Hearts debrief: GMS verve, Scott Allan miss, Neil Doncaster presence

A look back at Hearts’ 3-0 win over Inverness CT in the final Tynecastle Park fixture of the season.

Sunday, 25th April 2021, 7:00 am
Steven Naismith lifts the Scottish Championship trophy. Picture: SNS
Steven Naismith lifts the Scottish Championship trophy. Picture: SNS

Player of the match

There were a number of fine individual performances within a fine collective performance. Michael Smith was assertive and assured, John Souttar has been very, very good for a player who hadn’t played for so long and looks to have added muscle. But it has to be Gary Mackay-Steven. On top of his two goals he was alert and on it from the start. Dropping deep, getting the ball and running at the defence or using his pace in behind. There was a real confidence and verve to his outing giving fans hope going into next season. It may simply have been the case that it has taken him longer than expected to get up to speed following his move from MLS.

Defining moment

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Inverness won a corner in the opening minute. A routine straight from the training ground saw it cut back for Scott Allan who had made a reverse run but the on loan Hibs star fired the ball just over the bar. With Dunfermline at home to Arbroath, the Highlanders needed at least a point from the game and set up to win. Scoring that goal early on would have given them something to build on and made it a lot more difficult for a Hearts side who need the first goal.

Ref watch

Bobby Madden was certainly kept busy with both managers. He had words with Robbie Neilson, while Neil McCann was sent to the stand after a touchline spat with the Hearts boss then more words with Madden. But all in all, no big decisions.

Benefit of hindsight

Something everyone connected with Hearts knows. Don’t ever be in a position to be relegated.

Moment you may have missed

There was plenty of attention on the trophy lift. Neil Doncaster was in attendance at Tynecastle Park but kept a wide berth from the ‘presentation’ which was celebrated by Steven Naismith in a manner akin to winning the go-kart racing on a team bonding session. The SPFL chief executive who would have been the focus of fans’ ire if they were in the ground made his exit not long after the low key trophy celebrations.

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How the Hearts players rated in comfortable 3-0 win over Inverness CT