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Graham not spot on as Ross County can't break Hearts

By Will Clark

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Hearts 0

Ross County 0

Brian Graham missed a penalty seven minutes from time as Ross County were left disappointed not to make it two wins from two in the Premiership.

The Staggies were unable to covert a number of chances in front of goal as they had to settle for a point at Tynecastle.

Brian Graham missed a penalty against Hearts. Picture: Ken Macpherson
Brian Graham missed a penalty against Hearts. Picture: Ken Macpherson

Ross County made one change to the team that beat Hamilton Academical 3-0 on the opening day of the season as Ross Draper replaced Joe Chalmers who was out of the squad.

Conor Washington could have given Hearts the lead in the opening minutes when the Northern Irish international broke free of the County defence and lashed a powerful strike from the six-yard box forcing a great save from Ross Laidlaw.

Josh Mullin tested goalkeeper Bobby Zlamal after the Czech goalkeeper cleared the ball to the edge of the box but was forced to parry midfielder’s powerful effort over the bar.

County threatened again as a fine cross from the left wing from Sean Kelly found Josh Mullin who attempted a volley from 10 yards but shot the ball goes sky high.

Hearts had another great chance midway through the first half when Craig Halkett burst through the heart of the Staggies defence and found Washington who eight yards from goal was denied by another great save from Laidlaw.

Ross County’s had their best chance of the game just before half time. Ross Stewart’s cross found Michael Gardyne unchallenged from 12 yards whose shot went just over the crossbar.

Hearts claimed for a penalty in the opening minutes of the second half when Sean Clare ambitiously claimed he was pushed to the ground by Callum Morris but the referee waved play on.

Michael Gardyne was denied by the woodwork in the 57th minute when he released an audacious shot from the left wing which had Zlamal beat but hit the right post.

Minutes later Stewart went close to giving County the lead when he beat Christophe Berra to a low cross but Zlamal read right to save.

Ross County should have taken the lead after 70 minutes when Marcus Fraser’s long ball put Stewart through on goal with only the goalkeeper to beat from 12 yards but blasted over.

Ross County were awarded a penalty seven minutes from time when Fraser was brought down by Aidan White.

But Graham smashed his spot-kick against the left post which Gardyne hit the side netting with the rebound.

Hearts: Zlamal, Smith, White, Berra, Clare, Washington, Walker, Naismith, Ikpeazu (Henderson 63), Damour (Bonazic 73) Halkett.

Subs (Unused) Doyle, Mulraney, Dikamona, Keena, Irving.

Ross County: Laidlaw ,Fraser, Kelly, Fontaine, Morris, Draper, Gardyne, Mckay (Graham 75), Vigurs (Spittal 65), Mullin, Stewart.

Subs (Unused) Ruddy, Grivosti, Watson,Paton, Gallacher.

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