17 Dec Hearts 1 – 1 Partick Thistle
New Hearts boss Ian Cathro’s first match at Tynecastle ended in further disappointment as his side were held to a 1-1 draw by Partick Thistle.
The 30-year-old was looking for a better result after his dugout debut ended in defeat at Rangers last week.
Bjorn Johnsen’s goal gave him the start he was looking for after 18 minutes against Thistle, but when his side failed to extend their lead they allowed their work-rate to dip after the break.
That was all the invitation the fired-up Jags needed and they responded with Sean Welsh’s header just moments into the second period.
Hearts were accused of playing like Wimbledon’s Crazy Gang by one newspaper columnist after Cathro’s introduction at Ibrox.
And they were not much slicker against Alan Archibald’s team despite having had another week to get to grips with the new manager’s methods.
Yet the Jambos dominated a scrappy first period, opening the scoring with Johnsen’s inch-perfect finish.
Teenage full-back Liam Smith got lucky when a helpful bounce saw him bundle past Callum Booth down the right. But he made the most of his good fortune as he threw over a sublime cross which American frontman Johnsen directed home with a deft nod.
Jags keeper Tomas Cerny kept his side in the contest late in the half when he turned away Arnaud Djoum’s effort, while the crossbar came to Thistle’s rescue seconds later as Igor Rossi got his head to Cowie’s corner.
It took Thistle two minutes into the second half to muster their first shot on target but they made it count.
Ryan Edwards picked out Welsh with a low cross as the midfielder ghosted past Rossi and he finished off with another terrific header.
Ade Azeez was presented with a chance soon after to put the Glasgow side ahead but was foiled when Gorgie stopper Jack Hamilton blocked with an instinctive leg.
The tetchy Tynecastle faithful were not slow in sounding their frustration when Edwards was allowed to drive forward and fizz a shot just wide.
And the natives were not happy either when Cathro replaced Johnsen with Tony Watt with 18 minutes left, treating the rookie coach to a huge chorus of boos.
There was loud applause though when Hamilton produced two stunning stops in the final 10 minutes to prevent Chris Erskine and Kris Doolan snatching the points for Partick.
But the boos rang out again at the final whistle, with Hearts this weekend dropping seven points behind second-placed Rangers. Thistle, meanwhile, will be pleased with their point but they remain bottom.