Scottish Championship
Cowdenbeath0Hearts2

Cowdenbeath 0-2 Heart of Midlothian

Hearts opened the scoring at Central Park on 25 minutes

Hearts stretched their lead at the top of the Championship to 12 points with a comfortable victory at Central Park.

James Keatings fired the visitors ahead with a sharp, first-time finish from Adam Eckersley's pass on 25 minutes.

The same player hit the post from a free kick soon after as Cowdenbeath struggled to make an impact.

The Fife side improved after the break but Callum Paterson controlled with his head and chest before hammering in a powerful volley to wrap up the points.

This was Hearts' 15th win from 17 league games and their unbeaten record was never under any serious threat.

On a narrow, heavy pitch, Hearts chose to get the ball forward quickly, with Paterson pushed up front from his normal beat at right-back, alongside Keatings.

And the change of tactics paid off, with the home defence finding it difficult to contain Paterson.

Cowdenbeath keeper Robbie Thomson gathered a fierce shot from Jamie Walker shortly before the breakthrough goal arrived.

Miguel Pallardo released Eckersley down the left channel and the full-back raced on to square for Keatings to slam the ball home.

Keatings then thumped the base of a post with a curling free-kick from 25 yards, while Brad McKay headed straight at Thomson from a promising position.

Callum Paterson cracked in a stunning volley midway through the second half
Callum Paterson cracked in a powerful volley midway through the second half

The hosts adopted a more direct route in the second half and spurned a good chance to equalise when Colin Marshall drove forward to slip a pass to Sean Higgins but Neil Alexander got down smartly to save the forward's low shot.

Hearts doubled their lead in spectacular fashion when Paterson got his head to a diagonal cross from Pallardo before bringing the ball down on his chest and firing a shot past Thomson.

The Edinburgh side went close to extending their lead when Prince Buaben's half-volley was deflected wide and McKay lifted a shot over following a corner.

Craig Sutherland had two opportunities to net for Cowdenbeath but lacked composure when angling a strike wide and Alexander produced an impressive stop to keep out the substitute's strong, close-range header.

Hearts defender McKay then made it a hat-trick of missed chances when heading wide from a corner and Robbie Buchanan, on for the last few minutes, let fly but could not add any further cheer for the 3,000 travelling supporters.

The teams observed a minute's silence in memory of those who were killed in an accident in Glasgow city centre yesterday
The teams observed a minute's silence in memory of those who were killed in an accident in Glasgow yesterday
Hearts celebrate Callum Paterson's impressive volley
Hearts visit Livingston on Saturday before the New Year derby with Hibs at Tynecastle on 3 January

Line-ups

Cowdenbeath

  • 17Thomson
  • 20Miller
  • 4O'Brien
  • 6WedderburnBooked at 27mins
  • 32Halsman
  • 12KaneSubstituted forCampbellat 72'minutes
  • 26Marshall
  • 21JohnstonSubstituted forJurisicat 81'minutes
  • 8Milne
  • 24CallaghanSubstituted forSutherlandat 45'minutes
  • 10Higgins

Substitutes

  • 2Campbell
  • 9Sutherland
  • 15Jurisic
  • 18Brownlie
  • 22Lynas
  • 25Sneddon
  • 30Scullion

Hearts

  • 1Alexander
  • 30McGhee
  • 22McKay
  • 4Wilson
  • 44Eckersley
  • 17BuabenSubstituted forHoltat 82'minutes
  • 14Pallardo Gonzalez
  • 6Gomis
  • 2Paterson
  • 19KeatingsSubstituted forNicholsonat 60'minutes
  • 7WalkerSubstituted forBuchananat 88'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Robinson
  • 10Holt
  • 11Nicholson
  • 15Gallacher
  • 16Oliver
  • 28Buchanan
  • 35Flanagan
Referee:
Greg Aitken
Attendance:
3,718

Match Stats

Home TeamCowdenbeathAway TeamHearts
Possession
Home43%
Away57%
Shots
Home7
Away13
Shots on Target
Home4
Away5
Corners
Home2
Away10
Fouls
Home12
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Cowdenbeath 0, Heart of Midlothian 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Cowdenbeath 0, Heart of Midlothian 2.

Attempt missed. Robbie Buchanan (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Foul by Iain Campbell (Cowdenbeath).

Callum Paterson (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Cowdenbeath. Conceded by Brad McKay.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Nathaniel Wedderburn.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Robbie Buchanan replaces Jamie Walker.

Foul by Craig Sutherland (Cowdenbeath).

Jason Holt (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Iain Campbell (Cowdenbeath).

Sam Nicholson (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Jason Holt replaces Prince Buaben.

Attempt missed. Brad McKay (Heart of Midlothian) header from the centre of the box misses to the right following a corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Cowdenbeath. Danijel Jurisic replaces Craig Johnston.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Kyle Miller.

Attempt saved. Craig Sutherland (Cowdenbeath) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Foul by Callum Paterson (Heart of Midlothian).

Kyle Miller (Cowdenbeath) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Sean Higgins (Cowdenbeath).

Miguel Pallardó (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Cowdenbeath. Iain Campbell replaces Chris Kane.

Attempt missed. Craig Sutherland (Cowdenbeath) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Attempt missed. Brad McKay (Heart of Midlothian) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Thomas O'Brien.

Attempt missed. Prince Buaben (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Hand ball by Sam Nicholson (Heart of Midlothian).

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Thomas O'Brien.

Attempt saved. Craig Johnston (Cowdenbeath) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Foul by Adam Eckersley (Heart of Midlothian).

Chris Kane (Cowdenbeath) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Goal! Cowdenbeath 0, Heart of Midlothian 2. Callum Paterson (Heart of Midlothian) left footed shot from outside the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Miguel Pallardó.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Sam Nicholson replaces James Keatings.

Attempt saved. Sean Higgins (Cowdenbeath) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Corner, Cowdenbeath. Conceded by Adam Eckersley.

Foul by Callum Paterson (Heart of Midlothian).

Jordan Halsman (Cowdenbeath) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt saved. Lewis Milne (Cowdenbeath) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Foul by Miguel Pallardó (Heart of Midlothian).

Chris Kane (Cowdenbeath) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hearts1715204583747
2Rangers17112438152335
3Hibernian1784529181128
4Queen of Sth178453022828
5Falkirk177552322126
6Dumbarton175481635-1919
7Raith Rovers175391936-1718
8Cowdenbeath1742111738-2114
9Alloa1733111528-1312
10Livingston1733111626-107
View full Scottish Championship table

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