Heart of Midlothian 1-1 Inverness CT
Monday 8th July 2019, KO 19:30 | Angus Beith Benefit Match | Tynecastle Park
Hearts and Inverness Caledonian Thistle played out an entertaining 1-1 draw in Angus Beith’s Benefit Match at Tynecastkle this evening.
Anthony McDonald gave the Jambos a deserved first-half lead and Craig Levein’s side went on to dominate the game, however Mitchell Curry scrambled home a late equaliser to deny the Gorgie boys a friendly victory.
Zanatta looked lively on the left and did well to win possession early on before dancing to the 18-yard line and finding McDonald on the right, but the return pass back into the box failed to find a Hearts shirt.
The Jambos were then deal an early blow with Craig Wighton forced off with an injury, and he was replaced Euan Henderson.
The visitors threatened on ten minutes when Tom Walsh got down the right to expertly pick out the unmarked Matheus Machado inside the six-yard box but he could only head wide and the linesman’s offside flag followed.
Hearts had their best chance on 13 minutes. Ollie Bozanic moved the ball inside from Harry Cochrane and the midfielder played a first-time pass into the box for Henderson, whose floated effort landed inches wide of Mark Ridgers’ left-hand post.
The deadlock was broken after 20 minutes and it was courtesy of a trademark set piece. Bozanic shaped up to shoot but instead rolled it forward to Cochrane, who chipped into the middle for McDonald to get to ahead of a blue shirt and strike left-footed beyond Ridgers and into the back of the net.
Zanatta’s persistence nearly paid off ten minutes later when he once again won the ball on the left and drove forward before cutting inside and drilling one from 25-yards but it was straight down the throat of Ridgers, who held comfortably.
Henderson then passed up two glorious chances to extend Hearts’ lead. Firstly, a high cross to the back door was looped back over Ridgers by Berra for Henderson needing to knock into an empty net but his header hit the goalkeeper. Then, following some magnificent build up play between Cochrane and McDonald, the latter’s defence-splitting pass found Henderson who did well to cut across his man inside the box but his left-foot drive was blocked by Ridgers.
Not long after, Henderson found himself one-on-one with Ridgers after running onto MacLean’s flick on, but again he was denied by the Caley ‘keeper who stuck out his left arm to block the striker’s shot.
Hearts were bombarding the Inverness goal by this point, with Bozanic’s 18-yard shot blocked but Zanatta picked up the loose ball and was able to turn inside the box and shoot, only to watch the ball fly just wide of the right-hand post.
The Jambos made four changes at the break with Zlamal, Brandon, Logan and Petkov introduced in the place of Doyle, Michael Smith, Berra and Bozanic. ICT looked to take advantage of the reshuffle and nearly succeeded when former Hearts striker Todorov headed narrowly over.
A moment of magic nearly doubled Hearts’ lead when Brandon fed the ball inside for McDonald to dummy into the path of MacLean, who turned his man and curled an effort towards the top corner but Ridgers was able to pluck the ball from the air.
McDonald then got in on the action, firing one from distance but the ball sailed a couple of yards over Ridgers’ crossbar.
A stunning Ridgers save then denied Hearts a second. Henderson played a brilliant defence-splitting pass for McDonald to run onto but his first-time snapshot was brilliantly turned over the bar by the big Caley keeper.
Hearts were firing at will from all angles, with Zanatta taking a turn from outside the box but he could only sting the palms of Ridgers, who got his full body behind the ball.
On 65 minutes the Jam Tarts were presented with another set piece opportunity when Cochrane was bundles over 20-yards out, and Henderson stepped up to curl his effort over the crossbar.
Youngster Logan then stepped into the box away from his man and pulled the trigger but he dragged his low shot wide of the target.
With 12 minutes remaining the visitors grabbed an unlikely equaliser when a ball in from the left found Todorov, who had bulldozed his way through a clutch of Hearts shirts, and he got enough on the ball to steer it towards the line and Mitchell Curry turned it over despite the best efforts of Zlamal.
With moments remaining subsitute Aidan Keena ran into the box and lashed an effort goalward which Ridgers did well to turn around the post.
Hearts: Doyle (Zlamal, 46'), M. Smith (Logan, 46'), Burns, Cochrane, Dikamona, Berra (Petkov, 46'), Bozanic (Brandon, 46'), Wighton (Henderson, 9' - Keena, 72'), MacLean, McDonald (Moore, 82'), Zanatta (C. Smith, 82').
Inverness CT: Ridgers, McKay (Nicolson, 79'), Tremarco (Harper, 57'), McCart (White, 54'), Donaldson, Trafford (Hyde, 70'), Keatings (MacGregor, 79'), Trialist, Todorov, Machado (Curry, 57') Walsh. Subs: MacKay, Brown, Chalmers.
Referee: Gavin Duncan