Livingston 0 Heart of Midlothian 0

Ladbrokes Premiership – Saturday 26th October 2019 – Tony Macaroni Stadium

Hearts inability to defeat a Livingston team reduced to ten men for much of the second half saw them drop two points and sit just one point off the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership table after another hapless performance in West Lothian on Saturday.

Livvy’s physical approach troubled Craig Levein’s men all afternoon but even when Souda was shown a red card after a high tackle on Hearts skipper Christophe Berra the goal-shy visitors barely threatened and the boos from the Maroon Army at the end of the game were all-too familiar.

There was a pre-match blow for the visitors when influential midfielder Glenn Whelan was ruled out with a tight hamstring. Hearts injury jinx had struck again.

Hearts last visit to West Lothian saw them suffer a 5-0 hammering and the Gorgie men seemed determined there would be no repeat of that embarrassment. Hearts had the best chance of a first half that was hard to watch at times when Uche Ikpeazu really ought to have scored when he was one-on-one with Livvy keeper Sarkic, but the big striker’s shot lacked conviction and the goalie saved well.

Ikpeazu was then denied what looked like a stonewall penalty kick when he went down following a challenge from Lithgow but referee Greg Aitken – who didn’t have the best of afternoons – wasn’t interested in decreeing Ikpeazu had been fouled.

Former Jambo Scott Robinson then had a chance for the home side which was saved by Hearts keeper Joel Pereira.

The game ought to have changed four minutes into the second half when Souda crashed into Hearts Christophe Berra and Pereira. Referee Aitken showed the Livvy man the red card and the travelling Hearts support sat back in anticipation of their team taking advantage of the extra man.

Sadly – and typically – they didn’t. The game ended goalless and Hearts, like their city rivals, now find themselves embroiled in a relegation battle – which begins with a visit to bottom side St Johnstone on Wednesday evening.

Livingston: Sarkic, Devlin (Lamie, 40′), Lithgow, McMillan (Tiffoney, 90′), Guthrie, Bartley, Jacobs, Robinson (Odoffin, 71′), Lawless, Crawford, Souda.

Hearts: Pereira, Smith, Berra, Bozanic, Clare, MacLean (Morrison, 62′), Ikpeazu, Brandon (Dikamona, 62′), Irving, Hickey, Meshino (Keena, 66′).

Referee: Greg Aitken

Attendance: 3,354

Top Man: Aaron Hickey