Hearts debrief: No star player, Michael Smith injury, hairbands

A look back at Hearts’ 1-1 draw – their third in a row – with Inverness CT in the Championship.

By Joel Sked
Sunday, 28th February 2021, 10:43 am
Michael Smith went off with an injury against Inverness CT. Picture: SNS
Michael Smith went off with an injury against Inverness CT. Picture: SNS

Player of the match

What a palaver this decision is. Craig Gordon was awarded the highest mark simply because he came up with a key moment which is discussed below. But in terms of the 13 outfield players involved, not one stood out. Jamie Walker once again had a positive impact off the bench but after a bright spell he faded before coming alive again. Aaron McEneff started well, while Gary Mackay-Steven had his best game in a maroon shirt with at least three strong, exciting runs. But let’s face it, individually and collectively it wasn’t near the standard required.

Defining moment

Hearts were all at sea in the opening period of the match. Miles Storey had already barrelled his way into the box, easing aside Michael Smith to score, before Shane Sutherland was presented with a great opportunity to double the lead after latching on to a knockdown. However, he was crowded out by an alert Craig Gordon. If Inverness had scored then it would have been even more interesting to see how the game unfolded. Yet, in similar fashion to the Sutherland chance, Boyce tucked away a chance to make it 1-1.

Ref watch

Hearts have had some less than helpful moments with officialdom this season but there could be few complaints with Nick Walsh. He was quick to punish players for late or cynical challenges, while he waved away a penalty shout for Inverness when some could easily have awarded a spot kick for Mihai Popsecu’s unconventional and untidy collision with David Carson.

Benefit of hindsight

Michael Smith was toiling prior to his substitution due to injury. When he did get replaced Hearts looked more of a threat in a 3-5-2 system with Andy Halliday having been moved wide and Andy Irving in the centre of the pitch.

Moment you may have missed

David Carson was rightly booked for a barge on Craig Gordon. It was a challenge which the goalkeeper was unhappy with and his reaction earned him a booking. The ICT star took his opportunity to have a bit of fun with the Hearts ace holding his nose. Not sure why, but it was made more amusing by his hairband.

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