Hearts 0-0 Dundee United
Hearts picked up another valuable league point in the Scottish Premiership after holding Dundee United to a goalless draw at Tynecastle.
United's Nadir Ciftci had the ball in the Hearts net after 30 minutes, but ref Steven McLean chalked it off.
A Hearts long throw-in was palmed into the net by United keeper Radoslaw Cierzniak, but it was also disallowed.
Ciftci was twice denied by Hearts keeper Jamie MacDonald and struck another shot off the post.
The draw means Hearts have only lost one match at home since they started on -15 points at the start of the season and have reduced the penalty to just -7 in eight matches.
Dundee United cling on to sixth place on goal difference with 10 points, ahead of Partick Thistle.
After an even first period, the visitors stepped up the pressure after the break but could not find a way past a resolute Hearts defence.
The Tayside outfit's controlled start had Hearts pegged back during the early stages but it was the hosts that registered the first shot on target after seven minutes.
Jason Holt wriggled free in midfield but Radoslaw Cierzniak got down well to his bouncing effort.
Hearts winger David Smith's inswinging free-kick then caused problems but the Polish goalkeeper made a decent block in a crowded box.
United responded with their first opening of the game after 11 minutes when David Goodwillie crashed a shot into the side-netting after a forceful run from Ciftci.
The visitors continued to look better in possession but Hearts were more dangerous on the break, and a long-range Smith effort worked Cierzniak.
United then upped the tempo and created a hat-trick of chances in quick succession. Stuart Armstrong shot wide from 18-yards before firing another effort over following neat build-up play by John Rankin and David Goodwillie.
Midfielder Rankin then had a stinging drive palmed away by goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald.
It seemed a matter of time before the opening goal would arrive for United.
Ciftci converted a well-executed finish from inside the box but Goodwillie had already been penalised for a push.
Back came Hearts. Jamie Hamill's thunderous hit from 35 yards had Cierzniak at full stretch to push a rising effort behind and, from Kevin McHattie's corner, Danny Wilson headed just over.
The visitors were then left incensed after having a goal ruled out by an assistant referee.
Callum Paterson's long throw caught out the goalkeeper to leave Dylan McGowan with a simple tap-in but a push in the area was spotted.
Before the gripping half was out, MacDonald made a great close-range block to deny Keith Watson after a threatening United counter.
The second period began in the same manner as United continued to press.
A Hamill slip in midfield allowed United forward Ciftci the chance to unleash a powerful shot that MacDonald was happy to beat away.
Rankin then should have done better with a left-footed drive that was straight at the Hearts goalkeeper.
Hearts were on the ropes and the upright came to their rescue in the 66th minute. Armstrong out-muscled Dylan McGowan on the flank and his cross found its way to Ciftci on the edge of the box but the Turkish player's first-time effort from 18 yards came back off the post.
Hearts were full of fight but for much of the game they offered little in an attacking sense. Wilson got his head to another Walker corner but again the ball drifted wide.
A captivating ending saw both teams look dangerous on the break but neither could provide the killer touch.
- 01 MacDonald
- 03 McHattie
- 04 Wilson
- 05 McGowan
- 30 McGhee
- 02 Hamill
- 08 Robinson (Tapping - 46' )
- 12 Paterson
- 14 Walker
- 15 Holt (Stevenson - 71' )
- 17 Smith (B King - 64' )
- 13 Ridgers
- 16 McKay
- 07 Stevenson
- 19 B King
- 20 Tapping
- 18 Carrick
- 29 Oliver
- 01 Cierzniak
- 02 Dillon
- 06 Paton
- 12 Watson
- 26 Robertson
- 08 Rankin
- 10 Armstrong
- 19 Gauld (Mackay-Steven - 67' )
- 20 Souttar
- 07 Goodwillie
- 21 Ciftci Booked
- 25 McCallum
- 04 Butcher
- 16 Wilson
- 11 Mackay-Steven
- 40 Petrie
- 09 Graham
- 18 Dow
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.89:45
Danny Wilson crosses the ball in from the free kick.89:23 Booking
The referee cautions Nadir Ciftci for persistent infringement.89:12
Unfair challenge on Kevin McHattie by Nadir Ciftci results in a free kick.86:40
Kevin McHattie fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.86:01
Free kick awarded for a foul by Sean Dillon on Callum Paterson.85:31
David Goodwillie has an effort at goal and missed to the right of the target.84:37
Jamie Hamill takes the free kick.84:15
Paul Paton challenges Callum Tapping unfairly and gives away a free kick.83:21
Jamie Walker has an effort at goal. Radoslaw Cierzniak makes a block.82:09
Corner taken by Gary Mackay-Steven from the left by-line.81:08
Corner taken by Gary Mackay-Steven.79:02
Corner taken by Kevin McHattie from the right by-line.78:34
Jamie MacDonald takes the free kick.78:14
David Goodwillie is caught offside.76:17
John Souttar takes the free kick.76:06
Callum Paterson challenges Nadir Ciftci unfairly and gives away a free kick.75:44
Jamie Walker produces a cross.74:02
Header by Danny Wilson goes to the left of the goal.
Corner taken by Jamie Walker.72:03
Free kick taken by Jamie MacDonald.71:38
Free kick awarded for a foul by Nadir Ciftci on Jamie Hamill.70:32 Substitution
Substitution Ryan Stevenson replaces Jason Holt.68:45
Jamie MacDonald takes the free kick.68:28
Keith Watson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kevin McHattie.67:50
Free kick taken by Sean Dillon.67:33
Jason Holt is penalised for a handball.66:54 Substitution
Substitution Gary Mackay-Steven is brought on as a substitute for Ryan Gauld.66:14
Corner taken by Ryan Gauld from the right by-line.65:08
Nadir Ciftci takes the chance to get an effort at goal and bounces off the post.64:23
Danny Wilson takes the free kick.63:55
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kevin McHattie by Nadir Ciftci.63:04 Substitution
Substitution David Smith leaves the field to be replaced by Billy King.61:22
Corner from the left by-line taken by Stuart Armstrong.60:49
John Rankin restarts play with the free kick.60:42
Foul by Callum Tapping on John Rankin, free kick awarded.58:59
John Rankin takes a shot.57:51
Free kick taken by Radoslaw Cierzniak.57:27
The referee blows for offside.57:01
Free kick taken by Jamie MacDonald.56:52
Jamie Walker fouled by Paul Paton, the ref awards a free kick.56:21
Nadir Ciftci has an effort at goal.52:58
Kevin McHattie crosses the ball in from the free kick.52:40
Foul by Andrew Robertson on David Smith, free kick awarded.52:05
Stuart Armstrong produces a cross.51:23
Jamie Walker takes the chance to get an effort at goal and missed to the right of the target.50:36
Danny Wilson takes the free kick.50:31
David Goodwillie is adjudged to have handled the ball.50:16
The ball is crossed by Danny Wilson.49:37
Header at goal by Jamie Walker to the left of the net.48:14
Header by David Goodwillie goes to the left of the goal.48:09
Corner taken by Ryan Gauld from the right by-line.47:51
David Goodwillie takes the chance to get an effort at goal.47:00
Free kick taken by Sean Dillon.46:53
The referee blows for offside.45:01
The referee blows the whistle to start the second half.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Scott Robinson goes off and Callum Tapping comes on.45:00 +0:45 Half time
Half Time The referee blows for half time.45:00 +0:26
Corner taken by Kevin McHattie.43:50
Header at goal by Stuart Armstrong misses to the right.43:26
Keith Watson takes a shot. Jamie MacDonald parries the ball but the danger is not over.42:06
Corner taken by Kevin McHattie from the left by-line.41:42
Shot by Callum Paterson.37:20
Free kick taken by Radoslaw Cierzniak.35:50
Kevin McHattie restarts play with the free kick.35:39
Nadir Ciftci gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Smith.34:26
Header at goal by Danny Wilson misses left of the target.34:13
Corner from the right by-line taken by Kevin McHattie.33:53
Kevin McHattie takes a shot.30:38
Free kick taken by Jamie MacDonald.30:13
Andrew Robertson is ruled offside.29:16
Jamie MacDonald takes the free kick.29:05
David Goodwillie concedes a free kick for a foul on Dylan McGowan.26:47
The ball is delivered by Jamie Hamill.24:35
Corner from the left by-line taken by Jamie Walker.23:14
Free kick taken by Paul Paton.23:05
Foul by David Smith on Paul Paton, free kick awarded.22:19
Shot by John Rankin. Parried by Jamie MacDonald back into danger.21:57
The ball is swung over by Kevin McHattie.20:53
Stuart Armstrong takes a shot and missed to the right of the target.19:55
Scott Robinson takes a weak shot and went wide of the left-hand post.19:45
Jamie Hamill takes the free kick.19:38
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Smith by Paul Paton.17:55
Stuart Armstrong takes a shot and missed to the right of the goal.16:12
John Rankin restarts play with the free kick.16:06
Jamie Hamill challenges Ryan Gauld unfairly and gives away a free kick.14:35
David Smith takes a shot.10:04
David Goodwillie takes a shot and went wide of the right hand post.9:30
Radoslaw Cierzniak restarts play with the free kick.9:05
The official flags Jamie Walker offside.7:53
David Smith restarts play with the free kick.7:11
Sean Dillon gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Callum Paterson.6:43
Jason Holt has an effort at goal.6:04
The ball is swung over by Jamie Walker.5:44
Jamie MacDonald restarts play with the free kick.5:31
Stuart Armstrong concedes a free kick for a foul on Dylan McGowan.1:00
Free kick taken by John Rankin.0:46
Jamie Hamill gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ryan Gauld.0:00
The referee gets the match started.
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