Hearts racked up another pre-season win with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Partick Thistle at Tynecastle in today’s friendly match.
Goals in either half from Jamie Walker and Craig Halkett proved the difference as the Jambos notched their second Gorgie victory in eight days following last weekend’s 5-0 win over East Fife.
There were starts for Craig Wighton, Josh Ginnelly and Jamie Brandon who came into last week’s side at the expense of Liam Boyce, Jordan Roberts and Chris Hamilton, while there was a reassuring sight on the bench in the shape of Steven Naismith and Peter Haring who are still catching up with fitness.
Hearts took the lead with their first real attack, after 10 minutes. Brandon played a ball down the right wing for Elliott Frear, who dummied the pass and allowed Brandon to run onto it, squaring it for Walker who blasted the ball home.
The game was played at an energetic pace, and it swung from end to end. Brian Graham had a couple of efforts from distance that were comfortably dealt with by Craig Gordon, while Thistle keeper Jamie Sneddon did well to keep out shots from Frear.
On the half hour mark, a lovely bit of building from the back saw the ball end up at the feet of Walker, who turned his man and cut inside, bending the ball past Sneddon but just shaving the post. Walker came close again when Wighton played him in, but he shot into the side netting.
It should have been two just before the break when a Brandon throw caught out the Thistle defence, and Wighton found himself bearing down on goal. He had the chance to shoot but squared for Ginnelly, whose shot was well saved.
Naismith and Roberts entered the game at the break, and Naismith came close a few minutes later when Wighton teed him up, but Sneddon denied him. Roberts then flicked the ball on for Wighton, who turned his marker inside out, despite being clearly pulled back. He managed to get a shot away which Sneddon saved with his legs.
Just prior to the hour, Wighton was set up again by Roberts but stretched to meet the cross, before Naismith fired wide from the distance, but the inevitable second goal did arrive. Halkett stole the ball in the middle of the park and marauded forward into the final third, before slipping in Naismith. Naismith rounded Sneddon, although he was forced wide, but he managed to square the ball on the goal line back to Halkett who did brilliantly to convert a chance all of his own making.
There was then the welcome return of Haring to the Tynecastle pitch, with the Austrian midfielder sitting in front of the back four looking like he’d never missed a step. Hearts continued to threaten in the final ten minutes of the game, but the scoring was done and the game finished 2-0.