Scottish Premiership
HeartsHeart of Midlothian2Ross CountyRoss County0

Heart of Midlothian 2-0 Ross County

By Chris McLaughlinBBC Scotland at Tynecastle
Callum Paterson celebrates his powerful strike at Tynecastle
Callum Paterson celebrates his powerful strike at Tynecastle

Hearts were strong enough to hold off Ross County despite playing most of the second half with 10 men.

Callum Paterson smashed in a wonderful angled shot to send the Tynecastle crowd wild on 15 minutes.

Captain Blazej Augustyn was dismissed for pulling back Liam Boyce soon after the break, prompting a period of dominance for the visitors.

But Osman Sow added a second goal before County substitute Craig Curran somehow hit the post from close range.

Hearts cement third place in the Premiership and close to within two points of second-placed Aberdeen.

County, who have never won at Hearts, were first to threaten as Neil Alexander tentatively tipped away a curling shot from Michael Gardyne.

The contest was then in danger of descending into a stodgy midfield battle as both sides fought fiercely for possession.

However, the deadlock was broken in some style.

Sam Nicholson's blocked effort at the edge of the box fell to the feet of Paterson who let fly from 18 yards and the ferocity of the full-back's shot gave Gary Woods in the County goal no chance.

It was a fourth goal of of the season for the 21-year-old, who is quickly becoming the first name on Robbie Neilson's team sheet.

The visitors were in no mood to let their heads go down but the Hearts back line, who have now conceded just one goal in four outings, stood firm.

At the other end, Hearts' young wingers continued to impress and Jamie Walker brought out a fine save from Woods with a fierce volley.

Osman Sow celebrates making it 2-0 to Hearts
Osman Sow celebrates making it 2-0 to Hearts

Just two minutes after the break, though, the home side were reduced to 10 men and stripped of their skipper.

As Boyce raced through on goal he was hauled back by Augustyn, with referee Alan Muir deeming it to be an act of denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.

Hearts then looked a little confused - should they sit in or should they go for number two?

Attack was the answer and it paid off when Sow doubled their lead after bundling in a neat Walker cross when it looked like the chance had gone.

If that was not enough to knock the wind out of the Highlanders' sails then the miss of the season may well have done the trick.

Curran found himself unmarked at the back post but could only knock the ball against the frame of the goal from two yards out.

Line-ups

Hearts

  • 1Alexander
  • 2Paterson
  • 4AugustynBooked at 48mins
  • 18RossiBooked at 10mins
  • 22McGhee
  • 7WalkerSubstituted forPallardo Gonzalezat 87'minutes
  • 8Buaben
  • 16Sutchuin-Djoum
  • 11NicholsonSubstituted forGomisat 76'minutes
  • 10Sow
  • 19Delgado LloriaBooked at 49minsSubstituted forSmithat 53'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Gomis
  • 12King
  • 13Hamilton
  • 14Pallardo Gonzalez
  • 23Swanson
  • 28Smith
  • 44Zanatta

Ross County

  • 21Woods
  • 2Fraser
  • 6RobertsonBooked at 23mins
  • 15DaviesBooked at 31mins
  • 12FosterBooked at 26mins
  • 7Gardyne
  • 36Irvine
  • 18MurdochSubstituted forWoodsat 53'minutes
  • 3ReckordSubstituted forFranksat 45'minutes
  • 10Boyce
  • 9GrahamSubstituted forCurranat 62'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Boyd
  • 8McShane
  • 11Curran
  • 17Franks
  • 23Schalk
  • 26Woods
  • 31Severn
Referee:
Alan Muir
Attendance:
16,264

Match Stats

Home TeamHeartsAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home43%
Away57%
Shots
Home9
Away8
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home4
Away6
Fouls
Home15
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Heart of Midlothian 2, Ross County 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Heart of Midlothian 2, Ross County 0.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Neil Alexander.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Liam Boyce (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Craig Curran (Ross County) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

  6. Post update

    Jonathan Franks (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Jordan McGhee (Heart of Midlothian).

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Miguel Pallardó replaces Jamie Walker because of an injury.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Liam Boyce (Ross County).

  10. Post update

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

  11. Post update

    Foul by Martin Woods (Ross County).

  12. Post update

    Jordan McGhee (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Arnaud Djoum (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Andrew Davies (Ross County).

  15. Post update

    Foul by Jackson Irvine (Ross County).

  16. Post update

    Jordan McGhee (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jackson Irvine (Ross County) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Morgaro Gomis replaces Sam Nicholson.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Ross County. Conceded by Callum Paterson.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Andrew Davies (Ross County) header from the centre of the box is too high.