By: Hearts Media on 17 Mar, 2018 16:45
Hearts cruised to a 3-0 win over Partick Thistle at Tynecastle this afternoon.
The Jambos were three up by half time, thanks to strikes from Kyle Lafferty, Steven Naismith and John Souttar.
Craig Levein made three changes from the side that played in last week’s Edinburgh derby. Aaron Hughes, Don Cowie and Danny Amankwaa replaced Connor Randall, Harry Cochrane and Lewis Moore, who all moved to the bench.
Lafferty had the first shot on target, 7 minutes in. Naismith was brought down from behind 25-yards out, and the Northern Ireland striker curled his set piece around the wall but straight into Tomas Cerny’s arms.
Hearts went close again on 13 minutes. Christophe Berra’s ball into the box was nodded on by Lafferty to Naismith, and his glancing header missed the target by a couple of yards.
The breakthrough game four minutes later, and it was for the Jambos. Joaquim Adao burst away from his man to pass forward to Cowie, whose delightful backheel found Naismith, and he played a first-time defence-splitting pass for Lafferty to run onto and slot through the legs of Cerny.
It was 2-0 on 21 minutes. Adao showed great tenacity to close down Baily Cargill and win possession on the touchline before carrying forward and sweeping the ball into the box for Naismith to latch onto and fire past Cerny first time.
Another lovely passing move nearly saw Hearts open up a three-goal advantage after 33 minutes. Amankwaa ran the width of the box before playing a one-two with Lafferty, then slotted a sublime through ball for Cowie, whose shot at an angle was stopped by Cerny and held at the second attempt.
Cowie’s looping corner in the 41st minute was met at the back door by Berra, who powered a header on target, only to see it cleared just in front of the line by Kris Doolan.
The third goal came two minutes later. Michael Smith’s long throw into the Thistle box bounced over a clutch of bodies and Souttar got enough of a touch on it to steer the ball beyond Cerny to grab his first ever Hearts goal.
The Jambos picked up where they left off in the second half. Naismith teed up Cowie 20-yards out, and his ferocious drive cleared the crossbar by a matter of inches.
The game then hit a lull, with Hearts cruising and the visitors struggling to make any impact. The next chance, however, was for Thistle in the 69th minute. Marcus Godinho slipped with the ball at his feet and allowed Miles Storey to run through on goal, but he was denied by a brilliant Jon McLaughlin save, stopping Storey’s low shot with his legs.
McLaughlin was called into action again five minutes later. A ball into the Hearts box found Storey, but his backwards header was pounced upon by the Jambos’ No.1, who saved on his line.
Hearts: McLaughlin, Godinho, Souttar, Berra, Hughes, Adao (Cochrane, 65'), Smith, Amankwaa (Moore, 88'), Cowie (McDonald, 76'), Naismith, Lafferty. Subs: Hamilton, Randall, Callachan, Henderson.
Partick Thistle: Cerny, Booth, Cargill, Osman (McCarthy, 46'), Doolan, Erskine (Edwards, 63'), Lawless (Barton, 46'), Elliott, Devine, Woods, Storey. Subs: Scully, Spittal, McGinn, Penrice.
Referee: Euan Anderson