Hearts debrief: Boyce class, Haring pass, Souttar the stroller
Player of the match
For the first time in a while there was an abundance of strong performances, but there could only be one star man and that was Liam Boyce. He is a captivating player to watch, simultaneously Hearts’ most potent scorer and most creative outlet. The 3-4-1-2 system really suited him. Dropping off to get on the ball in front of the Alloa defence, ahead of him he had Euan Henderson able to stretch play and Armand Gnanduillet who is a hugely selfless presence, making runs, winning flick-ons and linking play. Poise, balance, vision, technique. The Northern Irishman is a class act
Peter Haring’s sumptuous through ball for Euan Henderson to run on to and finish to make it 3-0 not long after the half-time whistle. Hearts weren’t taking their foot off the gas. They were building confidence and it appeared they were really enjoying and expressing themselves.
Steven McLean’s third Hearts match this season and third penalty he has awarded to the Jam Tarts. There can be no complaints about his decision to penalise Neil Parry for the trip on Euan Henderson. Other than that, a very quiet evening.
Benefit of hindsight
Alloa started the match brightly and created a couple of decent openings. The Wasps needed the points and certainly weren’t set up to try and defend their box and hit on the counter-attack. They looked to impose their own game on proceedings. It, of course, didn’t work. Admirable but as soon as the first goal was scored they were in a for a long, long evening.
Moment you may have missed
John Souttar strolled his way through 84 minutes of football; his first action since February 29, 2020. You could never have guessed he had been out for so long, that’s how assured he was. Coming off the park, you could not only see the delight on his face but the delight of Robbie Neilson, Lee McCulloch and Gordon Forrest who all embraced the defender. The rest of the substitutes also gave him an ovation. Well deserved for a player who has had a nightmare time with injuries.