Sean Welsh captained John Robertson’s side for the first time having been given the captaincy after the departure of Carl Tremarco as they travelled to the capital for their opening Betfred Cup Group Stage match of the season. Hearts started the stronger of the two teams, forcing Mark Ridgers into a top save inside the opening minute. Not long after, Daniel McKay’s header went close after Craig Gordon kept it out and further chances came for the home side before the break when Craig Wighton’s shot crashed off the crossbar.
Nikolay Todorov was introduced a minute before the break making his first competitive appearance of the season after Shane Sutherland was forced to leave the field with a hamstring injury. This was a big occasion for the Bulgarian striker who was facing the club he left back in 2018.
Into the second half after an evenly matched opening 45 minutes, Hearts were awarded a controversial penalty on the hour mark for a handball. Jamie Walker converted from the spot to give Robbie Neilson’s side the lead.
Todorov had two great opportunities to get Inverness back on level terms, first firing his shot over from close range before two minutes later, volleying wide of the goal from the centre of the box with just five minutes left on the clock.
It ended Hearts 1-0 Inverness CT and captain Sean Welsh had this to say after the narrow defeat at Tynecastle:
“We are frustrated at the end of the match to come away with nothing, we put in some shift and matched Hearts pretty much all over the pitch. So, it’s very frustrating because we feel hard done by but it’s a good game to get under our belt and it’s a good effort from the lads tonight.”
“It’s a great honour when the gaffer asked me to take over the captaincy from Carl. Hopefully, I can help the team and push the young boys on. Its still very early for us, everyone needs more games so hopefully we can get some more minutes in the tank and be ready for the first game of the season when it comes."