Dundee 0-3 Heart of Midlothian
Tuesday 23rd October 2018, KO 19:45 | Ladbrokes Premiership | Dens Park
Hearts ran out comfortable 3-0 winners against Dundee this evening.
An early Oliver Bozanic goal was complimented by Steven Naismith’s 11th of the season, which saw the Jambos 2-0 up at Dens Park inside the first quarter of an hour.
Steven MacLean rounded off the scoring with a 46th minute goal to put the Jam Tarts on easy street.
Craig Levein made two changes from the side that defeated Aberdeen at the weekend; Michael Smith returned from suspension to come in for Marcus Godinho, while Harry Cochrane was handed his first start of the season ahead of Olly Lee.
The Jambos got off to the best possible start, opening the scoring inside two minutes. Cochrane turned his man beautifully but was brought down 25-yards out, and Bozanic stepped up to curl a wonderful free-kick around the wall and into Jack Hamilton’s bottom left corner.
Calvin Miller looked lively for the hosts and in the 7th minute he burst down the right before pulling the trigger from distance, and the ball flew inches past Bobby Zlamal’s left-hand post.
It was 2-0 on 14 minutes. Smith played a one-two with Callumn Morrison on the right and middled for Steven MacLean to flick the ball to the back door and Naismith was waiting to slam home the second and his 11th goal of the season.
The home side were handed the perfect opportunity to get themselves back into the game when Jimmy Dunne bundled over his man inside the box in the 22nd minute, but Calvin Miller screwed his spot kick horribly wide of the target.
Hearts had a penalty shout of their own turned down on the half hour mark when Naismith swung a ball into the box only for Clevid Dikamona to fall under a challenge, but referee Craig Thomson waved play on.
The Jambos were denied a third on 38 minutes by the woodwork. MacLean found himself with all the time in the world at the edge of the box and he dinked a sublime effort over Hamilton’s head, only to see the ball come back off the crossbar.
It should’ve been 3-0 in stoppage time. Naismith latched onto a loose ball to drive towards the Dundee box before backheeling into MacLean’s path, but his low shot was expertly beaten away by Hamilton.
Any hope Dundee had of clawing something back was gone within a minute of the restart. Djoum sent a ball into the box for Morrison to race ahead of Hamilton and cut back for MacLean, who slid in to knock the ball into an empty net.
Hearts were comfortable for the rest of the half. Djoum thundered an effort narrowly over the bar, via a deflection, and Naismith had an opportunity to bag his second but he snatched at a shot from inside the box and screwed it wide.
Substitute Craig Wighton fired an effort straight at Hamilton from the edge of the box, while Bozanic curled one from 18-yards over the target.
Zlamal kept his concentration levels high despite being a virtual spectator by pushing Curran’s late effort away from the target, and in added time Wighton teed up Bozanic inside the box but his stab at goal was straight at Hamilton.
Another win for the Jambos, who go six points clear at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Dundee: Hamilton, Kerr, O'Dea, Kamara, Ngwatala (Deacon, 53'), Inniss, C. Miller, Kallman, K. Miller, Curran, Spence (Madianga, 46'). Subs: Parish, Mendy, Nabi, Boyle, Henvey.
Hearts: Zlamal, Smith, Dunne, Bozanic, Djoum, Mitchell (Garuccio, 73'), Naismith (Wighton, 71'), MacLean, Cochrane, Dikamona, Morrison. Subs: Doyle, Lee, Clare, Hughes, Mulraney.
Referee: Craig Thomson