McKay Magic as Hearts See Off Staggies

Photo Credit: Heart of Midlothian Football Club

Hearts saw off a stubborn Ross County to claim an opening day victory in the cinch Premiership, Aaron Fraser reports:

A sell-out crowd roared the teams onto the pitch on a beautiful Gorgie afternoon. The sun beamed down on Tynecastle where a tifo display had been organised to pay tribute to the late Drew Busby. After a minute’s silence to remember the “Buzzbomb”, the league season kicked off.

Hearts would fashion the first chance of the game as Lawrence Shankland curled a shot wide from distance. Ross County would then bombard the home goal with a series of chances. Ben Purrington saw an effort deflected over the crossbar before Dominic Samuel hit the post with a glancing header. Fortunately for Craig Gordon, Josh Sims couldn’t force the loose ball home. Owura Edwards would slam an effort off the woodwork from distance on 26 minutes.

Shortly after, Nathaniel Atkinson left the field with an injury to be replaced by Jorge Grant. Edwards was still trying to get the better of Gordon however Scotland’s number 1 pulled off another smart save to deny the tricky winger. Kye Rowles would come close to scoring his first goal for Hearts, sending a bullet header narrowly wide.

Hearts were jeered off the park at half-time after an underwhelming display. Those boos would turn to a deafening roar as Hearts took the lead on 59 minutes. Alex Cochrane bombed down the left-hand side and whipped an inviting ball into the box for Alan Forrest to slot home the opener.

The first goal was a well-worked move, but the second goal was out of this world. Barrie McKay brought down a long ball superbly inside the box before dancing away from three County defenders, and the helpless Ross Laidlaw, before rolling the ball into an empty net.

Anyone of a maroon persuasion thinking that their side were home and dry would be shifting uncomfortably in their seats two minutes later as Jordan White pulled one back for the visitors. On 84 minutes, Kye Rowles was brought to the floor inside the area however referee David Dickinson didn’t award a spot kick.

After four minutes of stoppage time, the full-time whistle went and Robbie Neilson could celebrate his side’s opening day victory. Next up, the small matter of an Edinburgh Derby at Easter Road.

Leave a Reply