Tuesday 25 September 2012

Hearts 3 - 1 Livingston
(HT 1 - 0)
Grainger (45)
Zaliukas (70 & 74)
McNulty (56)

John Hughes and Livingston left Tynecastle after being knocked out the League Cup this evening - but with heads held high after the 3-1 defeat to SPL side Hearts.

The opening stages saw Livi create one or two opening, as iain Russell was denied by a Ryan McGowan block as he sought to tee up marc McNulty.

Jordan Morton blazed over from distance before the Lions created the first real opportunity of the game. Scougall slipped in McNulty but the striker's fizzing low shot skidded wide of the target.

Hearts responded as Arvydas Novikovas and Andy Driver both came close, and then Livi stopper Andy McNeil was forced into two brilliant stops on the half hour mark.

Callum Paterson and then Scott Robinson tested the keeper, but on both occasions the former Hibs stopper produced heroics to keep the home side out.

At the other end, a neat passing move set up Anthony Andreu, whose shot was tipped round the post by Jamie McDonald.

Yet as Livingston looked like regaining their early foothold in the match, Hearts took the lead. just over 40 minutes were on the clock when Grainger's shot from 20 yards spun wildly off a stray leg and past McNeil.

The home side looked set to build on that advantage, but on 57 minutes Livi equalised.

McNulty robbed Zaliukas of possession on the edge of the box, and the striker wasted no time in smashing home in front of a vocal traveling support.

The Premier League side's quality shone through in the closing stages however, as Zaliukas responded twice from corners to put the tie beyond the Lions.

In stoppage time Dylan Easton saw his shot from 20 yards beaten away by McDonald, and the Lions had to settle for pride in defeat in front of the 815 fans packed into the away end.

Heart of Midlothian:
MacDonald, R.McGowan, Barr, Zaliukas, Grainger, Paterson (Sutton 81), Stevenson, Taouil, Driver (Carrick 83), Robinson, Novikovas
Subs not used: Englemen, D.McGowan, Smith

McNeil, Docherty, Garcia Tena (Fordyce 76), Watson, C.Barr, Kn.Jacobs, Andreu, I.Russell (Easton 85), McNulty, Scougall, Morton (R.Gray 83)
Subs not used: Downie, Jamieson

Referee: Steven McLean

Official Attendance: 6,322

Match report: Calum Leslie
Pictures: Steven Carrie