Dundee Utd 1-1 Heart of Midlothian
Tuesday 8th October 2019, KO 14:00 | League | St Andrews University
Blustery conditions ruined a good contest between first and second in the Reserve League as Hearts and Dundee United drew 1-1.
Andy Kirk was able to name a slightly more experienced side than the one that beat Ross County 2-1 last week, with Aidy White, Dan Baur and Jamie Brandon all coming into the side, along with Aidan Keena.
There were few chances in the first-half, but Dundee United had the first half-chance after 11 minutes when Darren Watson put his effort just over the bar.
Brilliant defending from Nathan Cooney denied Keena from opening the scoring ten minutes later. Callumn Morrison went down in the box but play went on, and Keena’s effort was goal-bound but Cooney threw himself in front of it.
The Irish striker would make no mistake four minutes later from the penalty spot. Euan Henderson was slipped in on the left and fouled in the box, leaving the referee with an easy choice to make. Keena stepped up, put his penalty high into the net and the Jambos had the lead.
There weren’t too many more chances as the first-half wore on, but going into the second Hearts started strongly and looked more likely to extend their lead.
Connor Smith had two good chances to stretch the lead. The first effort was denied from close range by Deniz Mehmet, before he hit his second free-kick over the bar.
Matty Smith was United’s most potent threat, and he forced Kevin Silva into a good save after he made room for himself on the box and drilled an effort at the keeper.
Aidan Keena had a glorious chance to double his and Hearts’ tally after Jamie Brandon – who had moved to centre-half after Arron Darge’s injury – headed a through ball over the defence, leaving the striker clear through. It bounced kindly, Keena lined it up – and hit his half-volley wide.
The Jambos would be made to pay for that missed chance five minutes later. American midfielder picked the ball up twenty yards from goal, cut onto his right and hit a screamer into the top corner to level the score.
The final clear-cut chance fell to Keena again after Connor Smith slipped him through on the counter, but the Irishman dragged his left-footed shot wide.
It meant the Jambos left with St Andrews with one point, enough to keep them top of the table and unbeaten after five games.
Dundee United: Mehmet; Cooney, Neilson, Graham ©, Davidson; Watson (Mochrie, 19’), King, Harkes, Chalmers (Meekinson, 60’); C. Smith, M. Smith (Jones, 80’)
Subs: Donaldson; Fraser, Brown.
Hearts: Silva; Brandon, Darge (Logan, 62’), Baur, White; McGill, Ritchie ©; Morrison, C. Smith, Henderson; Keena
Subs: Mason; Charleston-King, Ward, Makovora, Sandison, Nwanze.