Club News

Match Report: Crusaders 0-2 Hearts

25th July 2013

Second-half goals from Stevenson and Hamill clinch victory in Belfast.

Crusaders 0-2 Heart of Midlothian
(Stevenson 48', Hamill 90')
From Hearts Media at The Oval.

Hearts kicked off their pre-season tour of Belfast with an encouraging 2-0 victory over Crusaders at The Oval.

Ryan Stevenson headed the Jambos in front on 48 minutes and Jamie Hamill completed the scoring from the spot in injury time.

It was another good work out for Gary Locke's team, who now face a Liverpool XI on Saturday afternoon after the Anfield outfit won the opening match of the pre-season tournament 1-0 against Glentoran last night.

The visitors were presented with a golden opportunity within the first 60 seconds when a slack clearance found Ryan Stevenson outside the box. The attacker played in Jason Holt on the edge of the area and his pass to Callum Paterson left the youngster with a one-on-one with the keeper, Sean O'Neill saving with his feet.

After a spell when play became bogged down in the middle of the park, Crusaders carved out an excellent opportunity when Nathan Hanley's 10th-minute drive was deflected narrowly wide of Jamie Macdonald's right-hand post.

Hearts responded moments later, Holt seeing his 25-yarder tipped round the post by O'Neill.

Five minutes from the break the Gorgie side had a glorious chance to break the deadlock when Scott Robinson released Hamill down the right, continued his run into the box for the return pass but only managed to drag his first-time shot wide of target from 12 yards.

There was a worrying moment for Gary Locke on half-time when Paterson went down in the centre circle clutching his knee but thankfully the striker was able to continue after treatment.

Half-time: Crusaders 0, Hearts 0.

(Pictures courtesy of Stephen Hamilton at Press Eye)

Skipper Danny Wilson failed to emerge for the second half, Jamie Walker coming on in his place, the reshuffle seeing Dylan McGowan slot back into central defence.

The band of Hearts fans inside The Oval didn't have long to wait for the opener, Paterson the provider with a surging run from deep which carried him clear of the Crusaders' defence with 48 minutes on the clock. As O'Neill moved away from his line to close him down, the front man sent a cross to the back post where Stevenson rose above his marker to head home.

The strength of Paterson was causing problems for the home rearguard and he forced his way through on goal again on the hour mark, O'Neill once more winning his duel with the Hearts ace.

The Crusaders' back line no doubt breathed a sigh of relief when Paterson went off to be replaced by Dale Carrick in the 62nd minute, the striker having put in a decent shift up front on his first start for the club since January.

Substitute Walker came close 11 minutes from time and was then brought down in the area in stoppage time after being played in by Adam King, Jamie Hamill stepping up to send O'Neill the wrong way.

Full-time: Crusaders 0, Hearts 2.

Crusaders: O'Neill, Wray, McClean, Leeman, Robinson, Hanley, McAuster (Graham, 69'), Morrow, Caddell (McMaster, 60'), Snoddy (Watson, 52'), Owens. Subs not used: Cleary, Lacroix.

Hearts: Macdonald; Hamill, McKay, Wilson (Walker, 46'), McHattie (Naysmith, 73'); Robinson (A. King, 81'), Tapping (Smith, 73'), McGowan, Holt; Paterson (Carrick, 62'), Stevenson. Subs not used: Ridgers, McGhee, Nicholson, B. King, Oliver.

Referee: T. Fairfield.

Top man: Callum Paterson.

Today on HeartsTV - EXCLUSIVE post-match reaction from Gary Locke and Dylan McGowan.