Points shared in battle of B Teams21 August 2022
Steven Naismith made three changes to the side that suffered defeat in Bo’ness eight days ago. Zack Paris made his debut in the sticks, meanwhile, Finlay Pollock and Murray Thomas were replaced by Callum Sandilands and Adam Forrester.
The men in maroon fell behind inside just four minutes. A quick corner on the left caught Hearts napping and Ben Summers did well to find the far corner from a tight angle.
The Wee Jambos didn’t let their heads drop however and continued to stick to the gameplan of being disciplined out of possession and then picking the right moments to press the Celtic backline.
The Hearts press was in fact instrumental for the second goal of the game. Aidan Denholm won possession midway inside the Celtic half and let fly with a curling effort with arched perfectly into the top corner to tie the game after 18 minutes.
That goal rattled the visitors and for the remainder of the first half the men in maroon were excellent both in and out of possession and they almost took the lead on the stroke of half time.
Macaulay Tait and Denholm battled hard to win possession in a dangerous area and after Sandilands was forced wide by Tobi Owulayemi in the Celtic goal, he cut the ball back for Denholm, who’s lobbed effort was just over.
The game followed a similar pattern in the second half with The Wee Jambos making a good Celtic side look very ordinary in possession, especially at the back.
Chances were few and far between in the second half and substitute Murray Thomas almost completed the comeback with seven minutes to go, but his vicious freekick was well tipped over by Owulayemi.
Hearts had limited Celtic to very little all afternoon, but the visitors almost nicked it at the end. A corner from the right found its way to Adam Brooks at the back post, but his acrobatic volley flew over the bar, meaning both teams had to settle for a point.
Hearts: Paris, Darge ©, Tait, Denholm, Ferguson (Watson, 75) Dall, Gordon, Forrester, Rathie, Sandilands, McLuckie (Thomas, 69)
Subs: Ballantyne, Watson, Thomas, Chisholm, Nair
Celtic: Oluwayemi, Murphy, Anderson ©, Lawal, Corr (McPherson, 56), Otoo, Davidson (Quinn, 85), Carse (Brooks, 62), Letsosa, Summers (Thomson, 85), Vata
Subs: Clarke, McPherson, Dede, Thomson, Quinn, Brooks, Dawson