Ross County had to settle for a 0-0 draw against Hearts at Tynecastle, with Brian Graham missing a penalty for the Staggies seven minutes from time.
County put on an excellent display in the capital in just their second match since winning promotion to the top-flight, but were unable to take a number of chances that fell their way – most notably Graham’s late spot-kick which came back off the post.
County made one change from the side which defeated Hamilton Accies 3-0 on the opening day, with Ross Draper back from injury to replace Joe Chalmers in midfield.
Hearts created early pressure, with Conor Washington seeing a powerful effort palmed wide by Ross Laidlaw on four minutes, after the striker had latched on to Uche Ikpeazu’s headed through ball.
The Staggies offered their own threat, with Josh Mullin seeing an effort from the edge of the box tipped over by Zdenek Zlamal after Sean Kelly’s corner had been punched clear by the Czech goalkeeper, while Mullin sent another effort over the bar on the first time volley from another Kelly delivery.
Laidlaw had to be alert to keep the Staggies level on 28 minutes when he stood tall to block another attempt from Washington, in the Jambos’ best first half attempt.
County were on top in the remainder of the first half however, creating a number of chances to break the deadlock. Ross Stewart nodded wide from a Mullin corner, while Mullin saw an audacious lob float just over on the breakaway.
County were causing a particular threat from set-pieces, with a free kick from Mullin not cut out by Zlamal to allow a free header for Stewart at the far post, but his effort trickled wide.
Michael Gardyne was also afforded a fine opportunity on the first time volley on 38 minutes, however he blazed over following Stewart’s cross.
Gardyne was denied by a matter of inches on 57 minutes, when his curling delivery from the left flank evaded Zlamal before coming off the outside of the far post, while Stewart was unable to force a flick from Mckay’s deft delivery past the goalkeeper.
Stewart missed a glorious chance to break the leadlock on 70 minutes when he neatly took Marcus Fraser’s long ball past the last line of defence to go one-on-one with Zlamal, however he blazed over the bar.
County had an even better opportunity to take all three points when they were awarded a penalty seven minutes from time. It was a bizarre incident in which Mullin’s pass towards Fraser looked to be heading out of play, before fortuitously rebounding off the corner flag to set Fraser on the path to goal, before he was hauled down by Aidan White.
Referee Alan Muir showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot, however Graham struck the post with his low strike as the Staggies had to settle for a point.