Hearts and Kilmarnock played out a 0-0 draw with Kilmarnock at Tynecastle this afternoon.
Despite crafting numerous chances over the course of the afternoon, Hearts had to settle for a stalemate ahead of a European night under the lights against Rosenborg on Thursday.
An early chance fell Hearts’ way with barely a minute on the clock: Alex Lowry’s free-kick tumbling down into the path of Peter Haring – whose headed effort downwards was pushed away by Killie ‘keeper Will Dennis.
Kilmarnock worked away, but it was the men in maroon that enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in those opening exchanges with a tame header from Robbie Deas into the gloves of Zander Clark.
The occasional blip in the midst of Hearts’ passing moves allowed Killie to break through on occasion, with Matty Kennedy pouncing on a slack pass to go through, with a cute tackle from Frankie Kent getting Hearts out of danger.
Hearts crafted nice passages of play, one moment where Lowry and Kingsley combined to thread the ball across to Oda was particularly eye-catching, but against a Killie side that was well-drilled at attacking with pace on the counter, the men in maroon had to weather a few instances of pressure.
Killie had the last say in the action of the first 45, with Zander Clark diving superbly to push away Kyle Magennis’ header.
HALF-TIME: HEART OF MIDLOTHIAN 0-0 KILMARNOCK
The second half was much the same as both sides wrestled for control of the game: Matty Kennedy and Lewis Mayo saw chances go astray for the visitors whilst Shankland and debutant Kenneth Vargas went close for the Jambos.
With five minutes of added time at the end of the encounter, Hearts and Killie sought a breakthrough but came up empty-handed. We now look ahead to our UECL Third Qualifying Round encounter with Rosenborg of Norway on Thursday night.
Hearts: Clark, Kent, Kingsley, Haring, Shankland, Oda (Forrest 77’), Atkinson (Sibbick 77’), Devlin (Denholm 67’), Rowles, Tagawa (Vargas 67’), Lowry (Boyce 58’)
Subs: McGovern, Nieuwenhof, Boyce, Halliday, Forrest, Sibbick, Denholm, Wilson, Vargas
Kilmarnock: Dennis, Ndaba, Mayo, Deas, Lyons, Kennedy, Armstrong (Donnelly 90’), Watson, Magennis (McKenzie 87’), Findlay, Watkins (Vassell 72’)
Subs: O’Hara, McKenzie, Vassell, Sanders, Murray, Cameron, Davies, Donnelly, Polworth