Match Report: Hearts 5-0 Bonnyrigg Rose

07 September 2022

Robbie Neilson’s men were dominant across the 90 minutes on a sun-kissed afternoon in Gorgie. Peter Haring, Liam Boyce, Aaron McEneff and Euan Henderson were on target in the second half – with midfielder Jorge Grant bagging his first goal for the club in the opening 45.
The men in maroon were just seconds into the opening stanza when they carved out the first chance – Liam Boyce wrestling the ball off Bonnyrigg before sliding in Alan Forrest with a well-timed pass. The winger showed some nice trickery to shake his marker and get a shot off, but a last gasp block kept the Jambos at bay for the time being.
Forrest was relentless in attack, drifting freely in behind Boyce and causing all sorts of havoc with his quick feet and electric pace. Just minutes later, he cut inside and tested Rose ‘keeper Mark Weir with a low shot – prompting a fingertips save. The ball battered out to Alex Cochrane on the rebound, but the defender saw his first-time effort whiz over the crossbar.
Michael Smith was next to try his luck, the Northern Irishman seeing his curling effort crash into the Roseburn after some dogged work from Cammy Devlin and Liam Boyce to tee him up. Hearts were enjoying the lion’s share of possession by this point, but had yet to make a break through with 15 minutes on the clock.
The chance that best summed up Hearts’ dominance came after 20 minutes. Boyce saw his header flash wide from a Kingsley delivery. Jorge Grant hoovered up the ball and started constructing a chance of his own. Despite some nice close control under pressure in the box – his effort was next to sail wide.
It took something special to eventually crack the deadlock on the cusp of half-time. Michael Smith was clean through on goal after a rampaging run down the right before middling to Haring on the edge of the area. Pete produced a delightful back-heel that delivered the ball directly to the feet of Grant who applied a simple finish to put the Jambos in front.
Hearts’ penchant for the spectacular extended into the second 45, with Jorge Grant attempting an athletic overhead kick, just five minutes after the restart, that had Weir scrambling - with a dramatic goal line clearance required to halt the Englishman from getting his second of the afternoon.
There wouldn’t be too long to wait for a second; a clumsy foul by Rose defender Dean Brett on Alex Cochrane in the area paved the way for Peter Haring to convert from the spot. The big Austrian was cool as a cucumber, sending the ball high into the top right corner to leave Weir with no chance.
A raft of substitutions was next for both sides with the game settling down into a rhythm – as Robbie Neilson handed Ross Stewart, Aaron McEneff, Andy Halliday, and Connor Smith a run out from the bench.
Indeed, Smith made the quickest contribution to proceedings – doing well to get the ball out from under his feet before testing Rose’s sub ‘keeper Michael Andrews with a rasper from 25-yards.
78 minutes saw the game end as a contest. Another lovely passing display saw Forrest send Michael Smith down the right, with the defender squaring the ball to Boyce who sweeped home to make it 3-0.
Hearts were raining goals by now. Substitute Aaron McEneff, on his birthday no less, hit an unbelievable strike from 25-yards that curled into the top bin.
With five minutes left on the clock, a sweet lobbed pass from McKay sent Euan Henderson through who showed great composure to stab the ball home and finish things off.
Up next, a trip to England where we face Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park.
Hearts: Gordon (Stewart 66’), M. Smith, Kingsley (Halliday 71’), Trialist, Neilson (Sibbick 79’), Cochrane, Haring (C.Smith 71’), Devlin (McEneff 71’), Forrest (McKay 79’), Grant, Boyce (Henderson 79’)
Subs not used: Atkinson, Mackay-Steven
Bonnyrigg: Weir (Andrews 70’), Brett, Martyniuk (Turner 50’), Young, Doan (Trialist 70’), Horne, Hunter (Trialist 70’), Gray (Trialist 70’), Barrett (Trialist 70’) , Connolly, Smith (Hall 50’)