Match Reports

Match Report: Inverness CT 1-1 Hearts

26th February 2021

Hearts were held to a 1-1 draw by Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Highlands on Friday night.

The Jambos came from behind after Miles Storey’s early opener, with Liam Boyce restoring parity before the first half was out.

Robbie Neilson stuck with the same side that battered the Greenock Morton defence in last Saturday’s frustrating Tynecastle draw.

Hearts were on the attack inside two minutes. Liam Boyce capatalised on a slack pass at the back to pick up possession and feed the advancing Aaron McEneff, who struck an early shot at goal from 25-yards and stung the palms of Mark Ridgers.

Soon after, Storey drove towards the Hearts goal before pulling the trigger from distance but his effort was comfortably held by Craig Gordon.

The hosts broke the deadlock after 11 minutes. James Keatings clipped a ball over the top of the Hearts defence for Storey to run on to and he showed great strength to hold off Smith before steering the ball beyond the outrushing Gordon.

Gordon came to the rescue ten minutes later. Wallace Duffy nodded a set piece into the path of Shane Sutherland, whose prod goalwards was superbly blocked by the Jambos’ keeper, before getting to the Caley man’s follow up.

The men in maroon passed up a glorious opportunity to pull level on the half hour mark. McEneff swung in a corner and found the unmarked Mihai Popescu but he could only flash his header wide of the target.

Seven minutes later, the Jambos were back on level terms. McEneff looped a ball into the box for Craig Halkett to knock down and Boyce peeled away from his man to slam home from close range.

There was a nervy moment after the restart when Robbie Deas got his head on a cross into the Hearts box but he got caught underneath it and sent the ball flying over the bar.

Jamie Walker replaced the injured Steven Naismith after an hour and nearly made an instant impact, driving past his man and into the box but his attempted cutback across the face of goal was turned behind by Ridgers.

Soon after, Walker did well to twist and turn away from his man inside the box to create space for a shot, but he shanked his effort well wide of the target.

A late flurry of chances saw Hearts go agonisingly close to grabbing a winner. First, Walker’s nod back across goal saw Boyce’s looping header deceive Ridgers and hit the bar before bouncing back down in front of the line and into the keeper’s arms.

Then substitute Armand Gnanduillet turned his man on the right-hand side of the box before pulling a shot inches wide of the target.

Finally, with moments to go, Walker broke into the box only to see Ridgers stand firm to his blast on target.

Inverness CT: Ridgers, Duffy, Welsh, Devine, Keatings (Todorov, 78’), Carson (Allardice, 66’), Sutherland, MacGregor (D.MacKay, 57’), Harper, Storey, Deas. Subs: C.MacKay, McKay, Nicolson, Hyde.

Hearts: Gordon, Smith (Irving, 80’), Boyce, Naismith (Walker, 61’), Halliday, Mackay-Steven, McEneff, Halkett, Popescu, Kastaneer (Gnanduillet, 46’). Subs: Stewart, Haring, Berra, Henderson.