Match Reports

Match Report: Ross County 1-1 Hearts

2nd April 2022

Hearts played out a 1-1 draw with Ross County in Saturday's cinch Premiership encounter in Dingwall.

Alex Iacovitti's opener was cancelled out by a Barrie McKay strike five minutes before half-time as an entertaining spectacle ended with a point-a-piece in the Highlands.

Hearts made two changes to the side that defeated Livingston prior to the international break. The injured Beni Baningime and Nathaniel Atkinson, who missed out due to illness, made way for Alex Cochrane and Toby Sibbick.

The Jambos had a glorious chance to go ahead on 3 minutes. A cross-field ball from Kingsley found McEneff wide right, his first-time ball across goal found Boyce unmarked but he didn’t connect properly and his effort went away from goal.

On 14 minutes, the Jambos won a penalty as McKay went down on the left side of the box. Barrie stepped up to the mark himself, however, Ross Laidlaw went the right way to deny him from the spot.

The visitors continued to take the game to the hosts, however, and McEneff forced a fine save from the keeper at his near post after being played in on the right side of the box.

The Staggies then went close on the 25-minute mark. A corner from the left was met by Baldwin and his glancing header crashed off the bottom right post with the follow up blocked by a Hearts defender.

It was enough to spark the hosts into life and they got their noses in front on 31 minutes as Alex Iacovitti met a free-kick from the right and fired it home from close range to put County in front.

Minutes later, it was nearly two as Charles-Cook was found unmarked at the back post but Craig Halkett threw himself in front of his shot to steer it away from goal.

Hearts soon found their rhythm again, however, and found themselves level five minutes before the interval. McKay’s ball in from the left saw a Boyce shot blocked but McKay picked up the loose ball and fired it home via a County leg as the teams went into the interval on level terms.

The second half was barely a minute old when McKay volleyed wide from just inside the box after some fine link-up play between Boye and Ellis Simms on the right hand side. 

Robbie made two changes on the hour mark as Ben Woodburn and Josh Ginnelly replaced McEneff and Simms. Ginnelly went close on 68 minutes, first seeing a shot saved at the near post before his follow up inched past the far post. 

The second half, although not quite as frantic as th first, continued to be an end-to-end affair with the Jambos dominating possession and the visitors proving to be a constant menace on the counter attack.

With 15 minutes to go, Charles-Cook looked set to race clear only for a well-timed Sibbick tackle to deny him in the box.  

Into the final 10 minutes and substitut Dominic Samuel suddenly found himself with space in the box, however, his volley curled wide of Gordon's far post. 

Hearts' final sub saw Makenzie Kirk, son of former Hearts striker and coach Andy, make his senior debut in place of Boyce but there was to be no further action during the 5 minutes of stoppage time as the Jambos settled for a point in Dingwall.

Next up, the first of an Edinburgh Derby double!

Ross County: Laidlaw, Randall, Vokins, Baldwin, Paton (Samuel '64), Spittal, Callachan, Iacovitti, Charles-Cook (Hungbo '79), Tillson, White. Subs: Munro, Watson, Drysdale, B.Paton, Wright, MacKinnon, McLeman.

Hearts: Gordon, Sibbick, Halkett, Kingsley, Cochrane, Halliday, Haring, McEneff (Woobdurn '62), Boyce (Kirk '90), McKay, Simms (Ginnelly '62). Subs: Stewart, Moore, Tait.