First Team

Match Report: Partick Thistle 0-2 Hearts

2nd October 2020

Hearts ran out 2-0 winners against Partick Thistle at Firhill today.

Second-half goals from Jamie Walker and Andy Irving meant the Jambos ended preparations for the 2020/21 season on a high.

Robbie Neilson handed first outings to new signings Mihai Popescu and Andy Halliday, while Steven Naismith started his first game of the pre-season campaign.

Hearts enjoyed the bulk of possession in the opening stages, showing patience to knock the ball around whilst waiting for an opening.

That came in the eight minute, when Olly Lee played a low pass to Craig Wighton, who took a brilliant touch into the box but Kieran Wright did well to beat his effort away.

Ten minutes later Halliday threaded through Naismith, who used his strength to hold off his man to get a shot away but Wright got down quickly to deny him.

The woodwork then denied Hearts the opener. Wighton latched into a long ball to get into the box, and although his low drive beat Wright the ball came crashing back off the post.

Wighton was in the mix again, getting on the end of Michael Smith’s cross but after sliding in he could only steer narrowly wide of the target.

The hosts were awarded a penalty after Blair Lyons was upended inside the box by Craig Halkett, Salim Kouider-Aissa stepped up but saw his spot kick brilliantly stopped by Craig Gordon.

Thistle thought they had opened the scoring just after the half hour mark after a flick on inside the box saw Rhys Breen head into the net at the back post but the linesman’s flag was quickly up for offside.

The end-to-end action continued, with Wighton again being denied by Wright and Naismith blasting the follow up over the bar.

Gordon then pulled off another magnificent save, getting down to his right to stop Kouider-Aissa’s effort from 18 yards.

A raft of half-time changes saw a virtually new Hearts team emerge for the second half.

It took 12 minutes for the first real chance to occur. The Jambos broke down the left with Smith getting into the box but his shot was tame and straight at Wright.

The deadlock was broken just after the hour mark. Harry Cochrane moved the ball to Liam Boyce at the edge of the box, he flicked it into the path of Walker who expertly placed his shot into Wright’s bottom left corner.

Cochrane and Boyce were involved again moments later, with the former threading the latter through, but from an angle the striker’s shot was pushed round the post by Wright.

Smith went close with a low shot across the face of goal that narrowly flew out the other end, before nice link up play between Irving and Lewis Moore saw the latter drag an effort wide.

With 15 minutes remaining it was 2-0. Irving showed quick feet to create space for himself at the edge of the box before curling straight into the top corner, leaving Wright with no chance.

The men in maroon thought they’d made it 3-0 on 81 minutes when Boyce robbed his man of possession inside the box to square it to Cochrane who slammed home, but the flag went up for offside.

Still Hearts kept pushing forward, with Josh Ginnelly feeding Walker whose shot landed at the feet of Moore, and his effort was saved by Wright.

Partick Thistle: Wright, Penrice, O’Ware (Williamson, 21’), Cardle, B. Lyons, Gordon, Breen, McKenna, Reilly, Kouider-Aissa. Subs: Scullion, Cameron, Rudden, J. Lyons, McDonald, Rodden, Watson, Renfrew.

Hearts: Gordon (Zlamal, 46’), M. Smith, Logan, Halkett (Haring, 46’), Popescu (Cochrane, 46’), Halliday (McGill, 45’), Henderson, (Walker, 46’) Lee (Irving, 46’), Wighton (Boyce, 46’), Naismith (Moore, 64’), Roberts (Ginnelly, 46’). Subs: Stewart.