Hearts manager Craig Levein couldn't hide his frustrations after watching his side play out a goalless draw with Premiership newcomers Livingston at Tynecastle.
It’s the first time the Jam Tarts have failed to win – and score – in the league this season, although the hosts’ Steven Naismith did have a penalty right on the stroke of half-time saved by goalkeeper Liam Kelly.
The home side upped the pressure in the second half but were more than matched by a well-drilled and tirelessly working Livingston side.
Levein’s men did hit the crossbar twice, Jimmy Dunne’s first-half header with Steven MacLean suffering the same fate late on as Hearts chased their sixth consecutive win.
Although it wasn’t to be, the Capital outfit maintain their five-point lead over second-placed and city rivals Hibs. However, Celtic have the opportunity to narrow the gap to three points tomorrow with victory over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.
“There is a big sense of frustration,” Levein said afterwards. “I thought Livingston executed their game plan really well. They waited for us to over commit and tried to hit us on the counter-attack and they had opportunities when they did that.
“Things that we’ve been doing really well, moving the ball quickly from side to side, delivering good quality into the box and finishing the chances when they’ve come our way, so it’s frustrating that didn’t happen.
“We still should have won in all honesty. There’s an expectation to win all our matches at home. Our home record is exceptional so we’re disappointed we didn’t get all three points today. We did enough to win but some things didn’t go our way. The frustrating thing for me is we didn’t score a goal. I said to the players beforehand that teams will come here and they’ll sit in so that’s something that’s going to happen.”