28 Aug Watt a blow to Jags
Tony Watt opened his Hearts account as his stoppage-time winner snatched a 2-1 victory over Partick Thistle at Firhill.
Jambos right-back Callum Paterson – the recent subject of two failed bids from Wigan – proved his worth to the Tynecastle side as he nodded home the 17th-minute opener.
But Liam Lindsay handed the Jags a deserved equaliser when he headed home from Chris Erskine’s corner 10 minutes into the second period.
However, just as the match was heading for a draw there was a cruel blow for the hosts when Watt fired past Tomas Cerny to hand his side a second straight Ladbrokes Premiership triumph.
Hearts started brightly with Faycal Rherras’ raiding runs down the left forcing the Jags to scramble into covering positions.
The Moroccan picked out Watt in the middle with a neat cross but the Scotland cap was crowded out on that occasion.
Thistle frontman Ade Adeez showed he was comfortable working in tight areas as he wriggled into the box before clipping the ball over.
It was an open contest with Jambos striker Conor Sammon firing straight at Cerny at one end, and Jags poacher Kris Doolan doing the same with Jack Hamilton at the other.
But Hearts got away with a scare when Adeez and Doolan were denied in quick succession by last-ditch blocks as Don Cowie and John Souttar bailed out their side.
And Robbie Neilson’s side made the most of that let-off as they raced upfield for the opener. Sammon won a corner and from Sam Nicholson’s delivery, Paterson thudded a firm header back across goal into the top corner.
Thistle responded positively, though. Erskine brought out a decent parry from Hamilton, who then smothered another effort from Doolan.
Hearts were finding Erskine’s mazy runs hard to deal with. His fast feet took him past three challenges 10 minutes into the second half before Rherras was forced into conceding a corner.
But his cross from the set-piece was just as dangerous as he sent the ball over for Lindsay to connect with a powerful header.
The ball hit the underside of the bar before bouncing over the line and back out. A posse of Jags players rushed into make sure the ball hit the net but it was Lindsay’s goal.
Gorgie defender Igor Rossi was a relieved man when Stevie Lawless fired a 20-yard volley off his midrift, with the ricochet only just bouncing past the wrong-footed Hamilton’s posts.
The scare seemed to jolt the visitors into life and Thistle had to dig in to stem the flow of maroon attacks.
But just as Alan Archibald’s team thought they had done enough for a point, Watt struck.
Cerny raced from his line to take a cross but got held up in a ruck of bodies. That left the keeper to scramble back to his line as the ball made its way to Watt, who gave the Jags number one no time to settle before rifling home from a tight angle.