Raith Rovers 0 Hearts 4 RECAP: Gnanduillet debut double as Jambos dominate 10-man Rovers

Hearts travel to Stark’s Park for the second of two back-to-back meetings with Raith Rovers.

Tuesday, 26th January 2021, 5:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th January 2021, 9:43 pm
Hearts full-back Stephen Kingsley and Raith Rovers midfielder Brad Spencer in action during Saturday's meeting at Tynecastle. The sides go head-to-head again at Stark's Park this evening. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

Robbie Neilson’s men are looking to bounce back from a 3-2 defeat to the Kirkcaldy side at Tynecastle on Saturday, having fell three goals behind after 52 minutes before attempting a late comeback which ultimately fell short.

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Hearts, currently six points clear at the top of the Scottish Championship, are expected to name new singing Armand Gnanduillet in the squad after the former Blackpool striker arrived on an 18-month contract on Monday.

We will have all the latest from Stark’s Park throughout the evening as it happens, including updates, analysis and reaction.

FT: Raith Rovers 0 Hearts 4

Last updated: Tuesday, 26 January, 2021, 21:30

  • Kick-off 7.45pm, Stark’s Park
  • 4th v 1st in Scottish Championship
  • Raith 9pts behind with two games in hand
  • Neilson makes three changes

Halliday tackels Hendry, the pair tangled as the play moved on, and the Raith midfielder plants a stamp  on the Hearts man to earn a straight red card from referee Euan Anderson.

Boyce breaks the offside trap as he latches onto a Halliday through ball but his low drive is held by MacDonald. A square ball to Mackay-Steven would almost certainly have resulted in a tap-in for the winger.

Dominant. Powerful. Relentless. 

Hearts fans will be asking how they managed to find themselves 3-0 down to Raith on Saturday given how utterly dominant they have been in this first half. The home side haven’t been able to live with Robbie Neilson’s men, who look fired up to prove a point. It took a while to break the deadlock but it was only a matter of time. Now playing against 10 men following Hendry’s red card, Hearts should really push on and score more in the second half.

Hearts get the second half underway.

Boyce cushions a ball into the path of Walker at the edge of the Raith box and his shot is heading in until MacDonald dives full stretch to touch it wide. Hearts picking up where they left off. 

More of a half chance for the home side - there first of any note - as a low ball across goal from Armstrong is narrowley missed by Duku. It runs through to Tumilty but his attempt is blocked. Hearts almost caught out by the 10 men.

52: MacDonald heroics

The Raith keeper strikes again with an incredible save to deny Boyce from six yards after he raced onto Mackay-Stevens’ cross. The flag was up in any case, but MacDonald wasn’t to know that. A top keeper.

Irvine times his pass perfectly as Boyce spins in behind the Raith defence and plays it across the face of goal. Mackay-Stevens latches onto it beyond the back post but he goes for power and blazes high into the empty stand.

Armand Gnanduillet is ON for Hearts - a first appearance for the Frenchman who signed for the club on Monday as he replaces Boyce.

Lewis Vaughan is replaced by Dylan Tait. 

Almost a first chance for Gnanduillet as Irvine floats a free-kick into the Raith box but Halkett gets in ahead of the substitute and sends his header straight at MacDonald.

Mackay-Steven’s second start for Hearts comes to an end as he is replaced by Steven Naismith. 

In an apparent damage limitation move, Raith striker Duku is replaced by centre-half Iain Davidson. Raith are just trying to see this game out without losing any more goals. Hearts though are continuing to push.

The final change for Raith sees Armstrong replaced by Aberdeen loanee Ethan Ross. The Hearts intensity levels have dropped a bit and Raith have had some rare possession in the last few minutes.

Walker stole possession from a dawdling Raith defender and fired in a low shot that MacDonald could only parry and Gnanduillet reacted first to slam the loose ball high into the net for his first Hearts goal. 

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