Scottish Premiership
HeartsHeart of Midlothian0Ross CountyRoss County0

Heart of Midlothian 0-0 Ross County

By John BarnesBBC Scotland at Tynecastle
Callum Paterson has a chance for Hearts against Ross County
Callum Paterson (right) with a headed effort for Hearts in the first half

Second-placed Hearts were held to a goalless draw at home to Ross County in the Scottish Premiership.

Scott Fox made saves to deny Hearts' Tony Watt and Conor Sammon before the interval.

The hosts continued to dominate after the break but their ability to hit the target waned.

County, who threatened through Andrew Davies, finished with 10 men after Ian McShane received a second booking for a tackle on Faycal Rherras.

Fox in the box

Fox was the busier keeper and he was on top form as he produced a sequence of top-class saves, particularly in the first half.

He reacted well to turn striker Watt's shot from 16 yards over and held headed efforts from Callum Paterson and Igor Rossi.

Sammon was denied twice by the agile stopper as Hearts continued to press.

At the other end, a Martin Woods free-kick was flicked, in an attempt to clear, by Paterson against the head of Davies and the ball had to be scrambled clear by the Hearts defence.

Some of the visiting players claimed the ball had crossed the line but referee Alan Muir was unconvinced.

Deposed captain returns

Alim Ozturk
Alim Ozturk (left) replaced John Souttar

Alim Ozturk was relieved of the Hearts captaincy duties earlier in the week with the armband passed to midfielder Perry Kitchen.

Having been kept out of the side because of the form of John Souttar, Ozturk got his opportunity after half-an-hour when the former Dundee United defender had to limp off injured.

Hearts' dominance in possession continued into the second period but they found it harder to test Fox with Sam Nicholson clipping the outside of the post and Rherras firing over.

Late dismissal

The Staggies, who have never won at Tynecastle, lost a man when McShane - earlier booked for a foul on Nicholson - caught Rherras late and was promptly dismissed.

But the Highlanders held out to earn a point and their third draw in a row.

Ian McShane is sent off
McShane (far right) sat out the closing stages

What the managers said

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson: "A disappointing result but the first 60, 70 minutes the performance was great. Again we created loads of chances but we are not taking those chances as we should be.

"It's that final little bit, if we had done it today we would have another three points on the board.

"It was poor finishing from our point of view. The performance is the key for us. If the performance is there then the three points are there. But today similar to last week the three points weren't there."

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre: "If you take a point away from here it's never a bad result. That goes for any away ground in the Premiership, it's a tough league.

"We had Scott Fox to thank for a couple of good saves in that first period.

"We can't be disappointed with what the boys gave us today - I thought they were excellent and showed a real togetherness once we went down to 10 men.

"The Andrew Davies effort had not crossed the line. I've seen it back and as much as I would have wanted it to have gone over the line, it has not."

Line-ups

Hearts

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Hamilton
  • 2Paterson
  • 14SouttarSubstituted forOzturkat 30'minutes
  • 4Rossi
  • 3RherrasBooked at 55mins
  • 10Sutchuin-DjoumBooked at 87mins
  • 6Kitchen
  • 15CowieSubstituted forWalkerat 68'minutes
  • 11Nicholson
  • 18SammonSubstituted forJohnsenat 79'minutes
  • 32Watt

Substitutes

  • 5Ozturk
  • 7Walker
  • 8Buaben
  • 13Noring
  • 19Nowak
  • 20Johnsen
  • 23Muirhead

Ross County

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Fox
  • 2FraserBooked at 90mins
  • 43Quinn
  • 15DaviesSubstituted forMcEveleyat 79'minutes
  • 28van der Weg
  • 17FranksSubstituted forDingwallat 45'minutesBooked at 57mins
  • 8WoodsBooked at 50mins
  • 4Routis
  • 18McShaneBooked at 83mins
  • 7Gardyne
  • 10BoyceSubstituted forCurranat 64'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Cikos
  • 5McEveley
  • 11Curran
  • 12Chow
  • 16Dingwall
  • 31McCarey
  • 53Morrison
Referee:
Alan Muir
Attendance:
16,321

Match Stats

Home TeamHeartsAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home47%
Away53%
Shots
Home16
Away1
Shots on Target
Home6
Away0
Corners
Home9
Away4
Fouls
Home14
Away18

Live Text

  1. Post update

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

  2. Full Time

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

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Alim Ozturk (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Faycal Rherras (Heart of Midlothian).

  5. Post update

    Tony Dingwall (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Callum Paterson (Heart of Midlothian) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

  7. Booking

    Marcus Fraser (Ross County) is shown the yellow card.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Marcus Fraser.

  9. Post update

    Tony Watt (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Paul Quinn (Ross County).

  11. Booking

    Arnaud Djoum (Heart of Midlothian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Arnaud Djoum (Heart of Midlothian).

  13. Post update

    Marcus Fraser (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  14. Post update

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

  15. Post update

    Foul by Michael Gardyne (Ross County).

  16. Dismissal

    Second yellow card to Ian McShane (Ross County) for a bad foul.

  17. Post update

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

  18. Post update

    Foul by Ian McShane (Ross County).

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Tony Watt (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

  20. Post update

    Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.