Heart of Midlothian 0-0 Livingston
Wednesday 6th February 2019, KO 19:45 | Ladbrokes Premiership | Tynecastle Park
Hearts were held to a stalemate this evening at home to Livingston.
The Jambos dominated possession in a largely one-sided match but could not find a way past a determined Livi defence.
Craig Levein made one change from the side that won at Rugby Park last Friday; Olly Lee replaced Callumn Morrison while there was a place on the bench for Uche Ikpeazu who returned to action after four-months out injured.
Hearts threatened early on with John Souttar galloping through the heart of the Livi midfield to pull the trigger 20-yards out, but he flashed his effort inches wide of the target.
The ball was in the back of the Livi net eight minutes in when Steven Naismith ran on to Ollie Bozanic’s set piece to loop a header over Liam Kelly, but the Scotland forward was flagged for offside after just ghosting ahead of his marker too soon.
Chances were few and far between in the remainder of the first-half with Lee going closest when he drilled a low effort goalward from 25-yards out, but Kelly got down to make a comfortable save.
The visitors started the second half brightly and passed up a great chance to take the lead when Bozanic was dispossessed inside his own box by Hakeem Oddofin, but the Livi man could only fire straight across the face of goal.
The introduction of Ikpeazu had the crowd on their feet and he wasted no time making his presence felt, continually ragdolling his markers to glide goalwards.
Despite that, it was Livingston who went close to opening the scoring when Craig Halkett’s cross was met by Ryan Hardie, but Colin Doyle brilliantly tipped his header over the bar.
Doyle was alert again moments later, making a neat save at his near post from Alan Lithgow.
Ikepazu went close in the closing stages, heading from Sean Clare's cross but he could only nod straight at Kelly from close range, while Naismith appeared to be bundled over inside the box but referee Alan Muir waved play on.
Hearts continued to press forward in search of the winning goal but it wasn’t to be, although results elsewhere means the Jambos sit only three points behind third place in the Ladbrokes Premiership table.
Hearts: Doyle, Smith, Shaughnessy (Morrison, 75'), Souttar, Berra, Bozanic (Ikpeazu, 65'), Lee, Clare, Djoum, Naismith, Mulraney (Mitchell, 82'). Subs: Zlamal, Cochrane, Dikamona, Vanecek.
Livingston: Kelly, Lamie, Lithgow, Byrne, Pittman, Hardie (Erksine, 82'), Odoffin (Jacobs, 70'), Lawless, Halkett, Gallagher, Lawson (Sibbald, 78'). Subs: Stewart, Brown, Blues, Wylde.
Referee: Alan Muir