Scottish Premiership
Ross County0Hearts3

Ross County 0-3 Heart of Midlothian

Hearts moved 11 points clear of Ross County in third place in the Premiership with three second-half goals in Dingwall.

Jamie Walker broke the deadlock when he got a lucky break in the box after an attempted clearance deflected off him.

Then substitute Abiola Dauda scored his first goal for Hearts with a fine finish.

He made it three when he finished off a strong run and cut-back from Dario Zanatta.

The home side were given a significant double boost before kick-off with the news that top scorer Liam Boyce had signed a contract extension and was fit to start the match.

Loanee David Goodwillie made his debut against a Hearts side who started with debutant John Souttar at centre-back.

Hearts threatened immediately when Sam Nicholson gathered and fired narrowly off target from outside the box after only 18 seconds.

Martin Woods then handed Juanma possession but the visiting striker snatched at his shot and it sailed over.

After that County emerged as an attacking force, using set plays to good effect. Ian McShane's delivery found Jackson Irvine's intelligent run but the midfielder powered his header over from six yards.

Irvine was then close to connecting with Michael Gardyne's wonderful low ball across the six-yard box.

Souttar did well to flick Goodwillie's shot narrowly over the bar before Gardyne and Boyce got in behind the Hearts defence but failed to test Neil Alexander.

It was Jim McIntyre's side who started the second period on the front foot, with Boyce slamming a curling shot against the crossbar after a slick attack.

Abiola Dauda
Abiola Dauda scored twice - his first goals for Hearts

Boyce then rose superbly to nod towards goal but could not generate the required power to beat Alexander.

The decisive moment came in the most fortunate circumstances from a Hearts corner.

Don Cowie whipped it towards the near post, Irvine attempted to head clear but the ball cannoned off Walker with goalkeeper Scott Fox claiming he was impeded.

Substitute Alex Schalk had a good opportunity to level from close range before Gardyne delivered a ball to Boyce who turned brilliantly to create an opening but shot wide.

Boyce again turned provider for Gardyne, who drove towards the edge of the box but the winger smashed it way over the bar, summing up a frustrating night for the hosts.

Hearts substitute Dauda announced his arrival in Scottish football when he gathered possession on the left, took his time and bent a fantastic finish into the far corner to settle the match.

He was not finished there as Zanatta fed the Nigerian striker on the edge of the box and he curled in another beauty - this time with his left foot.

Dauda promises much on this evidence.

A three-goal margin was harsh on McIntyre's side but they simply could not find a route past a resolute Hearts defence, failing to score in a home match for the first time this season.

Line-ups

Ross County

  • 1Fox
  • 12FosterBooked at 90mins
  • 15Davies
  • 43Quinn
  • 2Fraser
  • 8McShane
  • 26WoodsBooked at 21mins
  • 36IrvineSubstituted forFranksat 78'minutes
  • 7Gardyne
  • 10Boyce
  • 25GoodwillieSubstituted forSchalkat 59'minutesBooked at 70mins

Substitutes

  • 3Reckord
  • 6Robertson
  • 9Graham
  • 17Franks
  • 18Murdoch
  • 21Woods
  • 23Schalk

Hearts

  • 1Alexander
  • 17Oshaniwa
  • 24Souttar
  • 22McGheeSubstituted forSmithat 83'minutes
  • 2Paterson
  • 11NicholsonBooked at 76mins
  • 21Cowie
  • 14Pallardo Gonzalez
  • 7WalkerSubstituted forZanattaat 75'minutes
  • 16Sutchuin-DjoumSubstituted forDaudaat 62'minutes
  • 19Delgado Lloria

Substitutes

  • 13Hamilton
  • 20Reilly
  • 25Dauda
  • 26Beith
  • 27Buchanan
  • 28Smith
  • 44Zanatta
Referee:
Steven McLean
Attendance:
3,391

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamHearts
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home11
Away9
Shots on Target
Home3
Away3
Corners
Home4
Away2
Fouls
Home11
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Ross County 0, Heart of Midlothian 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Ross County 0, Heart of Midlothian 3.

Foul by Ian McShane (Ross County).

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

Booking

Richard Foster (Ross County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Richard Foster (Ross County).

Juanma (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 0, Heart of Midlothian 3. Abiola Dauda (Heart of Midlothian) left footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Dario Zanatta.

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 0, Heart of Midlothian 2. Abiola Dauda (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Juwon Oshaniwa.

Martin Woods (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Sam Nicholson (Heart of Midlothian).

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Liam Smith replaces Jordan McGhee because of an injury.

Martin Woods (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Juanma (Heart of Midlothian).

Attempt missed. Michael Gardyne (Ross County) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Alex Schalk (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Miguel Pallardó (Heart of Midlothian).

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Jonathan Franks replaces Jackson Irvine.

Booking

Sam Nicholson (Heart of Midlothian) is shown the yellow card.

Sam Nicholson (Heart of Midlothian) has gone down, but that's a dive.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Dario Zanatta replaces Jamie Walker.

Attempt saved. Alex Schalk (Ross County) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Booking

Alex Schalk (Ross County) is shown the yellow card.

Alex Schalk (Ross County) has gone down, but that's a dive.

Jackson Irvine (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Juwon Oshaniwa (Heart of Midlothian).

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Abiola Dauda replaces Arnaud Djoum.

Michael Gardyne (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Sam Nicholson (Heart of Midlothian).

Foul by Jackson Irvine (Ross County).

Arnaud Djoum (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Alex Schalk replaces David Goodwillie.

Marcus Fraser (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Juanma (Heart of Midlothian).

Attempt missed. Arnaud Djoum (Heart of Midlothian) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Michael Gardyne.

Goal!

Goal! Ross County 0, Heart of Midlothian 1. Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian) header from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Don Cowie.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Jackson Irvine.

Attempt saved. Liam Boyce (Ross County) header from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Hand ball by Arnaud Djoum (Heart of Midlothian).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic24174364214355
2Aberdeen25174444261855
3Hearts24128445242144
4Ross County25103124040033
5St Johnstone239593938132
6Dundee247983741-430
7Inverness CT237883032-229
8Partick Thistle237792228-628
9Hamilton2577113045-1528
10Motherwell2475122639-1326
11Kilmarnock2566132748-2124
12Dundee Utd2334162446-2213
View full Scottish Premiership table

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