Match Reports

Partick Thistle 1-2 Hearts

27th August 2016

Tony Watt wins Hearts three points at Firhill with last minute strike.

 

Hearts bagged a last minute winner to beat Partick Thistle 2-1 at Firhill.

Callum Paterson nodded Hearts in front in the first-half but were pegged back by Liam Lindsay’s header in the second period, only for Tony Watt to blast the Jambos to three points with one minute remaining.

Robbie Neilson stuck with the same side that disposed of ICT last week, making no changes. The only difference was Jamie Walker returning from suspension to take a seat on the bench in place of Krystian Nowak.

Hearts enjoyed almost all of the possession in the game’s opening stages, patiently passing around from white shirt to white shirt for the opportune moment. It nearly came in the seventh minute when the ball found Tony Watt inside the box but his brace of shots were blocked by last ditch Thistle challenges.

The hosts came back into it and looked dangerous on the front foot. Ade Azeez was slipped through and showed Paterson a clean pair of heels but blasted over the bar from an angle.

The Jambos went straight up the park and created a chance of their own. Conor Sammon latched onto a through ball and strode into the box but was forced back, before turning and hitting a tame shot straight at Tomas Cerny.

A frantic period of goalmouth action continued when Hearts failed to clear the lines and Kris Doolan lined up an 18-yard drive which was smothered by Jack Hamilton, then moments later the Thistle no.9 drove low through a clutch of bodies but was denied by an excellent sliding block from John Souttar.

Just after a quarter of an hour Hearts took the lead. Nicholson’s floated corner into the middle of the box was met by Paterson who bulleted a header beyond Cerny and into the top corner of the net.

Paterson wasn’t far away from doubling the lead with a carbon copy of his first goal. Nicholson’s corner from the left found the right-back but this time header was stopped by Cerny at his near post.

Hamilton was called back into action with a series of saves on the 25th minute. He did well to push a Chris Erskine effort wide before making a fine block from Doolan.

Perry Kitchen showed great strength to hold onto the ball inside the Thistle half on the half-hour mark before finding Don Cowie, who carried it forward unchallenged and pulled the trigger from 25-yards out but the ball sailed over the bar.

Into the restart and it was Paterson again who went close to extending Hearts’ lead. He ran from his own half with the ball, weaving away from opposition players before drilling low with a left-foot shot but Cerny got own to make the save.

Despite that it was Partick Thistle who got themselves back on level terms. Lindsay met a corner to crash a header off the crossbar but he popped up again to force it over the line at the second attempt.

Substitute Bjorn Johnsen almost got Hearts back in front after 64 minutes. Paterson’s low cross into the box was left by Arnaud Djoum and Johnsen swung goalwards only to see his shot blocked over the bar.

Fellow sub Jamie Walker was next to try his luck after being teed up inside the box by Cowie but his wonderful curling shot was parried away Cerny, who followed it up with a stop from Djoum moments later.

Paterson then hit a ferocious first-time volley from Walker’s low volley but the Scotland man couldn’t hit the target.

Djoum did well in the 72nd minute to hold up possession and find Johnsen on the edge of the box, and while the striker managed to create space for himself he proceeded to blast well over the bar.

Another chance passed Hearts by minutes later. Cowie got to the byline and sent over a teasing cross that John Souttar took down, but as he went to pull the trigger six-yards out a home shirt got in front to send the ball behind.

It was an end-to-end game and the hosts went close with four minutes remaining when Callum Booth bombed down the right to send over an inviting cross, however it evaded every Thistle shirt and Igor Rossi was able to clear.

Just as it looked like it was going to end all-square, Hearts bagged an 89th minute equaliser. A bal into the home box ran through to the right-hand side for Watt to latch on to and blast an unstoppabel shot beyond Cerny from a tight angle.

Partick Thistle: Cerny, Booth, Lindsay, Osman, Doolan (Pogba, 76'), Erskine, Lawless, Devine, Azeez (Amoo, 68'), Edwards, Gordon. Subs: Scully, Elliott, Wilson, McDaid, Syme.

Hearts: Hamilton, Paterson, Souttar, Rossi, Rherras, Djoum, Kitchen, Cowie, Nicholson (Walker, 57'), Sammon (Johnsen, 57'), Watt (L. Smith, 90'). Subs: Noring, Ozturk, Buaben. Muirhead.

Referee: Willie Collum

Top man: Perry Kitchen