Hearts kept up their winning start to the Ladbrokes Premiership season with a fine 3-0 victory over Partick Thistle.
A first-half strike from Osman Sow out the Jambos on their way, with further goals from Sam Nicholson and Juanma bagging all three points at Tynecastle.
Only one change was made from the side that was victorious in the highlands last Saturday, with Gavin Reilly replacing the injured Jamie Walker.
The Jambos found themselves under some early pressure as the visitors looked to press down the flanks. The maroons stood firm though, and with ten minutes gone Sam Nicholson’s delightful chip into the box just evaded the outstretched leg of Juanma.
Nicholson lit up Tynecastle with his dinks and runs, and in the 12th minute forced a fantastic save out of Tomas Cerny. The winger darted forward before unleashing a thunderbolt from over 20-yards, only to see the Accies ‘keeper tip the ball over the bar.
By the quarter hour mark, Hearts were racking up the chances. Alim Ozturk nutmegged his man at the edge of the Partick Thistle box and backheeled into the path of Prince Buaben, who found Callum Paterson but the right-back’s stab at goal was deflected behind for a corner.
From that corner, Juanma’s header fell to the unmarked Igor Rossi at the back door, but he flashed his first-time volley wide of the target.
With almost half an hour gone, Hearts took the lead. Nicholson’s floated corner was nodded goalwards by Paterson, and with a brief stramash on the line, Sow ran in to to slam the ball home from close range.
An impressive first-half for Hearts, who never really got into top gear. No changes at half-time for either side meant it was as you were.
It should’ve been 2-0 after 55 minutes. Buaben released Nicholson down the right, and he ran 25-yards bearing down on Cerny, but ended up dragging his low shot wide from just inside the box.
Five minutes later Hearts went close again. Nicholson’s corner was nodded down by Paterson, and Juanma spun and shot inches over the bar.
That second goal did eventually come, via a missed penalty. Paterson was scythed down as he burst into the box and referee John Beaton pointed to the spot. Juanma saw his effort saved by Cerny, only for Nicholson to beat the pack and lash the ball home.
Two minutes later it was 3-0. Nicholson’s through ball saw Juanma power past two Thistle players and with Cerny advancing, the Spaniard coolly chipped over the ‘keeper and into the back of the net.
The visitors nearly pulled one back with nine minutes to go when Osman connected with a header, but substitute Sean McKirdy popped up on the line to clear the danger.
Only outstanding goalkeeping prevented it from being 4-0. Gavin Reilly, outstanding all afternoon, cut inside away from his man and curled an effort that looked to be creeping into the bottom corner but Cerny got a hand to it to beat it round the post.
Five games and five wins see the Jambos spend another week on top of the Ladbrokes Premiership table.
Hearts: Alexander, Paterson, Ozturk, Rossi, Oshaniwa, Sow (King, 64'), Bauben (McKirdy, 74'), Gomis, Nicholson, Reilly, Juanma (Morrison, 86'). Subs: Hamilton, McGhee, McHattie, Oliver.
Partick Thistle: Cerny, Miller, Seaborne, Welsh (Osman, 61'), Booth, Amoo (McDaid, 74'), Bannigan, Doolan, Stevenson (Lawless, 56'), Frans, Fraser. Subs: Scully, Wilson, Hendry, Nisbet.
Referee: John Beaton
Top man: Sam Nicholson