Hearts boss Steven Naismith hails impact of Alan Forrest after stunning goal

The winger was a stand-out performer in the 2-2 draw with Hibs.

Hearts boss Steven Naismith hails impact of Alan Forrest after goal against Hibs SNS Group

Hearts manager Steven Naismith hailed Alan Forrest as the best player on the pitch after his decision to start the winger and Alex Lowry in the 2-2 Edinburgh derby draw was vindicated.

Forrest scored a spectacular opening goal as he cut inside and fired a left-footed strike into the top corner from 25 yards.

Lowry had earlier hit the post and twice forced saves from David Marshall as well as making some impressive passes forward in the final third.

The pair had each scored winners off the bench in Hearts’ previous two games and Lowry also provided the assist for Forrest against Ross County.

Hearts had just gone two up through Christian Doidge’s own goal when Lowry was taken off for Beni Baningime, and Hibs winger Elie Youan soon scored twice in quick succession.

When it was suggested he must have been happy with Lowry’s display, Naismith said: “I am happy with a lot of them. Al Forrest, I think you are doing him a disservice if you are not mentioning him first because I thought he was the best player on the park.

“Him and Alex Lowry have had to be patient and deal with coming on in games and having an input.

“The two of them have done really well in the last two weeks and that’s why they started the game, because they have worked hard and done it.

“This game was one I felt suited them to come in and do it and I think we were right because we had a lot of good chances first half and what we worked on during the week was going to plan.”

As well as blowing a two-goal lead, there was another blow for Naismith when Stephen Kingsley was carried off on a stretcher after suffering an injury while cutting out a cross.

Naismith said: “I think it was some sort of groin injury, time will tell how severe it is.”

Hibs head coach Nick Montgomery extended his unbeaten start in Scotland to five games and will now look to reinforce his ideas.

The former Sheffield United player was urging his team to get forward in stoppage-time rather than settling for the point and he will continue setting demands on his new players.

Montgomery said: “We have had some good momentum but now there is a two-week break.

“This week was really only the second week that I had time with the boys on the training ground. Now I’m really looking forward to this time.

“There are a few boys away on international duty and a couple of boys recovering from niggles but the rest can get back on the training ground and we will have a game next weekend for the boys who need some minutes.

“So we will use these two weeks to our advantage ahead of a big game at Ibrox in two weeks’ time.”

One of the players with niggles was Marshall, who went off in the 78th minute for Max Boruc .

Montgomery said: “He’s okay. He took a goal kick and cramped up. He took no risk and it was a good chance for young Max to come on and keep a clean sheet.

“He didn’t really have much to do but that will be a big moment for him and he’ll learn from that experience.”

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