Scottish Championship
HeartsHeart of Midlothian6AlloaAlloa Athletic0

Hearts 6-0 Alloa Athletic: Robbie Neilson's side two points from title after rout

Liam Boyce completed his hat-trick with a thumping second-half finish
Liam Boyce completed his hat-trick with a thumping second-half finish

Hearts are two points from the Scottish Championship title after Liam Boyce scored a hat-trick in the thrashing of bottom club Alloa Athletic.

The Tynecastle side's return to the top flight at the first attempt will be confirmed on Saturday should Raith Rovers and Dundee both fail to win.

Euan Henderson, Aaron McEneff and Jamie Walker also netted as the hosts claimed a first victory in five matches.

Alloa stay seven points behind Arbroath and Morton having played a game more.

Peter Grant's side will be relegated on Saturday if Arbroath, Morton and Ayr United all win.

Liam Boyce's smart first-time finish and penalty - after Henderson's 60-yard run was halted by goalkeeper Neil Parry - had Hearts 2-0 ahead at half-time.

Henderson netted a terrific goal from Peter Haring's defence-splitting pass before Boyce blasted home the fourth early in the second half.

McEneff kept three defenders at bay to drill into the bottom corner for his first Hearts goal and substitute Walker capitalised on Parry's error to complete the rout.

Robbie Neilson's men now have a 14-point lead with three games to play, while closest challengers Raith and Dundee each have five matches left.

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson: "We've taken a bit of flak, so it's good to get back to winning ways. There'll be a few pundits that aren't happy tonight so it's good to ram it down their throat.

"Internally we know what we've got here. I'm delighted to see John Souttar back. He did great. All in all, it was a great team performance."

Alloa manager Peter Grant: "We played a lot of good stuff but, yet again, you see the goals we lose are very poor. It's a sore one."

Line-ups

Hearts

Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Gordon
  • 2Smith
  • 26Halkett
  • 4SouttarSubstituted forWalkerat 84'minutes
  • 5HaringBooked at 90mins
  • 12Logan
  • 16Halliday
  • 18McEneff
  • 9Gnanduillet
  • 10BoyceSubstituted forMackay-Stevenat 76'minutes
  • 31HendersonSubstituted forNaismithat 60'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Walker
  • 13Stewart
  • 14Naismith
  • 17Mackay-Steven
  • 19Irving
  • 24Frear
  • 28Popescu

Alloa

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Parry
  • 8Robertson
  • 2Taggart
  • 5Graham
  • 3Dick
  • 22Grant
  • 6HetheringtonBooked at 41mins
  • 7Cawley
  • 10TroutenSubstituted forScougallat 61'minutes
  • 24WilliamsonSubstituted forMurrayat 54'minutes
  • 11Cameron

Substitutes

  • 9Buchanan
  • 12Scougall
  • 15Jamieson
  • 17Connelly
  • 19Thomson
  • 23Murray
  • 31Willison
Referee:
Steven McLean

Match Stats

Home TeamHeartsAway TeamAlloa
Possession
Home60%
Away40%
Shots
Home15
Away4
Shots on Target
Home10
Away1
Corners
Home3
Away2
Fouls
Home15
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Heart of Midlothian 6, Alloa Athletic 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Heart of Midlothian 6, Alloa Athletic 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Armand Gnanduillet (Heart of Midlothian).

  4. Post update

    Scott Taggart (Alloa Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Booking

    Peter Haring (Heart of Midlothian) is shown the yellow card.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Peter Haring (Heart of Midlothian).

  7. Post update

    Stefan Scougall (Alloa Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Goal!

    Goal! Heart of Midlothian 6, Alloa Athletic 0. Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian) left footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Armand Gnanduillet.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Liam Dick (Alloa Athletic) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

  10. Post update

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

  11. Post update

    Hand ball by Steven Hetherington (Alloa Athletic).

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Jamie Walker replaces John Souttar.

  13. Post update

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

  14. Post update

    Foul by Ray Grant (Alloa Athletic).

  15. Post update

    Andrew Halliday (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Stefan Scougall (Alloa Athletic).

  17. Post update

    Corner, Alloa Athletic. Conceded by Michael Smith.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Steven Naismith (Heart of Midlothian).

  19. Post update

    Liam Dick (Alloa Athletic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  20. Post update

    Foul by John Souttar (Heart of Midlothian).

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hearts24155456243250
2Raith Rovers22106639271236
3Dundee2210664337636
4Inverness CT238963224833
5Dunfermline228773028231
6Queen of Sth2293103644-830
7Ayr236892830-226
8Arbroath2367101928-925
9Morton2367102031-1125
10Alloa2446142757-3018
View full Scottish Championship table

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