Hearts of Oak failed to keep up the pressure on leaders Asante Kotoko in a 0-0 draw at home to bottom club Bechem United on Sunday night.
The Phobians began the game the brightest, switching straight into attack with a few descent chances created in quick succession.
First, Ahmed Soulama broke on left flank to send in a teasing cross but it was too high for James Abban to reach in just the first minute.
A series of corner kicks then followed but Hearts failed to make it count with Bobie Ansah coming closest to opening the scoring but his fourth minute rebound off a Laryea Kingston corner was always flying.
Hearts went on to dominate the game with star man Laryea Kingston pulling the strings in midfield ably supported by Moro Iddrissu and Moro Abubakar in the holding role.
The holding duo ensured the high inefficiency of the Bechem United midfield, thereby starving front men Abraham Annan and Peter Ofori-Quaye of needed services.
Haruna Ganiyu then forced a save off Maxwell Eshun in the Bechem United post after his well struck shot was deflected on its way in the 27th minute.
Kofi Agyare appeared to have broken the deadlock in the 39th minute after getting to the end of Kingston’s far post free kick but the defender’s header rattled off the outside of the net.
Despite their firm hold of the game and with Bechem United offering very little upfront Hearts were unable to find the breakthrough as the game went into recess.
Hearts began the second half similarly to how they ended the first, claiming most of the possession but unable to make it translate into goals.
Kingston was the next to come close to opening the scoring the the 57nd minute but his goal-bound free kick was well gathered by Eshun.
Then it was James Abban’s turn a minute later but his shot was tip over the bar again by Eshun to increase Hearts frustration and desperation to grab the elusive opener.
Abban then made way for Mahatma Otoo in the 65th minute but not after squandering a glorious opportunity at getting the goal.
A ferociously hit cross-face goal shot luckily fell to the ex Liberty Professionals player but his contact was wayward to the dismay of the Hearts fans.
It was emerging quiet clear at this point that the Phobians would really need a miracle to score after Eshun slapped the ball into the path of Kofi Agyare off a Laryea Kingston free kick but the well-built defender could only find the goal-line other that the one between the sticks.
Substitute Douglas Nkrumah then took over the set piece duty with a 74th minute free kick but his dragged his shot wide off the intended target.
And just when Kofi Agare once more again thought he had clinched an 86th minute winner, goalkeeper Maxwell Eshun pushed his goal-bound shot to touch for a corner which was eventually wasted.
Douglas Nkrumah then spurned the game’s most gaping chance after being played clean on goal by Ganiyu but his final shot was too feeble for the impressive Eshun to pick up.
Laryea Kingston also saw his injury time free kick curl agonizingly wide off target; Hearts certainly had run out of luck on the day.
Hearts inability to take maximum points of Bechem means Asante Kotoko open up a six point lead at the summit of the table.
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