Hearts 4-2 Arbroath - League Cup
It needed a deficit to be overcome but Hearts advanced into the second round of the Scottish League Cup with a win over Arbroath on Thursday. Three-goals in a four-minute spell in the second half helped the Jambos to a four-two win to avoid an upset against the League Two side at Tynecastle.
Match Stats - Click Here.
With the Scottish Premiership getting underway this weekend, but Hearts the only topflight side entering the competition at this stage, this game had to be rearranged with the Thursday night encounter mutually agreed.
Arbroath sensed an upset and with half time approaching, the scores still level at that point, Alvarez set up Gold (40) who was able to beat Hearts 'keeper Hamilton to open the scoring. This lead, after Paterson was denied an equaliser by the crossbar just before half time, was taken into the break.
This lead could have been doubled, to leave the Jambos with a mountain to climb, but a McGhee and Ozturk error wasn't punished with the two then combining just ahead of the hour to make it one-one with McGhee (57) on the end of an Ozturk cross.
A Sow (60 & 61) double in a minute completely changed the complexion of the game meaning within four-minutes Hearts had gone from a goal behind into to lead three-one lead. Sow's first was created by Nicholson, who was then fouled in the box for a penalty and Sow made no mistake from 12-yards.
Had Arbroath got back into the game sooner, and the had a great chance that Gold didn't take, things could have been different with Grehan (83) pulling it back to three-two late on but any chance Neilson's men could be pegged back was ended in injury-time when Wilson (90+3) turned the ball into his own net to ensure Hearts progressed four-two.
Nielson was happy to see Hearts into the next round, of course, but he wasn't about to deny his disappointment at the display, with the first half branded 'disappointing.' Overall he thought the Jambos were below par and felt this had been viewed as 'a pre-season game' but insisted this would be different come the weekend.
'We were disappointed; the first half was not acceptable. I think the players thought they were going to cruise to a result, but it was a bit of a wake-up call for all of us.
'We need to do far better than we did. I thought we passed the ball for the first 10 minutes then went flat. I think they viewed it as a pre-season game but when St Johnstone come it will be a completely different ball game.'