LiveHearts 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.

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 9:36 pm
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.

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

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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

Last updated: Tuesday, 13 July, 2021, 22:18

  • Kick-off 7.45pm
  • Team news 6.30pm
  • 2,000 fans in attendance

How the players rated

FT: Hearts 3 - 0 Cove

McEneff misses to make it 4!

Hearts win the ball back and counter through Connor Smith. He finds Boyce who in turn slips in McEneff but his shot is blocked by Gourlay and the rebound hits him and goes out for a corner.

Fyvie fizzes a cross into the box but McAllister’s header skews wide.

Connor Smith shows his threat, getting the ball on the left, cutting in field and sending an effort goalwards but past the post.

Halliday & GMS OFF, Connor Smith and Denholm ON

Ginnelly OFF, Henderson ON

Smith and Ginnelly link up again. The right-back clips a ball over the Cove defence for Ginnelly to chase but the winger’s stinging shot is repelled by Gourlay.

Hearts have now switched to a 4-3-3 with Halliday returning to midfield to join newcomers Haring and McEneff.

Pollock & Kingsley OFF, McEneff & Haring ON

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.

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