How the Hearts players rated in opening day victory over Ross County as new signing gets 8/10

Ratings out of ten for every Hearts player who featured in the 2-1 win over Ross County on opening day.

By Craig Fowler
Saturday, 30th July 2022, 5:11 pm

GK – Craig Gordon – 6

Made a couple of routine stops. Can’t be critical of him at the goal as Jordan White kept his cool to shoot through Gordon’s legs as the keeper spread himself.

DRC – Toby Sibbick – 5

Alan Forrest celebrates with Alex Cochrane and Lawrence Shankland (right) after opening the scoring at Tynecastle Park. Picture: SNS

Had a very poor first half where he struggled to contain the impressive Owura Edwards. Improved quite a bit after the break (this will be a running theme) helping to finally nullify County’s threat down that side.

DC – Craig Halkett – 7

Caught napping at one point though it didn’t lead to anything. Otherwise, he was certainly the most focused of the Hearts back three.

DLC – Kye Rowles – 6

Caught out by a simple over the top for White’s goal. There were a couple of blips in a performance which otherwise suggested he’ll be a strong addition.

RWB – Nathaniel Atkinson – 5

Struggled to deal with an early ball over the top. Did make a great last-ditch challenge to help prevent Ben Purrington from scoring, though he was completely done by Owura Edwards when the County man hit the bar. Subbed a moment later with an injury.

MC – Peter Haring – 5

Helped to shore things up in the middle of the park as Hearts were much improved in the second period, but was often guilty of poor passing or being caught in possession.

MC – Michael Smith – 6

Started strongly in the centre of the park, charging forward to assist the attack. The area soon got overrun as it became apparent he and Haring were not an ideal pairing for this matchup. Steady when put at right wing-back.

LWB – Alex Cochrane – 8

The best Hearts player in the starting XI. Got two assists and could have had a couple more with dangerous cut-backs which led to Hearts chances. Defensively stronger than most of his team-mates too.

RW – Alan Forrest – 7

A poor first half where he didn’t get into the game; turned it on after the break. Was Hearts’ most lively player even before he started and finished the move which opened the scoring.

FC – Lawrence Shankland – 6

A solid enough debut. Had a shot from distance which wasn’t too far away and frustrated at a couple of other attempts inside the area which were blocked at close range. Couldn’t do much more in a side which struggled to function in attack. More from him to come.

LW – Barrie McKay – 6

Scored the second goal with excellent control and poise, but it was hardly a vintage McKay performance. Was too casual in his approach in the first half. Improved after the break and got his goal. His typically weighted through balls often had a bit too much on them.

Sub – Jorge Grant – 8

Helped change the game in Hearts’ favour and should have been in the starting XI. Brought a creativity to the midfield which had been badly missing until his introduction. His set-pieces were strong as well.

Sub – Liam Boyce – 6

Had a couple of opportunities to threaten but was well-marshalled by the County defence.

Sub – Cammy Devlin – 6

Brought some renewed energy to the centre of the park.

Sub – Andy Halliday – 6

Got stuck in after coming off the bench.

Player ratings scale - 10: One of best performances you've seen. 9: Outstanding. 8: Very good. 7: Good. 6: Average. 5: Poor, 4: Very poor. 3: Terrible day at office. 2: Abysmal. 1: One of worst performances you've seen.

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