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SV Wiesbaden 2 Hearts 1

Will Makela make it in the SPL?

A late goal from Kestutis Ivaskevicius was not enough to save Hearts from defeat against a side who play their football in Germany’s second tier. The result means that the Tynecastle club have won only one of their pre-season matches so far, 6-0 over Rheingau XI. This came in between defeats to Dunfermline and Kaiserslautern and a draw against Glentoran.

Wiesbaden took the lead with only 18 seconds on the clock after debutant Matej Rapnik failed to get on the end of an Andy Driver pass. Ben Siegert picked up the ball and was able to drive inside before driving a low shot under Steve Banks. Hearts did have their chances though, something the manager was eager to express after the match. Forwards Juho Makela and Jamie Mole both failed to take advantage of one-on-one chances either side of half time.

Another plus point touched upon by manager Csaba Laszlo was the impressive display from the midfielders. Laryea Kingston and Andy Driver looked especially dangerous on either flank. Wiesbaden had their chances and they were handed the opportunity to go two up from the spot when substitute Ruben Palazuelos brought down, the man who had opened the scoring, Ben Steiger in the box. Ovahovac steped up confidently and sent Banks the wrong way.

Hearts managed to get a goal back with twelve minutes remaining through Kestutis Ivaskevicius. The Lithuanian worked well with his fellow countryman Audrius Ksanavicius, playing a one-two before firing past the on-rushing goalkeeper Walke. Despite time still on the clock, Hearts were unable to breach the Wiesbaden defence again.

After the match, Manager Csaba Laszlo stressed that “the main thing is to create chances [but] we don’t have a striker which one can score”. He added after that if his side continue to create that many chances then the goals are sure to come.

When asked if he felt signing a striker was a priority he answered that the club “must work with [the] group of players [they] have”. Overall Laszlo was happy with the performances from Kingston, Driver and Michael Stewart but he added that although the club was “moving forward”, the team “must work little bit harder in the position one-against-one”.

Contrary to what Laszlo says, Hearts desperately need a striker. Makela will almost certainly get a run in the team, but while he has a great scoring record in his native Finland, it is still unclear whether he can make it in the SPL. Christian Nade is still on his personal fitness programme and is around four weeks away and youngsters Gary Glen and Jamie Mole have both shown some promise but it would be unfair to expect any of them to become the club’s main striker.

Efforts to sign a target man took a blow yesterday when trialist Mike Tullberg sustained a knee injury in training, which will keep him out of action for around three weeks.

Weisbaden: Walke; Richter, Nakas, Kopilas, Gilbo; Panandetiguiri, Siegert, Bick, Orahovac; Diakite, Konig.

Hearts: Banks (McDonald 75); Thomson, Zalikas, Berra, Rapnik (Karapidis 80); Kingston (Ivaskevicius 63), Jonsson (Palazuelos 55), Stewart, Driver (Mikoliunas 85); Mole, Makela (Ksanavicius 46). Subs not used: McGowan, Husband.

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