Hearts 1-1 Morton
Walker (71) – McGuffie (53)
Morton earned an incredible point at Tynecastle on Saturday, drawing 1-1 with league leaders Hearts in the Scottish Championship.
It was the ‘Ton’s first trip to the Jambos home since 1988 and interim manager Anton McElhone made just two changes to mark the occasion with Cameron Salkeld and Kyle Jacobs coming into the starting lineup for Gary Oliver and Chris Millar.
The hosts applied heavy pressure from the start and had a number of important chances in quick succession, the first coming on 4 minutes from Aaron McEneff who forced Aidan McAdams into making a save after the Northern Irishman got on the end of a well timed ball through by Steven Naismith.
Only a few minutes later and Hearts had another massive chance to open the scoring on 6 minutes as a ball into the box by Liam Boyce fell to the feet of Mihai Popescu who’s shot from a few yards out evaluated well over the bar.
For the vast majority of the first half, Robbie Neilson’s side were in firm control but that did not startle the Sinclair Street side who had their first real opportunity on 32 minutes. Aidan Nesbitt floated a corner into the box that was headed back across from Sean McGinty at the back post but no one could get on the end of it to divert towards goal and the ball was eventually scrambled away by the Hearts defence.
The crossbars were getting their fair share of action from both sides as Liam Boyce’s heel flick towards goal struck the bar from a tight angle on 36 minutes only for Aidan Nesbitt to hit the opposite one up the other end of the park on 38 minutes after the midfielder’s in-swinging cross swerved and nearly caught Craig Gordon out in goal.
The game remained goalless at the end of the first half with the Greenock men being the happier of the two sets of sides having defended well and keeping the score level.
Despite being the underdogs the ‘Ton showed they were no pushovers and shocked the league leaders by going ahead on 53 minutes. Aidan McAdams hit a goal kick up the park that was knocked down by Aidan Nesbitt to Cameron Salkeld who worked the ball through to Luca Colville before slotting it through to set up Craig McGuffie who smashed the ball just outside the box with his left foot passed Gordon and into the goal to make it 1-0.
A massive moment in the game which in normal circumstances who have been cheered on by hundreds of supporters in the away end as soon as it hit the net.
With over half an hour still to play Morton sat back and tried to maintain the lead but the pressing nature of Hearts eventually found its way through on 71 minutes when substitute Jamie Walker got on the end of a Gnanduillet cross to head home the equaliser and score his 50th goal for the club to make it 1-1.
A couple of late scares inside the penalty area were dealt with as the referee blew for full time confirming a massive result for the ‘Ton and confirming their first point at Tyncastle since August 1984.
Ledger McLean McGinty Strapp
McGuffie Nesbitt Colville
Subs used: 9. Robbie Muirhead (for Craig McGuffie, 62), 12. Kalvin Orsi (for Cameron Salkeld, 72), 17. Reece Lyon (for Luca Colville, 90)
Unused Subs: Fjørtoft, Oliver, Sterling, Johnson
Booked: McGinty (21), Colville (56), Salkeld (65), Blues (68)
Hearts: Gordon, Smith, Popescu, Halkett, Kingsley, McEneff, Halliday (Walker, 62), Kastaneer (Gnanduillet, 56), Naismith, Mackay-Steven (Irving, 87), Boyce
Unused Subs: Haring, Berra, Stewart, Henderson
Booked: Halliday (5)
Referee: David Dickinson
Image: Gary Bradley