Match Reports

Hearts 1-1 Ayr Utd

2nd July 2021

Hearts played out a 1-1 draw with Ayr United in the first of two closed door friendly games in Largs.

Liam Boyce cancelled out Michael Moffat's opener a few minutes prior in a game where Hearts enjoyed the lion's share of posession.

The Jambos are based on the North Ayrshire coast for the next few days and will face Falkirk on Saturday afternoon (3pm) as they continue preparations for the start of the Premier Sports Cup later this month.

Craig Gordon has rejoined the squad following his Euro 2020 Scotland duty, however, it was Ross Stewart who took his place between the sticks in a side that saw 17-year-old Finlay Pollock playing alongside Aaron McEneff in midfield. 

The youngster, fresh from penning his first professional contract with the club, put in a solid performance for the duration of the 90 minutes. 

It took Hearts 10 minutes to register their first attempt on goal as Jamie Walker flashed a shot wide. Moments later, Halkett forced the keeper into a strong save with a looping header from a Gary Mackay-Steven corner. The latter then came within inches of giving Hearts the lead minutes later as his close range effort went narrowly over as the Jambos began to turn up the pressure. 

Robbie Neilson's men continued to dominate possession with Ayr content to sit deep and frustrate the Gorgie side. Walker again went close as he clipped the crossbar with a shot from the right side of the box. 

Boyce nearly got his opener minutes into the second half when he sent an effort inches wide from a corner. Hearts continued to see plenty of the ball but chances were few and far between for a large chunk of the second half. 

United, in a rare forway into Hearts' final third, then took the lead with Moffat getting on the end of a cross from the left to steer a header in off the far post. 

The Jambos wasted little time in hauling themselves back, however. Mackay-Steven found Pollock 30 yards from goal; the youngster slipped the ball wide to Michael Smith and a pinpoint cross found Boyce on 6 yards - his powerful header leaving the keeper with no chance. 

Hearts pushed on in the dying minutes but it ended all square in Largs. 

Hearts: Stewart, Smith, Souttar, Halkett, Halliday, Cochrane, Walker, McEneff, Pollock, Mackay-Steven, Boyce. Subs not used: Stone, Watson, C.Smith, McGill, Denholm.