Changes were made as the team ran out in front of a near empty Fir Park. Clarkson, Vadocz and Smith came in for McDonald, Fitzpatrick and McGarry. They all tried hard but Vadocz in particular took a long, long time to get into the game. Murphy was much better at left back and he was hard to beat in defence and also useful in attack. He sent Paterson clean through on Gordon but with Smith waiting for a tap in Stepover made the horrific decision to go round the goalie and messed it up. Fir Park has seen some mistakes in its time but this was a shocker.
Second half free kick
Hearts picked up a gear, aided by some poor defending on our part it has to be said, and Andrew Driver twice went close. He should have done better than blaze over from just inside the box and his second effort forced a corner. Kingston took it well, Tall made a great run to the front post but didn't make much contact. However the ball hit Reynolds and found our net. We had one chance to level before the break but Smith's shot was weak after good play by McCormack and Clarkson. Kerr was replaced by McBride at the break due to injury.
In the second half we were let off when Pospisil stretched to fire wide before some dangerously calm defending by Murphy at the back post almost got us into bother. Either side of that Vadocz half volleyed at Gordon when he might have slipped in Clarkson and Clarkson did then come close to the equaliser. He lost his man at a corner and sent a great downward header just inside the post but unfortunately right to the boot of Kingston who cleared. Molloy came on for Murphy and he played at left midfield while Paterson went to defence. He looked lively and didn't lack enthusiasm but all too often his final ball wasn't quite there.
The game was effectively won with 20 minutes to go when Kingston raced to the by line and turned in another super cross. Elliot was the target; he missed but Craigan was on hand to rifle a header in off the bar. We threw a lot at Hearts from then on but we simply were never going to score. McCormack turned his man in the box but lost his balance before Gordon fumbled a cross and typically the ball fell for a Hearts foot and not ours. A cross was knocked beyond Gordon - possibly by Reynolds - but that man Kingston was on the line to deny us once again. Driver made a mess of a breakaway with the last kick of the game.
Did we deserve to lose this game? In terms of effort and possession no but in Kingston they had the one footballer on the park. Also significant was how easily their defence dealt with so many of our free kicks and balls forward. We did manage to pose them some problems but it simply wasn't our night in front of goal. We did have some decent performances though with no one really playing poorly although a couple were certainly no better than average. With a similar effort and a small slice of fortune, points are there to be had in the coming weeks.