Match Reports

Match Report: Hearts 2-3 Raith Rovers

23rd January 2021

Hearts lost their first home match of the Scottish Championship season after Raith Rovers left Tynecastle with a 3-2 victory.

Gozie Ugwo gave the Rovers the lead after five minutes, before Craig Gordon saved a penalty from Regan Hendry, but a second spot kick converted by Manny Duku, along with a Regan Tumilty strike had Raith three goals to the good.

Liam Boyce headed home from close range in response, while Steven Naismith hit the woodwork late on. Boyce would nod again, this time from a corner, in the third minute of nine in stoppage time to reduce the deficit, but Hearts couldn’t find any more goals to come back.

There were three changes from the side that won at Alloa last weekend, with starts for Gary Mackay-Steven, Boyce and Naismith.

Hearts got off to the worst possible start when the visitors took the lead in four minutes. A preventable corner was given away, which then wasn’t cleared, and Gozie Ugwo back-heeled the ball into the net.

The home side then forced a flurry of corners, with Kingsley heading over on two separate occasions, before the left-back then committed a foul in the area at the other end. From the spot kick, Craig Gordon produced a stunning save onto the post from Hendry.

Mackay-Steven then tried to get Hearts back into the game, cutting inside with some neat skill from the right but his shot was saved. Moments before half-time, Berra went down with an injury and was replaced by Mihai Popescu.

The second half started the in similar fashion to the first for Hearts. Kai Kennedy was apparantly felled in the area and sub Duku converted the spot kick. Two minutes later, Tumilty bundled the ball home from close range to make it three.

Hearts introduced Jamie Walker and Josh Ginnelly, and Ginnelly was involved right away, whipping a superb cross into the area for Boyce to nod home from close range. It should have been two minutes later, when Boyce robbed the ball in the danger area and squared to Walker but his finish was saved by Jamie Macdonald.

Into the last ten minutes and it was an onslaught from Hearts now. Kingsley’s goal bound free kick was superbly tipped wide by MacDonald. Then, Michael Smith cut in from the right and curled a beauty toward the top corner that was tipped away by the former Hearts keeper. Next, Ginnelly crossed for Naismith whose header came crashing off the bar.

Into 8 added minutes, and Hearts scored after two. A corner from Irving was headed home by Boyce despite an attempt to block on the line. With a minute left, Hearts were denied the equaliser. Boyce flicked the ball through to Naismith but again MacDonald produced a stunning save as Raith held on.