Craig Gordon poised to set new Hearts goalkeeping record against Cove Rangers

Craig Gordon will set a new Hearts goalkeeping record with a clean sheet against Cove Rangers on Tuesday night in the Premier Sports Cup.

Monday, 12th July 2021, 4:45 pm
Hearts goalkeeper Craig Gordon can set a new record against Cove Rangers.

Keeping the Aberdeen-based side out at Tynecastle Park would be a ninth consecutive shutout for the 38-year-old in competitive club games. That would eclipse the run of eight clean sheets achieved by Jon McLaughlin between December 2017 and January 2018.

Recently appointed Hearts captain, Gordon finished last season without losing a goal in his final seven domestic matches. That number reached eight on Saturday as Hearts began the Premier Sports Cup with a 2-0 win at Peterhead to kick off the 2021/22 campaign.

He is now aiming for a ninth clean sheet and possibly more with the Edinburgh club completing their League Cup section against Stirling Albion and Inverness Caledonian Thistle after the Cove fixture.

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Gordon stands just 90 minutes from adding this latest accolade to his collection with the club he supported as a child. He has won the Scottish Cup, Championship, Player of the Year, and Young Player of the Year at Tynecastle, plus a place in the Hearts Hall of Fame.

“It would be massive for him to do it when you think about the names that have been here previously. We’ve had some really good goalkeepers and big names, so for Craig to get that honour would be brilliant,” said Robbie Neilson the Hearts manager.

“Knowing him, he will just be wanting the team to win. That’s the most important thing. Craig has been great since he first came in. His objective was to get back into the national team and make the Euros, so he managed to do that.

“This season, we want to get the team up the league and be competing at the top end of it. He is the captain now so he’s leading in the dressing room as well.

“It was great for him to keep a clean sheet up at Peterhead and hopefully he can set a new record against Cove. He has been a rock at the back for us, giving that security and composure.

“He is also great on the training pitch for younger goalkeepers like Ross Stewart, Harry Stone and the younger ones.”

The last goal Gordon conceded in competitive action was back on March 6 when Jason Cummings scored a penalty for Dundee in Hearts’ 2-1 win at Tynecastle. He has managed shutouts against Ayr United, Arbroath, Dunfermline, Alloa Athletic, Morton, Inverness, Raith Rovers and Peterhead since then.

McLaughlin, now second-choice goalkeeper behind Allan McGregor at Rangers, spent only one season with Hearts. He managed to set a new club record with eight clean sheets against Hibs [twice], Motherwell, Dundee, Celtic, St Johnstone, Aberdeen and Hamilton.

Motherwell’s Curtis Main denied him a ninth shutout by scoring a 90th-minute equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Tynecastle on January 27, 2018.

Both Gordon and McLaughlin were part of the Scotland squad for the European Championship but remained unused substitutes throughout the three group matches. National coach Steve Clarke kept faith with David Marshall as his first-choice.

Gordon plans to continue pushing for a place in the starting line-up for September’s World Cup qualifiers. More clean sheets will do his case no harm.

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