Three things learned from Livingston 0-0 Hearts

Hosts finished with ten men but the Edinburgh club could not capitalise

By Barry Anderson
Saturday, 26th October 2019, 4:57 pm
Updated Saturday, 26th October 2019, 5:57 pm
Hearts striker Uche Ikpeazu takes exception to Livingston winger Aymen Souda's approach
Hearts striker Uche Ikpeazu takes exception to Livingston winger Aymen Souda's approach

Ikpeazu front and centre again

The giant Englishman wreaks havoc and ragdolls defenders for fun. It's what he does every week. He also suffers some brutal treatment from opponents and this game was no different. However, he passed up the game's clearest scoring opportunity just after the half-hour mark. The chance arrived after a beautiful moment of impromptu skill from the Hearts midfielder Sean Clare. He sent a first-time back-heeled flick in behind the Livingston defence for Ikpeazu to run on to. The forward found himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Matija Sarkic but his placed shot was pushed away to safety by the on-loan Aston Villa man. The ball should have nestled in the net, but Ikpeazu's presence and physical strength continued to pose Livingston plenty problems.

Hickey tougher than he looks

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Aaron Hickey proved his durability in West Lothian after a somewhat uncompromising challenge by Livingston's Nicky Devlin ten minutes before the interval. The hosts' right-back slid quite uncontrollably into a challenge with Hickey and left the slender teenager crumpled in a heap on the astroturf. Hearts fans appealed for referee Greig Aitken to take action. Hickey was taken off for treatment before eventually trudging back on. With that, Devlin went down and was quickly substituted for Rickie Lamie. He seemed to feel a delayed effect from the impact of his own challenge and that ended his involvement in the fray. Hickey continued undeterred at left-back for Hearts in what was another confident display by the Riccarton youth academy graduate.

Robinson has plenty juice

Former Hearts player Scott Robinson operated as a lone forward for Livingston, as has been the case in recent weeks, and showed endless endeavour. He is generally a midfielder but has filled the striker role to good effect of late and scored against Celtic. His pace and direct running in behind the visiting back four was a constant menace. Hearts defenders had to be constantly aware of Robinson's whereabouts as he moved across the back line waiting for a through ball to scarper after. He was also sniffing out any chance inside the penalty box. When one arrived, the diminutive Robinson was unfortunate to see the legs of Hearts goalkeeper Joel Pereira stop his first-time stab at Nicky Devlin's cross on 22 minutes. That didn't deter him and he continued to buzz around opponents until he was substituted on 72 minutes.