A FOOTBALL fan from Musselburgh who lashed out and struck the Heart of Midlothian FC goalkeeper in the face during a rowdy Edinburgh derby is facing a ban from all Scottish football grounds.

Hibs fan Edward Harrold, 21, struck Zdenek Zlamal on the nose as the keeper attempted to retrieve the ball from behind his goal during a Ladbrokes Premiership match at Tynecastle Park last October.

Zlamal, known to Hearts fans as ‘Bobby’, fell to the ground after being struck before composing himself and sarcastically clapping the goading Hibs fans.

The Czech keeper told a trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last week that he fell to the ground “in shock” rather than from the blow to his head.

Zlamal claimed that he did not see who had landed the blow and denied he had fallen to the ground “theatrically” during the explosive match on October 31 last year.

The game ended goalless and was also marred by several incidents of coin throwing, with then-Hibs boss Neil Lennon struck on the chest and both assistant referees also struck by missiles.

Harrold, of Stoneyhill Road, denied the assault on the Hearts keeper and stood trial at the city court last Friday.

Zlamal, 33, told the court through an interpreter that he was playing in the match last October and at about the 70th minute he had to approach the Hibs fans to retrieve the ball.

He said: “As I bent over to pick it up, someone hit me to my nose.

“I was struck by a hand but I do not remember exactly how I was struck. My head was pointing down so I do not know what happened.

“My nose was a little bit sore. I fell to the ground and I looked up to see if I was bleeding from my nose.

It was a shock – I wasn’t expecting that. What is more than likely is I was thrown on the ground by the shock.

“The main reason to fall was the shock.”

Defending solicitor Ross Jenkins asked the keeper if he had been “tapped to the face and then theatrically fell to the ground as some footballers do”.

Zlamal replied he “does not pretend” when he is out on the pitch but did admit to clapping the Hibs fans sarcastically following the incident.

Two police officers also gave evidence and, despite their differing views of the incident, both officers said that Harrold had been involved.

DC Todd Rutherford said that he and a colleague attended at Harrold’s home the following day and arrested him for assault and breach of the peace.

DC Rutherford added: “I certainly think it was an act to connect with the goalkeeper.”

Following all the evidence, Harrold was found guilty of assault by Sheriff Alison Stirling and sentence was deferred to next month for reports.

Sheriff Stirling told Harrold: “I find you guilty of this charge. I accept the evidence of Mr Zlamal that he was struck. I accept the evidence of DC Rutherford that it was you who struck Mr Zlamal which caused him to fall.”

Following the verdict, the Crown said it was moving for a football banning order against Harrold and the length of the ban will be revealed at the sentencing hearing.

Harrold was found guilty of assaulting Zdenek Zlamal by striking him to the head, causing him to fall to the ground, at Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh, on October 31 last year.