Scottish Premiership
HeartsHeart of Midlothian2Ross CountyRoss County2

Heart of Midlothian 2-2 Ross County

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland at Tynecastle

Hearts hit back twice to earn a point at home to 10-man Ross County.

Graham Carey intercepted a pass from Callum Tapping to run in and shoot County in front on 20 minutes but Callum Paterson levelled soon after.

Melvin De Leeuw drove the visitors ahead after the interval before Richard Brittain picked up his second caution.

With Hearts piling forward, Ryan Stevenson bundled the ball over the line from a corner, with Paterson hitting the crossbar late on.

Every point is crucial for Hearts as they gradually near positive figures following their 15-point deduction for entering administration.

They are now on -3 but made up small ground on 11th-place Kilmarnock, who lost at home to Motherwell.

Derek Adams' men came agonisingly close to a first league win since 5 October.

Both sides had early opportunities to take the lead. Kevin Luckassen found space inside Hearts 18-yard box but his curling shot was wide of Jamie MacDonald's goal.

At the other end good play by Paterson down the left set up Scott Robinson for a deep cross that Jamie Walker was inches away from connecting with.

Hearts always looked dangerous going forward and a mix up in the County defence almost led to the opening goal.

Centre half Scott Boyd collided with keeper Mark Brown as a cross came into the box and neither knew where the ball was before it hit the shin of Boyd and slowly rolled wide.

Walker had a crack at goal but midway through the first half a terrible mistake by Tapping allowed Ross County to take the lead.

The youngster tried an ambitious pass across the field that was intercepted by Carey, who found himself clean through on goal and fired the ball underneath the body of MacDonald.

Their lead lasted just six minutes, though.

Robinson mis-hit a corner but the ball eventually found its way to Paterson who fired an unstoppable left foot volley beyond Brown and into the net.

Brittain found his way into the book of referee Crawford Allan after wrestling Walker to the ground.

De Leeuw rattled the underside of the bar but County regained the lead when Hearts failed to clear the ball and De Leeuw fired the ball low into the corner.

Brittain fouled Walker again to collect his second booking.

Hearts pressed again and substitute David Smith shot over from close range before 'keeper Mark Brown held on to Stevenson's effort from 20-yards.

Their numerical advantage was eventually made to count two minutes from time when Stevenson bundled the ball home from a corner.

Smith's delivery was knocked down by Danny Wilson and the forward forced the ball home inside a congested six-yard box.

Paterson crashed a header off the bar from a Smith free kick as the Jambos nearly took all three points.

Line-ups

Hearts

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1MacDonald
  • 30McGhee
  • 3McHattie
  • 20TappingSubstituted forSmithat 57'minutes
  • 5McGowan
  • 4Wilson
  • 2Hamill
  • 8RobinsonSubstituted forKingat 80'minutes
  • 12Paterson
  • 7Stevenson
  • 14Walker

Substitutes

  • 13Ridgers
  • 16McKay
  • 17Smith
  • 18Carrick
  • 19King
  • 26King
  • 29Oliver

Ross County

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1BrownBooked at 89mins
  • 4KettlewellBooked at 80mins
  • 11De LeeuwSubstituted forMaatsenat 78'minutes
  • 6Micic
  • 21McLean
  • 5Boyd
  • 8BrittainBooked at 64mins
  • 10Quinn
  • 15GlenSubstituted forKlokat 70'minutesBooked at 76mins
  • 19Luckassen
  • 23CareyBooked at 25mins

Substitutes

  • 2Kovacevic
  • 9Mustafi
  • 14Maatsen
  • 16Cooper
  • 17Ross
  • 18Klok
  • 20Fraser
Referee:
Crawford Allan
Attendance:
12,508

Match Stats

Home TeamHeartsAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home12
Away10
Shots on Target
Home5
Away4
Corners
Home12
Away5
Fouls
Home8
Away15

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Hearts 2, Ross County 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Hearts 2, Ross County 2.

  3. Post update

    Callum Paterson (Hearts) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the centre of the box.

  4. Post update

    David Smith (Hearts) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Graham Carey (Ross County).

  6. Goal!

    Goal! Hearts 2, Ross County 2. Ryan Stevenson (Hearts) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Mark Brown.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. David Smith (Hearts) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Callum Paterson (Hearts).

  10. Post update

    Graham Carey (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Hearts. Billy King replaces Scott Robinson.

  12. Booking

    Stuart Kettlewell (Ross County) is shown the yellow card.

  13. Post update

    Jamie Walker (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Stuart Kettlewell (Ross County).

  15. Post update

    David Smith (Hearts) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Kevin Luckassen (Ross County).

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Ross County. Darren Maatsen replaces Melvin De Leeuw.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jamie Hamill (Hearts) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

  19. Booking

    Marc Klok (Ross County) is shown the yellow card.

  20. Post update

    Scott Robinson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.