Hearts responded to last week’s Edinburgh derby defeat in the perfect manner, all the goals coming in the first half of a convincing 3-0 win over Partick Thistle at Tynecastle.
Strikes from Kyle Lafferty, Steven Naismith and a first Hearts goal for John Souttar had the points secured by half-time, ensuring a first win since the Scottish Cup quarter-final victory over St. Johnstone last month.
An early Christophe Berra header from a Michael Smith long throw was hurriedly thumped away from goal before Lafferty tried his luck from an angled free-kick, that was admittedly tame enough for Tomas Cerny to gather with ease.
Danny Amankwaa’s in-swinging cross from the left was met by Don Cowie, but the midfielder was unable to keep his header down and it looped on to the top of Cerny’s net.
A Lafferty flick on from Smith’s deep free-kick was directed towards Steven Naismith, but like Cowie couldn’t quite direct his header on target.
The opener came after 17 minutes courtesy of a fine move. Joaquim Adao fired a pass in to Naismith, who’s first-time back heel sent Lafferty racing through. The Northern Irishman stayed composed to slot through Cerny’s legs for his 17th goal of the season.
It was 2-0 just four minutes later. Adao won possession on the right deep in Partick’s half and showed good awareness to wait and roll the ball in to the arriving Naismith’s path, who dispatched past Cerny from close range.
Cowie almost made it three just after the half hour after some neat link up play between Amankwaa and Lafferty, but Cerny got down well to hold his low drive across goal.
Lafferty was then looking for a penalty after he felt he was tripped at the angle of the box, but Euan Anderson saw it differently and booked the striker for simulation.
A dominant first half display was capped with a third goal two minutes before the break as Hearts put the game to bed. Smith’s long throw from the right was met by Souttar, who forced home his first goal of the season.
The second half began just as positively as the first, Naismith teeing up Cowie for a well-struck drive that fizzed narrowly over Cerny’s crossbar.
Jon McLaughlin was forced in to his first real action of the game shortly after when he saved Kris Doolan’s near post attempt before Chris Erskine scooped the rebound over.
A slip from Godinho while the last man back put Miles Storey in one-on-one with McLaughlin, but the recent Scotland call-up stood up well to parry away for a corner.
He then denied Storey again, showing swift reactions to hold the Welshman’s flicked header at the neat post.
Hearts were content to see things out from then, the work done in the first 45 ensuring as comfortable an afternoon they’ve had at Tynecastle in some time.
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