LiveHearts 2 - 3 Raith Rovers RECAP: Neilson's men fall to first Tynecastle defeat after disastrous 50 minutes
Hearts welcome Raith Rovers to Tynecastle for the first of two games between the sides across four days.
Robbie Neilson’s men know they can pull ten points ahead of rivals Dundee who dropped points at Arbroath on Friday night with a 1-1 draw. Meanwhile, second-place Dunfermline face Ayr United at East End Park as they look to stay on the coat tails of the Championship favourites.
Opponents Raith Rovers have not played since December, a coronavirus outbreak swept through the club leading to last weekend’s fixture with Inverness CT postponed with the Fife side unable to put together a squad of 13. The club reportedly tried to bring in emergency loans but ultimately had to request a postponement.
John McGlynn’s men sit fifth in the league having only played nine games so far. One of their games in hand will be played on Tuesday at Stark’s Park when the do the honours and welcome Hearts to Kirkcaldy.
The Championship league leaders have been boosted by the news Stephen Kingsley has followed Michael Smith in signing an 18-month deal with back-up goalkeeper Ross Stewart also extending his loan from Livingston until the end of the season.
Hearts come into the match having lost just two games in 90 minutes all season with Neilson having a strong squad to pick up from with arguably his best XI available to him with the exception of John Souttar who continues to recover from a serious injury. But what team will he pick today?
We will have all the latest from Tynecastle throughout the afternoon as it happens, including updates, analysis and reaction.
Hearts v Raith Rovers LIVE: Updates, analysis and reaction from Tynecastle Park
Last updated: Saturday, 23 January, 2021, 20:39
- Hearts 2 - 3 Raith
- Neilson unhappy with Beaton role
Fans were, understandably - unhappy
'Out of order', 'Huge concerns' - Hearts fans rage at 'honking' performance in 3-2 defeat to Raith Rovers
Hearts fans were left in a tizz after seeing their side lose 3-2 to Raith Rovers.
Neilson was unhappy with John Beaton’s role and explains red card
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson explains his red card after Raith Rovers defeat and gives Christophe Berra injury update
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson was red-carded by referee John Beaton at the end of Raith Rovers’ 3-2 win at Tynecastle Park.
How the players rated
Hearts fell to their third defeat of the Championship season, losing 3-2 to Raith Rovers at Tynecastle.
FT: Hearts 2 - 3 Raith
Hearts fall to their third league defeat of the season and first loss at Tynecastle.
Truth be told it was done after a disastrous first 55 minutes. The home side were woeful and didn’t look like the league leaders. Raith played with a verve and vibrancy. Hearts looked like a learner driver who had stalled at a busy junction and didn’t know what to do.
Even after the interval, the team were all over the place allowing Raith to go into a 3-0 lead.
Hearts tried to rally and created chances to get a result but it wouldn’t have been deserved with too many players underperforming.
Jamie MacDonald pulled off some brilliant stops to secure the three points.
It means Hearts’ lead at the top is cut to six points.
A Boyce flick on released Naismith but his shot was hit straight at MacDonald.
Corner came in and Boyce (maybe) got the last touch.
A great pass from Irving released Ginnelly. His zipped cross was met by the head of Naismith but it cannoned off the bar.
This time Smith cuts on to his left and curls an effort towards goal but it is pushed away by MacDonald again.
Jamie MacDonald flies across his goal to pluck a Kingsley free kick out for a corner.
A good move
A brilliant pass from Popescu allowed Naismith to run free but his cross was diverted on to the post by an offside Boyce.
Jamie Walker, on for Halliday, should have made it 3-2. Set up by Boyce, he passed the ball towards the corner but gave MacDonald every chance to save it.
Mihai Popescu receiving treatment
The centre-back has had his head strapped and ready to resume.
A brilliant cross from Josh Ginnelly is headed past MacDonald by Boyce.
Halliday OFF, Walker ON
Hearts are all over the place
There is no fluidity to the team at all.
Ginnelly just skied a cross into the Gorgie stand.