Heart of Midlothian 2-1 Ross County
Tuesday 1st October 2019, KO 14:00 | League | Oriam
You would have been forgiven for writing Hearts off before this one, just from looking at the teamsheets. However, despite a strong Ross County side, the Jambos made it four from four in the Reserve League.
It was a frantic start at the Oriam as County went ahead with just three minutes on the clock. It looked like County's line-up would pay dividends when Brian Graham got on the end of a Lee Erwin cross, and the header squirmed out of Bobby Zlamal’s reach and into the net.
However, Hearts struck back quickly – scoring two in two minutes to take the lead. Firstly, Jay Charleston-King – in his first start for the reserves – made a great run before playing Lewis Moore clear through. The winger skipped past Jack Ruddy and slotted home to equalise.
Not a minute later, Euan Henderson and Cammy Logan played a nice one-two that saw the wing-back clear in the box, before he was fouled. Alex Petkov took the ball under one-arm and slotted home calmly to put the hosts ahead.
Erwin had a good chance to level a few minutes later when Simon Power – who was causing problems down the left – skipped past two defenders before finding the big striker – but he could only put his volley into the ground and over.
Zlamal had to look alive again on the half-hour mark when Erwin’s wild volley deflected off Graham towards goal, but the Czech stopper got down to tip it past the post.
He had one more superb save to make before the half, when former Jambo midfielder Harry Paton shifted onto his left and unleashed a powerful drive at goal – but Zlamal was equal to it.
Into the second-half and it was all County as they pressed for an equaliser. Bobby Zlamal was again tested – this time by a Josh Mullin drive – but held onto the ball.
Harry Paton was creating the most danger, firstly teeing off Josh Reid to fire over before finding Brian Graham with a nice cross – but the striker could only glance over.
The Staggies best chance fell to Lee Erwin – who was only denied by some magnificent defending from Chris Hamilton. Graham connected with a cross and nodded down for the on-rushing Erwin, who found himself just yards out. He looked set to score until Hamilton threw himself in front of the shot to clear the danger.
Hearts had a chance to kill the game moments from time when they hit on the counter. Connor Smith controller well and squared, but Moore took it off the toes of Leeroy Makavora and his shot was tame.
Ultimately, it would not matter as the Jambos recorded their fourth win from four - they face Dundee United next week.
Hearts: Zlamal; Darge, Hamilton ©, Watson; Logan, McGill, Petkov, Sandison (C. Smith, 55’); Moore, Henderson, Charleston-King (Makovora, 79’)
Subs: Mason; Ward, Nwanze.
Ross County: Ruddy (Stephen 28’); Kelly (Williamson, 75’), Fraser, Murray ©, Reid; Mullin, Paton, Spence (MacDonald, 75’), Power; Erwin, Graham
Subs: Grant, Wright
Referee: Michael Addy
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