Heart of Midlothian v Stenhousemuir at Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh on 24.7.19
Betfred Cup Section A Att 7299
Hearts 2 [Halkett 82,87] Stenhousemuir 1 [McGuigan 77]
Hearts – Zlamal, M. Smith, Souttar, Bozanic, Clare, Washington (Keena, 59′), Walker, MacLean (Ikpeazu, 55′), McDonald (Mulraney, 55′), Halkett, Hickey. Subs not used-: Doyle, White, Dikamona and Irving.
Stenhousemuir – Smith, McIlduff, McKernon (Watters, 83′), Marsh, McGuigan, Hopkirk, Cook, McLaughlin, M. Munro (Halleran, 63′), Scullion (Anderson, 90′), A. Munro. Subs not used – Marley, Luke and Daramola.
Referee – Alan Newlands Assistants – Andrew McWilliam and David Dunne
After the disappointing match against East Fife the Stenhousemuir were back on their travels a few days later when they met Hearts at Tynecastle. The Warriors would have to up their game to keep the game close against their Premiership rivals and to their credit this is exactly what happened.
The Warriors made three changes from the East Fife game with Chris O’Neil dropping out through injury and there were tactical changes with Thomas Halleran and Kieran Anderson dropping to the bench and Scott McLaughlin, Alan Cook and Mark Munro coming into the starting eleven.
As expected Hearts had the bulk of the play and the fact that they had 30 shots at goal would bear this out. However, the visitors were committed throughout the game and Hearts certainly were given a far bigger fright than was expected. The home side were actually booed off the park at half time by their supporters who along with the tipsters thought that it would a walk in the park for them.
Graeme Smith proved to be at the top of his game as were several other players and they had to be to withstand the pressure from Hearts. The keeper did well to claw a Steven MacLean header away in the seventh minute which was the best opportunity for the home side until just before half time when Smith denied Sean Clare beating out a shot in the dying seconds. The Warriors despite their best efforts were rarely seen in attack and it had taken until the 38th minute before Zdenek Zlamal was called into action to gather a long range Alan Cook effort that had showed intent but lacked power.
The second half started once more with Hearts on the attack with Conor Washington, Jamie Walker and John Souttar all coming close. This was followed by an effort by MacLean being cleared off the line by Andy Munro. Just after this the Warriors survived a remarkable scramble with Smith making a double save from Michael Smith and Oliver Bozanic and then Scott McLaughlin stopped not just one but two efforts on the line from Walker and Washington.
That was effectively the last action for Washington as he was forced to leave the pitch through an eye injury after being struck by the ball. His replacement Uche Ikpeazu created a more physical threat but he was to squander any good work by wasteful finishing.
In the 77th minute the Warriors were celebrating after a rare counter attack ended with Mark McGuigan dispatching the ball home following good work by David Hopkirk and Cook.
Despite their best attempts they were just unable to survive the closing stages with Hearts defender Craig Halkett showing his forwards how to score by netting a double. The first a shot after the ball fell to him and they a powerful header with only three minutes remaining to deny a Stenhousemuir side that had gave its all and were totally drained by the end of the game.
|July 24, 2019||7:45 pm||Betfred Cup||2019/20||90'|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|
|Heart of Midlothian||0||2||2||Win|