Hearts 3 - 0 Cove Rangers RECAP: Neilson's men make it 2 from 2 in front of 2,000

Hearts host Cove Rangers for the first time in the club’s history this evening in the Premier Sports Cup.
Live coverage of Hearts' Premier Sports Cup clash with Cove Rangers. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)Live coverage of Hearts' Premier Sports Cup clash with Cove Rangers. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Live coverage of Hearts' Premier Sports Cup clash with Cove Rangers. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

Robbie Neilson’s men will be looking to make it two wins from two as they continue their preparations ahead of the start of the cinch Premiership at the end of the month when Celtic come to Gorgie.

This evening’s fixture is more than about advancing to the knockout stages of the Premier Sports Cup or players getting minutes under their belt, it’s also about the return of fans to Tynecastle Park.

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The 2,000 in attendance will be the first in nearly 500 days, since Hearts drew 1-1 with Motherwell on March 7.

Despite the loss to Stirling Albion at the weekend, Paul Hartley’s men will pose a threat and are favourites to win League One.

We will have updates throughout the evening with analysis and reaction to follow. The game kicks off at 7.45pm.

Hearts v Cove Rangers: Updates, analysis and reaction from Tynecastle Park

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Moments after a massive sclaff, Gary Mackay-Steven fires an excellent shot past Gourlay into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

More fine work from Haliday in the build-up, taking the ball off Vigurs.

The midfielder goes into the book for a late challenge on McIntosh.

HT: Hearts 2 - 0 Cove Rangers

A positive half of football for Hearts. Robbie Neilson’s men took about ten minutes to get going with Cove settling into the game quicker and finding space behind the home side’s midfield.

But Hearts wrestled control with Andy Halliday key at winning possession and driving forward. He opened the scoring with a cracking daisy cutter from 25 yards which saw a great Souttar cross-field pass in the build-up.

Hearts got good joy down the right with Ginnelly. He would pull wide, on to the touchline and Smith moved in field to give the team another passing option. The Northern Irishman has, again, been excellent. Penetrative passing, bursts forward and link play. Could have scored one, could have set one up, did help create one.

Pollock has come on to a game after a slow start, buzzing around with plenty of energy, while Liam Boyce has shown his craft, begin in a right place at the right time to double the lead right on half time.

There is enough about Cove Rangers to be wary, especially Leighton McIntosh driving in field and linking with Megginson.

Liam Boyce gets his second in successive League Cup games.

Smith crossed from the right, it wasn’t dealt with by Gourlay and the Northern Irishman collected and finished.

Great play from Hearts... TWICE

The ball is won at the edge of the box. Pollock shifts it to Halliday who drives forward, playing the ball into Boyce.

The striker exchanges a one-two with countryman Smith before seeing an effort deflected over.

Then GMS plays a great reverse ball which was dummied by Boyce for Smith whose outside of the ball shot was well saved by Gourlay.

You can see what Hearts have been working on in training. The relationship between Josh Ginnelly and Michael Smith is interesting with the latter moving in field when the team have the ball, allowing the winger to hug the touchline and get 1v1 against he full-back.

Hearts win the ball back in midfield. Pollock drives forward and pushes the ball to Ginnelly. He gets a return, creates space but his effort hits the outside of the post.

Great play from Ginnelly

The winger shows fans what he brings to the team. Taking a pace from Souttar he uses his body to protect he ball then speed away before firing in a tantalising cross.

A brilliant goal from Andy Halliday.

A cross field pass from Souttar finds Cochrane who off loads if to Ginnelly. The wingers gets his head up and rolls it to Halliday.

The midfielder takes a touch, composes himself and fires a low shot into the bottom corner.