Hearts 0-0 Ross County: Owen Coyle unhappy at disallowed goal

Ross County manager Owen Coyle
Ross County manager Owen Coyle felt his side had a goal wrongly disallowed at Tynecastle

Ross County manager Owen Coyle believes the match officials were wrong to rule out Alex Schalk's goal in a stalemate at Tynecastle.

The striker finished strongly past Hearts goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin in the first-half, but was judged to have been offside when he received Sean Kelly's pass.

Coyle was adamant that Hearts defender Michael Smith played the Dutchman on.

"The flag went up late, so I was bemused at the side," Coyle said.

"There's no doubt Schalk scored a perfectly good goal. When Schalk strikes it, the flag goes up."

Schalk also struck the post early in the 0-0 draw at Tynecastle, although Hearts went on to dominate much of the opening period and forced the County goalkeeper Aaron McCarey into a series of saves.

McCarey also had to react quickly in the second half to keep out a Christophe Berra header.

Hearts captain Christophe Berra
Hearts captain Christophe Berra's second-half header was kept out by Ross County goalkeeper Aaron McCarey

"At times we had to stand up and be counted, and we did," Coyle said. "Hearts had a lot of pressure with balls into the box and it's always a tough game here.

"We were decimated with injury through the game. The skipper (Andrew Davies) and Jim O'Brien (went off injured), and everybody could see the players had the heart for the fight. It's an invaluable point. We need to add a little quality on the ball, but it was a very good performance.

"Christophe is very good (in the air), he attacks (the ball) very well. When that happens, your goalkeeper is called upon and Aaron McCarey dealt with everything. That's what he's there for. He's a very good goalkeeper, as is (Scott Fox), who's back fit again, and Aaron McCarey responded well to that competition."

Hearts have now failed to win in five consecutive league games, with their second match in front of the rebuilt main stand at Tynecastle delivering another draw following the 1-1 meeting with Partick Thistle last weekend.

Hearts manager Craig Levein
Hearts manager Craig Levein was happy with his side's performance but not their finishing at Tynecastle

Hearts manager Craig Levein believed his team's performance was worthy of a victory, but let down by the quality of their finishing.

"Two totally contrasting feelings between the result and the performance," Levein said.

"The performance is what I want us to do in every match, we played some really good football and created loads of chances, but we didn't take any of them. We had sustained periods of pressure with good chances and that's all I can ask for. The last part is putting the ball in the net and today wasn't our day.

"We've got guys who are good finishers who put the ball in the net in training. There's some nervousness, I get that, but we work on our finishing, on putting the ball into the box in training. I've been here before, when you're playing well and not winning is the worst combination, but I'm convinced the goals will start to come and then it will be easier.

"I didn't hear (Hearts fans booing at the end). When I was walking across the pitch I heard a lot of people applauding and they recognised the efforts the players put in to win."

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