teams struggled to retain possession and it was not until the 25th minute that Hibs mustered a shot on target - Paul Cairney connecting tamely with Doyle's low cross.

The contest's first serious chance arrived in the 32nd minute.

McPake on Robinson
James McPake's challenge on Scott Robinson led to penalty claims from the home side

Stevenson, on Hearts' right side, floated a lovely forward ball into the Hibs box. McPake's despairing slide could not reach it and Driver fired the ball across the face of Williams's goal and narrowly wide.

Some Hearts players appealed for a penalty following that opportunity, believing Scott Robinson had been taken out by McPake's stretch.

Shortly after, the red-hot atmosphere within Tynecastle was stoked further when Stevenson put in a full-blooded sliding challenge on McPake.

The second half yielded an early goalscoring chance through Mehdi Taouil's rifled 20-yard shot.

Williams failed to gather the Moroccan's effort and spilled it to Stevenson, who could not react quickly enough and knocked it wide.

In a Hibs counter-attack soon after, Cairney swept an excellent angled pass through to Doyle, but the striker blazed over under pressure from McHattie.

Hibs first corner came in the 81st minute and it almost brought a goal. Leigh Griffiths' in-swinger was glanced just over by substitute David Wotherspoon.

Another substitute, Hearts' Jason Holt, came even closer to giving his side the lead a minute later.

Callum Paterson's header put Holt through and the midfielder's goal-bound shot went past Williams only to be cleared by McGivern from four yards out.

That clearance was then bettered by Hearts' McGowan, who was on hand to prevent Griffiths tapping in after MacDonald failed to hold a low Doyle drive.

One minute into injury time, Sutton came within inches of a winner when his header cannoned back off the bar.

However, in the end, nothing could separate these Edinburgh rivals, who start 2013 with a point apiece.

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