Match Reports

Ross County 2-1 Hearts

21st September 2013

Late goals sink Jambos in the Highlands.

Ross County 2-1 Heart of Midlothian
(De Leeuw 87' Brittain 91' - Paterson 23')
From Hearts Media at Dingwall.

Hearts conceded two late goals to lose 2-1 against Ross County in Dingwall on Saturday.

Callum Paterson had put the Jambos in front during the first half, but County equalised with three minutes to go before Richard Brittain grabbed a stoppage time winner.

Gary Locke made only one change to side that valiantly went down 3-1 to Celtic at Tynecastle the week previous. David Smith replaced Billy King on the right, with the elder King brother dropping to the bench.

Almost immediately after kick-off Ross County went for the jugular. Graham Carey skipped past Dylan McGowan on the right hand side and whipped in a dangerous ball but Danny Wilson took the sting out of it before Rocco Quinn fouled Jamie MacDonald in the six yard box.

On eight minutes Brittain showed some fancy footwork to dance around Jamie Hamill and Scott Robinson, however his effort from 35 yards swerved away from MacDonald's right hand post.

Though the home side could stake a claim to being the team in control, it was the Jambos who took the lead after 23 minutes. A blocked corner found its way back out to Kevin McHattie who then sent in a looping ball which was met first time by Paterson inside the six yard box, and he steered it past Mark Brown in the County goal.

Backed by a tremendous travelling support the Jambos appeared to grow in confidence, holding onto the ball more and making clear cut chances. Paterson got on the end of a long ball into the home box on 31 minutes but he couldn't angle his shot on target, instead blasting wide from 10 yards.

Hamill took the game by the scruff of the neck and was leading by example in the middle of the park. He showed great ability to chest behind a dangerous Sproule ball into the box. From the resultant corner Stuart Kettlewell rose to head beyond MacDonald and over the bar.

With only half chances occurring, the remainder of the first half was played out in the middle of the park as Hearts went in one-nil up at the break.

The home side started the second half brightly but the Jambos matched anything that was thrown at them, with MacDaonld making a few routine saves throughout the course of the second period.

Jason Holt looked a man on a mission and he threatened every time he went forward. Just after the hour mark he burst down the right and middled for Paterson, but the ball was just behind him and ended up spinning wide.

Ten minutes later Holt took the ball down on his chest at the edge of the box and fired a half volley on target, unfortunately it was right at Mark Brown. The County 'keeper again got the better of Holt with five minutes to go when he flung himself across his goal to meet a curling shot from the Hearts no. 15 and palm it to safety.

Though Hearts had looked comfortable for the majority of the match it was Ross County who scored the game's next goal. A cross into the box was met by the head of substitute Melvin De Leeuw and he powered the ball into the net.

The Jambos were shellshocked and disaster struck one minute into injury time when another cross into the Hearts box wasn't dealt with and County captain Brittain nodded home for the winner.

A harsh scoreline for Hearts who head down the road wondering how they didn't leave with all three points.

Ross County: Brown, Kovacevic, Gordon, Kettlewell, Boyd, Sproule (Glen, 76'), Brittain, Quinn (De Leeuw, 72'), Ross, McLean, Carey. subs not used: Fraser, Micic, Munro, Maatsen, Saunders.

Hearts: MacDonald; McGowan, McKay, Wilson, McHattie; Holt, Robinson, Hamill; Smith (B. King, 76'), Paterson, Walker (Nicholson, 86'). Subs not used: Ridgers, McGhee, Tapping, Carrick, Oliver.

Referee: Euan Norris

Top man: Jamie Hamill