In what was an unmemorable game, Ross County took another step towards European football next season with a point at Tynecastle.
Hearts had made just the one change from their victory at Tannadice last Sunday, with Ben Woodburn slotting into midfield alongside Peter Haring.
It was not the best of openings to a game at Tynecastle this season, and the only real piece of goalmouth action in the opening 15 minutes was a long-range effort from Connor Randall, which was comfortably pushed to safety by goalkeeper Craig Gordon.
Hearts fans united in applause on the 20-minute mark to say farewell to the ‘voice of Tynecastle’, Scott Wilson who is stepping down as the stadium announcer after 20 years.
Both sides were struggling to create chances and when Jordan White prodded the ball home from a Blair Spittal cross, the hardy band that had travelled down from Dingwall thought their side had gone in front. Their joy was short-lived however as the goal was chalked off for offside.
It had been a first half to forget, but the deadlock should have been broken just two minutes into the second half. Woodburn played a lovely pass round the corner for the marauding Nathaniel Atkinson, his cutback was perfect for Josh Ginnelly, who on the edge of the box, ballooned his effort over the bar.
The visitors certainly had more at stake in terms of their league position, although it had not looked like it during the first half and they almost went in front five minutes into the second half when the ball dropped to former Hearts man, Ross Callachan, but his low strike was kicked away by Gordon.
In a low-quality affair, Taylor Moore had impressed with his defensive duties, and he almost opened the scoring up the other end when getting on the end of a Barrie McKay corner, but his header was comfortable for Ross Laidlaw.
Despite the end of season feel that this game had to it, Hearts manager Robbie Neilson still managed to find a way to get his name in to the referee Steven Maclean’s book.
After 70 minutes the Hearts boss had seen enough. Andy Halliday and Ellis Simms were introduced in place of Gary Mackay-Steven and Woodburn.
Liam Boyce is chasing Hearts history as he edges closer to becoming the first player in maroon to hit 20 goals in a single season since John Robertson and he should’ve moved a step closer to his target when he was sent clean through by Barrie McKay. The striker went low but was denied by Laidlaw with 13 minutes to play.
Joseph Hungbo was introduced as County went in search of a winner of their own, but it was Hearts who looked the likelier and McKay almost found the elusive goal when attempting to whip the ball in at the near post, but he could only find the side-net.
Boyce should have won it in stoppage time but curled his effort just wide of the far post, as County held on for what could still prove to be a valuable point in a fortnight’s time.