Stenhousemuir v Heart of Midlothian at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on 26.8.14
League Cup Second Round Att 1,768
Stenhousemuir 1 [K.Millar38] Hearts 2 [Oliver 6, McHattie 31]
Stenhousemuir – Fleming, Meechan, Geacen, McMillan [b83], Summers, Hodge, Dickson [Lithgow h/t], K.Millar [b61] [Sludden 76], Grehan [b81], Faulds and R.Millar [McMenamin h/t][b59]. Subs not used – Duncan, Watt, Reid and Shaw.
Hearts – Hollis, McHattie [b59][Eckersley 88], Walker, Robinson, Holt, D.Smith, Oliver, Keatings [Sow 38], McKay, L.Smith and McGhee [Gordon 29]. Subs not used – El Hassnaoui, King, Roy and Halliwell.
Referee – Calum Murray Assistants – Stuart MacMillan and Gary Hilland
After the collapse and frailties shown against Stirling Albion on the Saturday prior to this game there was some intrepredation on how this match would develop. Hearts of course are a much better football team than the Warriors are used to playing and the pace and movement of the young Hearts side caused problems throughout the game.
It was only the sixth minute of the game when the visitors took the lead. David Smith, who was putting himself along with Jason Robinson into the shop window after being told they were free to get new clubs, sped down the right flank leaving Ciaran Summers for dead before crossing to Gary Oliver who scored with ease. Oliver almost doubled the tally three minutes later but his attempted chip over Greg Fleming was just thwarted by the keeper who had to be at full stretch to deny him. For much of the first period the Warriors were being given the run around but Kris Faulds came close with a header over the bar from a Ross Meechan cross in the 18th minute. Hearts suffered a setback when Jordan McGhee and James Keatings both picked up knocks in quick succession that eventually saw both substituted. Two minutes after the first enforced substitution Hearts went two ahead. This time a loose pass was picked up by Jason Holt and he quickly played the ball through for the dangerous Kevin McHattie and he made no mistake sliding the ball past Fleming and into the net. In the 35th minute a Bryan Hodge effort drifted just over before the home side reduced the deficit in the 38th minute when a Faulds cross from the left was chested on by Martin Grehan to Kieran Millar who dispatched the ball into the net.
The second half started with Stenhousemuir making a couple of chances with Alan Lithgow moving to right back and this allowed Ross Meechan to take a midfield role whilst Colin McMenamin came on to support Grehan up front. This almost had an instant success as Grehan came close with a header from a Meechan cross in the 50th minute. Lee Hollis was called into action to beat down a Faulds effort but McMenamin was flagged offside before he could do anything with the rebound. There was a let off at the other end when Liam Smith saw a shot tipped round the post before the resultant corner was headed onto the post by Osman Sow. Jamie Walker then came close when a quick one two opened up the Stenhousemuir defence but Fleming saved with his feet. In the 71st minute Hollis denied Faulds once again when he saved a curler with ease after McMenamin has dispossessed Brad McKay. The game should have been sown up in the 78th minute when Sow beat his marker with an exquisite piece of skill before picking out Walker but his effort flew over the bar. Walker then had another effort saved within a minute of that opportunity.
With Hearts squandering a number of chances it looked as if it there was still a glimmer of hope for the Warriors and as the game moved into the dying stages they played the game more like a cup tie of old as they shoved Stewart Greacen up into the forward line to cause more of a threat as they started playing the longer ball at times as they tried to mix the game. It almost had the desired the effect as with the last touch of the ball and Stenhousemuir pushing forward Alan Lithgow just failed to get enough of a touch to divert a cross cum shot into the net as the ball agonisingly scrapped the outside of the post. The referee blew the final whistle just afterwards and therefore Hearts were victorious and it was a win that no one could begrudge.
In fairness to Stenhousemuir after a rocky first period where Hearts should have been out of sight they played better and were more composed in the second. Certainly the score was more respectable than it could have been if the performance had continued in the same vein. There were positives to take from the game and hopefully they can build on these for the future league campaign starting with league leaders Ayr United this week
|August 26, 2014||7:30 pm||Betfred Cup||2014/2015||90'|
|Ochilview Park Stenhousemuir|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|