Premiership Tuesday Round-Up; 12th December 2017

There were two matches in the SPFL Ladbrokes Premiership on Tuesday evening:

Heart of Midlothian 2-0 Dundee

It was a convincing win in the end for Hearts as they made it two wins in a row at Tynecastle inside a matter of days.

The game started off slowly, with the first attempt at goal coming on 11 minutes, but Cameroon international midfielder Arnaud Djoum couldn’t hit the target on this occasion.

On-loan Liverpool player Connor Randall had an effort that went over the bar before Cole Stockton forced Elliot Parish into his first save of the evening, as the hosts dominated the opening stages.

Scott Allan had the first Dundee chance, shooting straight at Jon McLaughlin from outside the area. Then, just a minute later, the Jam Tarts took the lead.

Esmael Goncalves fired home after being set-up by 16-year-old Anthony McDonald, who was making his senior debut. With 30 minutes on the clock, Craig Levein’s charges took a deserved lead at Tynecastle.

With key personnel already on the treatment table, it was bad news for the Edinburgh club as Djoum left the field of play shortly afterwards with a knock, being replaced by teenager Harry Cochrane.

The game became scrappy once more with neither side able to create many clear goalscoring opportunities. Prince Bauben did fire an effort in from outside the penalty box but Parish saved just before the break.

Josh Meekings and Jack Hendry had efforts as the game entered injury time at the end of the first-half but neither could draw Neil McCann’s side level. Lewis Moore, who was on-loan with Cowdenbeath in League Two last season, had the final chance of the opening 45 minutes but Parish was again up to the task as he held comfortably from the winger.

Cammy Kerr came on for Jack Hendry at half-time for the visitors, who were looking for a reaction after a poor opening to the game.

Roarie Deacon had a good chance to equalise just four minutes into the second half but he dragged his shot wide before Josh Meekings headed over another corner.

Goalscorer Goncalves was then replaced by ex-Raith captain Ross Callachan as the game reached the hour mark while Faissal El Bakhtaoui came on for the injured Deacon. Sandwiched in between the changes was a McLaughlin save from an ambitious Scott Allan effort, but the former Burton Albion keeper wasn’t to be beaten on this occasion.

Parish was then called into action again as Callachan fired in a shot before Aurtenetxe shot wide from a direct free-kick for the Dee.

Kyle Lafferty was brought on for Lewis Moore while the visitors also brought on a striker, with A-Jay Leitch-Smith replacing Paul McGowan. Bauben had a long-range effort which sailed wide in between the two substitutions.

Christophe Berra was then to double Hearts’ advantage as the skipper slotted the ball home from close-range following a corner-kick. With only 13 minutes left, the game looked beyond the Dens Park club.

Lafferty was to try his luck late on but Parish was equal to the effort as the hosts comfortably seen out the match. A deserved win for the home side while Dundee will go home pointless after a disappointing display in the Scottish Capital.

Attendance: 15,566

Ross County 2-2 Kilmarnock

Steve Clarke’s Killie would come from 2-0 down to snatch a point in Dingwall in this lively Scottish Premiership encounter.

The game was enthralling from start-to-finish with both sides aiming for victory. Chris Eagles had the first opportunity of the night but his effort was well-saved by Jamie MacDonald in the visiting goal.

Jamie Lindsay tried his luck but was off-target before Kilmarnock had their first effort of the evening, via the right-foot of Eamonn Brophy – with the striker forcing a good save from Scott Fox.

Impressive youngster Davis Keillor-Dunn was next to see an effort saved before Kris Boyd fired high and wide from outside the area.

Midway through the first-half, Kirk Broadfoot saw an effort blocked from a corner before Craig Curran fired over at the other end.

Kris Boyd missed another chance before his namesake, Scott, entered the fray against his former employers after Gordon Greer picked up an injury.

Soon after and County were ahead. Former Manchester United winger Eagles was the architect as he crossed the ball in for French midfielder Christopher Routis, who finished the move off in style with a neat finish past MacDonald to open the scoring.

Ten minutes later, the Highlanders made it 2-0 through Jason Naismith. The full-back headed home Eagles’ set-piece delivery to send Owen Coyle’s side in to half-time with a cushion, while Clarke’s troops had it all to do in the final period of the match.

Greg Taylor replaced Stuart Findlay as Killie were forced into another defensive change because of injury just shy of the half-time interval, but, it didn’t derail the visitors who came out with a steely determination.

Eamonn Brophy had an early shot saved by Fox as Kilmarnock looked to stamp their authority on this match. County were comfortable and had dealt with the early onslaught, however.

Chris Routis tried his luck again, this time from a direct free-kick but his effort was off-target this time. Brophy then saw another effort saved, but, the former Hamilton youngster wasn’t to be denied for long.

The striker, who had scored in his previous two matches before Tuesday’s encounter, got Killie to within one goal of their opponents with just under half-an-hour to go, shooting past Fox from outside the area.

Jordan Jones then saw an effort saved by Fox as the momentum swung the way of the Ayrshire club. Ryan Dow was brought on for Keillor-Dunn as the hosts looked for fresh impetus to retain their lead.

Curran had a header saved by MacDonald before being replaced by Billy McKay not so long after. Chris Eagles was also substituted, being brought off for Ross Draper; Chris Burke also entered the field of play, replacing Jordan Jones.

Youssouf Mulumbu had an effort saved before Brophy shot over the bar. Stephen O’Donnell then saw a shot blocked as the visitors continued to press forward for an equaliser.

The game was drawn level just four minutes from time as predatory marksman Kris Boyd headed home, nodding a Chris Burke cross past Fox and into the back of the net.

Ross County captain Andrew Davies had a shot saved by MacDonald late on before Burke missed the target completely as both sides looked for a late winner. It wasn’t to come, however, and the game would end in a draw. A good point for Killie but County will be disappointed considering their lead at the interval.

Attendance: 3,021


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