Hearts 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.
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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, 16:07
- Hearts 2 - 3 Raith
- Neilson unhappy with Beaton role
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.
Brilliant play from Kai Kennedy, turning Halkett inside out before racing into the box. His cross evades Gordon and is bundled in by Tumilty.
Frear OFF, Ginnelly ON
Another Raith penalty... GOAL
Kennedy races into the box and is brought down by Smith.
Duku, on at half-time for Ugwu, sends Gordon the wrong way.
Hearts deserve to be a goal behind after a pedestrian and, at times, messy first-half performance.
Neilson, who has been unhappy with his players, has seen his Craig Gordon ensure it is only a goal deficit with a brilliant penalty save from Regan Hendry after a clumsy Kingsley challenge.
The left-back was involved in the opening goal. He and Berra, who has gone off injured, had a misunderstanding which led to the corner where the goal came from.
While Hearts have failed to progress the ball into dangerous areas, Raith have bee the antithesis. Really bright, direct play with Armstrong and Kennedy getting space down the flanks and Matthews and Spencer getting up in support.
A huge improvement required.