Match Reports

Partick Thistle 1-1 Hearts

16th August 2013

Late Jamie Walker wonder goal secures a point on the road for Hearts at Partick Thistle.

Partick Thistle 1-1 Heart of Midlothian
(Muirhead 84' - Walker, 88')
From Hearts Media at Firhill.

A gritty Hearts performance saw the Jambos earn a point against Partick Thistle on Friday night.

The Jags looked to have the game buried after Aaron Muirhead netted a penalty on 84 minutes, but a brilliant Jamie Walker strike two minutes from time was enough to give Gary Locke's side a share of the spoils.

The Jambos were forced into making one change from the side that won last week's Edinburgh derby with the injured Ryan Stevenson replaced by Jamie Walker.

Hearts played most of the opening seven minutes with backs to goal as the home side commanded possession. The Jags thought they had taken the lead when Conrad Balatoni pounced on a loose ball inside the six yard box, however the ex-Hearts defender was ruled offside.

Partick continued to dominate and on 13 minutes Aaron Taylor-Sinclair found Steven Lawless with a pass from the byline and the Jags' no. 11 shot from 25 yards, stinging Jamie Macdonald's hands.

The home side blew a golden chance to take the lead after 19 minutes. A Muirhead cross was met by the unmarked Balatoni on the edge of the six yard box, but his header flew well over the bar.

Six minutes later and another Thistle header almost put the Jambos one down. This time it was a James Craigen chipped ball in that was met by Kris Doolan, but he couldn't steer his header on target and the ball spun wide.

A lovely piece of skill from David Smith on 33 minutes saw him beat his man at the edge of the box and burst to the byline, but his cutback just evaded the outstretched leg of Callum Paterson and Thistle cleared the danger.

Thistle's Sean Welsh was inches away from breaking the deadlock a minute later when he received the ball at the edge of the box and powered a shot goal-wards, but the ball kept rising and just cleared the crossbar.

Partick kept pressing and on 38 minutes Doolan unleashed a ferocious left foot shot from 20 yards which just flew over Macdonald's left hand post.

The Jags carried on where they left off after the restart. Craigen raced onto a long ball down the middle of the Hearts defence and pulled the trigger from 18 yards but his shot dragged wide of the post.

Hearts went close to taking a surprising lead after 64 minutes. First, Brad McKay's shot from the edge of the box was headed over the bar by a Thistle defender, and from the resulting corner Danny Wilson's header just dropped the wrong side of the crossbar.

A minute later Wilson's bullet diving header from a Kevin McHattie cross flew inches past Partick 'keeper Scott Fox's left hand post, as Hearts began to stamp some authority onto the game.

It could've all so easily been the home side who took the lead on 73 minutes, however, Craigen's header at the back post was expertly beaten away by Macdonald on his goalline.

Partick again went close three minutes later when John Baird shot from distance, but his powerful effort was blocked by Macdonald.

It was Macdonald who produced another stunning save to deny Lawless on 82 minutes, however the second half's good work was nearly undone when Walker bundled Baird over in the box to concede a penalty. Muirhead stepped up and ratted the ball straight down the middle, giving Partick Thistle the lead.

However, Walker instantly went from zero to hero, as his probing run to the edge of the box saw him fire a stunning shot past the outstretched Fox and into the back of the net.

Hearts left Firhill with a share of the spoils and Gary Locke would likely be pleased with a greatly improved second half performance.

Partick Thistle: Fox, O'Donnell, Taylor-Sinclair, Welsh (Higginbotham, 46'), Muirhead, Balatoni, Fraser, Bannigan, Craigen, Lawless, Doolan (Baird, 67'). Subs not used: Gallacher, Kerr, Forbes, Osbourne, Elliott.

Hearts: Macdonald; McGowan, McKay, Wilson, McHattie; Hamill, Robinson (Tapping, 77'), Holt; Smith (B. King, 56'), Paterson, Walker. Subs not used: Ridgers, Carrick, Nicholson, Oliver, McGhee.

Referee: Bobby Madden

Top man: Jamie Macdonald