Hearts 2
Ross County 1
League (Premiership)


2 - 1

Ross County

League (Premiership)
Sunday, December 26th, 2021
Tynecastle, Edinburgh (Behind closed doors)
3:00 PM Kick-off

Michael Smith (4)
Ben Woodburn (42)
Jordan White (72)

Team Managers
Robbie Neilson Malky Mackay

Starting Eleven
1 Craig Gordon
2 Michael Smith
4 John Souttar
5 Peter Haring
8 Aaron Mceneff
9 Ben Woodburn
15 Taylor Moore
16 Andy Halliday
17 Alex Cochrane
18 Barrie McKay
19 Craig Halkett
Ross Laidlaw .1
Harry Clarke .20
Connor Randall .2
Jake Vokins .3
Jack Baldwin .5
David Cancola .4
Blair Spittal .7
Joseph Hungbo .23
Regan Charles-Cook .17
Dominic Samuel .10
Jordan White .26

39 Liam McFarlane
3 Stephen Kingsley
7 Jamie Walker
11 Gary Mackay-Steven
21 Armand Gnanduillet
25 Cameron Logan
Ross Munro .21
Coll Donaldson .25
Ben Paton .24
Jack Burroughs .18
Alex Samuel .9

Stephen Kingsley for Craig Halkett (50)
Jamie Walker for Aaron Mceneff (56)
Gary Mackay-Steven for Ben Woodburn (78)
Jack Burroughs for David Cancola (45)
Alex Samuel for Dominic Samuel (83)

Andy Halliday (87) Jack Baldwin (44)
Harry Clarke (70)
Blair Spittal (75)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

David Munro (Referee)
Daniel McFarlane & Ralph Gordon (Assistants)

Match Report

Source unknown.

Ross County were unlucky to fall to a 2-1 defeat to Heart of Midlothian at Tynecastle this afternoon in County’s last game of 2021.

A poor first half allowed the hosts to steam ahead with goals from Michael Smith and Ben Woodburn.

Jordan White got the Staggies back into it with 18 minutes to play but Malky Mackay’s side were unable to convert the late chances required to find an equaliser.

After just 4 minutes, Hearts took the lead through Michael Smith. Liverpool-loanee Ben Woodburn picked the ball up on the edge of the area before sliding the ball through Harry Clarke’s legs and picking out a square pass to Aaron McEneff. McEneff should have found the net from Woodburn’s cutback, but his attempt was initially saved by Ross Laidlaw and then tapped in by Michael Smith from close range.

13 minutes before half time, the hosts were denied of a second goal by Ross Laidlaw’s crossbar. A well-worked corner allowed Barrie McKay space to deliver a cross into the box. County’s subsequent partial clearance fell to Scotland international John Souttar, but his side-footed attempt cannoned off the crossbar from the centre of the box.

In the 42nd minute, Ben Woodburn doubled Hearts’ advantage. The forward expertly brought the ball down from a searching diagonal pass and he chopped inside of Harry Clarke to earn himself a yard to shoot. The Liverpool-loanee was fortunate that his resulting shot deflected off the trailing leg of Clarke, thus changing the direction of the ball and spinning beyond the helpless Ross Laidlaw in goal.

Just a minute prior to the interval, Robbie Nielson’s side could have had a third when John Souttar was again prevented from scoring by the woodwork. Barrie McKay’s wide free kick from the left of the box met the unchallenged head of John Souttar, but his directed header struck the bottom of the left-hand side post.

After a substandard first half performance, Malky Mackay’s Staggies came out flying in the second half. County immediately went in pursuit of a goal and Joseph Hungbo appeared to be the visitors’ main outlet both on the counterattack and when attempting to break down Hearts’ defence.

On the hour mark, Hungbo came close after he was slipped in on the right-hand side by Blair Spittal. The winger chopped inside of Alex Cochrane, but his subsequent goal bound attempt was deflected into the thankful arms of Craig Gordon.

In the 72nd minute, the Staggies got themselves back in the game with a goal to reflect their much-improved second half performance. A fantastic team move resulted in Dominic Samuel slipping in Joseph Hungbo on the right of the box. The Watford-loanee then shimmied inside of his opposition full back and cut the ball back for Jordan White in the centre of the box. White swept the ball from behind him to strike the post before it eventually trickled over the goal line.

With a minute left to play of regulation time, defender Harry Clarke nearly added his impressive season goal tally with a rasping left-footed effort from the edge of the area. The Arsenal-loanee picked the ball up around 2 yards from goal and beat 2 Hearts defenders before thumping a left-footed attempt at goal. However, Craig Gordon stood firm and beat away the ball with ease to prevent a County equaliser.

A goal line scramble in injury time from a deep-free kick again nearly resulted in a County equaliser but Malky Mackay’s men fell just sort of an impressive comeback after an encouraging second half effort.

*Match report courtesy of Ross County Football Club*.

Squad Statistics (as at December 26th, 2021)

2021/22 All Time
Ross Laidlaw (GK)29 8 - 70 -
Jake Vokins21 8 - 8 -
Connor Randall26 15 - 32 -
Harry Clarke20 173173
Jack Baldwin28 172172
Regan Charles-Cook24 196518
Joseph Hungbo21 152152
Blair Spittal26 2265711
David Cancola25 111111
Jordan White29 224358
Dominic Samuel27 151151
Jack Burroughs (sub)20 11 - 11 -
Alex Samuel (sub)26 4 - 4 -

League Table (as at December 26th, 2021)

No league table has been added for this season.