For those wondering who was the trialist in Hearts’ squad of the day, it was the Australian centre-back who finally arrived in Edinburgh following a transfer delay from the Central Coast Mariners. Having traveled extensively in recent days, Robbie Neilson didn’t want the summer signing to begin but was keen for him to experience the team of the day. The club expect his transfer to be fully registered next week.
The Jorge Grant-Stephen Kingsley connection
Hearts scored their second goal through Kingsley attacking Grant’s corner. The same result almost happened again in the second half, with Kingsley missing a guilt-ridden chance to score a hat-trick from another set piece from Grant.
Kingsley showed last season that in addition to his free-kick prowess, he is also a threat in the opposition’s penalty area. Although he scored seven times last season, it is not inconceivable that he could match or even score more this campaign as he will now not be forced to take as many deliveries himself and can find himself in the surface to repair.
Taken by carbon copy
The most disappointing aspect of Crawley’s first goal was that Hearts had received an exact warning minutes before. It was an inswinging delivery from the left to the back post. And twice Hearts failed to deal with it. Andy Halliday did not cover himself with glory on any occasion, although he was far from the only player for the Hearts side who did not approach the second period with the same intensity that characterized the first half.
The almost perfect performance of Lewis Neilson
Dom Telford scored both goals for the visitors. The striker was League Two’s top scorer last season and Crawley brought him in from Newport County in an attempt to lead a promotion campaign.
Based on the evidence from Saturday’s game, he certainly seems like the man for the job. His second goal was a great finish, folding it past Neilson and Craig Gordon to level the scores. Neilson will be disappointed that Telford managed to score, having been able to recover, get in the side of goal and tackle the striker. Although the youngster, signed from Dundee United, has impressed in every other aspect of the game.
When he first joined Tannadice it was assumed he would be one for the future rather than the present, but he’s been looking to be involved regularly after pre-season without any harm to his game so far.
Hearts made four changes in just one substitution after Crawley equalized and it’s perhaps no surprise that the biggest cheer went to the winger who so often dazzled the crowd last season. He almost produced his usual magic too, unfortunately seeing a few of his crosses – including a magnificent outside-foot effort for Liam Boyce – obliterated at the last second.
The referee’s eagerness to finish
With the ball out of bounds and Michael Smith down and, had the game continued, probably needed some attention from the physio, the match official simply decided to end things with 15 seconds. to play before the end of the 90 minutes.