Hearts keeper Zander Clark ended up with a bloody head after an object thrown from the stands hit him during the Edinburgh derby.
The shot-stopper required treatment as his side celebrated their third goal of a convincing win over rivals, Hibernian. With the away section behind him, Clark ended up on the receiving end of Hibs fans’ frustration.
An angry crowd member launched a projectile toward the Hearts keeper, striking him on the head as he went to get a drink from his bottle. As a result, Clark bled from the cut caused by the object – needing a change of shirt, too.
After the game, the Scotland international called for action to punish those who do such things.
“I’m not sure what it was,” the Hearts keeper told BBC Sport about the object. “It’s one of those where there were plenty of them. It’s not nice, going back to get a drink of water and ending up with blood pouring out my head.
“Listen, I am big enough and ugly enough to take it. But hopefully, the hierarchy do something about it because you don’t want to see it in football. Players are paid to do a job and go out to try and put an entertaining game on – which I thought we did. But you don’t want objects being thrown. Not just here but at any level.
“People on the outside deal with that and [we’ll] see what happens.”
Hearts keeper second victim of projectiles from Hibs fans this season
Sadly, this is not the first case of a Hearts player being targeted by rival fans. In August, at Hibs’ ground, fans hit Hearts’ Alex Cochrane with a lighter as he prepared to take a throw-in. Additionally, supporters threw chips at Cochrane during the same game.
But this is not just a one-way street. In the past, the Edinburgh clubs’ bitter rivalry has caused some ugly scenes. For instance, in 2018, Hearts fans hit then-Hibs manager Neil Lennon with a coin after his provocative celebrations of a goal.
The following year, both clubs launched flares onto the pitch which disrupted a 2019 derby match at Tynecastle. Clearly, the passion of the fans is there – but it is causing problems for player safety.
Anyway, there was also a match amid the controversy last night, in which Hearts took a comfortable win.
Jam Tarts cruise to win over rivals
Two goals from captain Lawrence Shankland and a late Stephen Humphrys strike saw Hearts run out 3-0 winners over Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership.
The differences in intensity were incredibly obvious from kick-off as a fired-up home side took the lead after just eight minutes thanks to their pressing.
Winning the ball high up field, Josh Ginnelly’s shot forced a save from Hibs goalie David Marshall. However, his parry went straight to Shankland, who slotted home to give Hearts a dream start.
The hosts then doubled their advantage near half-time. A free kick into the Hibernian box caused havoc, with Toby Siddick eventually turning the ball home. However, officials took his goal away for offside.
After a lengthy VAR check, though, Hearts received a penalty for handball. Shankland held his nerve in front of the away fans, calmly dispatching the following spot-kick.
In the second half, Hibernian threatened their rivals’ goal much more than the first. For example, they forced a smart double save from Zander Clark, which denied Hibs a chance to get back in the game.
Hearts ultimately put the game to bed during stoppage time. Substitute Stephen Humphrys ran onto a through ball, shrugging off a defender before placing the ball into the bottom corner.
Thanks to the win, Hearts solidify third place by moving five points clear of Aberdeen in fourth. Contrastingly, Hibs are eighth, just four points above the relegation play-off place.
Featured image credit: Getty