Heart of Midlothian 1-0 Inverness CT
Tuesday 6th October 2020, KO 19:45 | Betfred Cup | Tynecastle
Hearts kicked off the 2020/21 season with a victory over Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Betfred Cup Group Stage.
A second half Jamie Walker penalty was the difference between the sides as the Jambos earned three points in their League Cup opener.
With Michael Smith and Liam Boyce away on international duty, Jamie Brandon and Craig Wighton deputised at right back and centre forward.
Hearts started on the front foot and Wighton drew a top save from Mark Ridgers in the opening minute, while an even better save occurred at the other end when Craig Gordon produced a stunning stop from a Daniel Mackay header.
The best chance of the half fell to Wighton on the half hour. Ginnelly hit the byline, crossed for Steven Naismith whose shot appeared to hit a hand, but the rebound fell to Wighton and his shot crashed off the bar,
Ginnelly threatened again when he crossed from the wing, the ball broke to Andy Irving but his goal bound shot was blocked by Wallace Duffy. Just before half time, Robbie Deas had a huge chance for Caley but could only volley wide.
Into the second half, and Brandon created a chance all on his own. He broke into the Inverness half, slid in Ginnelly whose cross rebounded back to Brandon and Ridgers somehow diverted the shot over. Ridgers then had to look sharp to tip an Olly Lee shot over the top.
On the hour mark, Hearts had a penalty. Ridgers could only partially clear a corner, Ginnelly volleyed the ball back and it hit a hand. Walker stepped up to send Ridgers the wrong way. Ginnelly had a chance of his own soon after when sub Jordan Roberts squared for him but he could only shoot over.
Inverness sub Nikolay Todorov then had two glorious chance to level. First, he burst through the middle but shot over, then two minutes later, he volleyed wide with the goal gaping with 5 minutes left. In stoppage time, sub Euan Henderson broke into the area but again Ridgers denied Hearts and the game finished, somehow, with only one goal to show for it.
Hearts: Gordon, White, Walker, Lee, (Haring, 82') Naismith (Kingsley, 74'), Wighton (Roberts, 63'), Irving (Halliday, 63'), Brandon, Halkett, Popescu, Ginnelly (Henderson, 83'). Subs: Stewart, Frear.
Inverness CT: Ridgers, Duffy (Hyde, 66'), Welsh, Sutherland (Todorov, 45'), MacGregor, Harper, Storey, Allardice, McKay, Deas, D. MacKay (Keatings, 80'). Subs: C. MacKay, Fyffe, Harkness.