JOHN McGLYNN praised the young full-backs who helped Hearts to their first clean sheet of pre-season in the 2-0 win against Dunfermline.
Andy Webster’s first-half opener was added to after the break from the penalty spot by John Sutton while, at the other end, the Tynecastle side’s relatively youthful defence kept the Pars out.
The more experienced pairing of Marius Zaliukas and Webster played directly in front of Jamie MacDonald in the Hearts goal, but it was Callum Paterson and Kevin McHattie who drew compliments from their manager, who felt that the trip to Fife had been beneficial for everyone connected with the team. The game at East End Park was a third match and third start for both youngsters and McGlynn said: “We got a 2-0 victory and I thought it could have been more, we had one or two chances to score more goals but I was happy to see us keep a clean sheet.
“I thought that the two centre backs were different class and the two young full-backs got another game. They have now started all three games and acquitted themselves very well, although they are still young boys and have got a bit to learn. Overall I was pleased.”
Sutton again started in attack, supported by Ryan McGowan from his relatively new role for Hearts in the middle of the park and they were up against Graeme Smith, the former Hibs goalkeeper, who lined up between the sticks for the Pars as a trialist.
The Tynecastle side had dominated their previous two friendly matches without being able to convert a high percentage of the chances that they created. And it looked as though that could again be the case, Webster playing a neat one-two with Andy Driver but the defender could only fire well wide of Smith’s right-hand post after taking the return. There were a couple of bookings in the space of just a few minutes as some tasty tackles started to fly in, the first for Dunfermline’s Josh Falkinghman after a trip on Templeton and John Potter followed him into the book for a body check on Jason Holt.
The Jambos made the breakthrough just after the half-hour mark when McGowan latched onto a corner from David Templeton and cut it back for Webster, who volleyed the ball into the back of the net from the edge of the six-yard box.
After the break, a McGowan header down into the path of Driver almost set up Hearts for the opener, only for Smith to spread himself well to block the low shot from the winger.
They could have had another chance when McGowan hurdled two separate challenges, only for whistler David Somers to to pull play back for a free-kick. Scott Robinson volunteered himself to take the set-piece but disappointingly sent his effort high over the bar.
A good save from Smith denied Templeton a goal after the little winger had collected a pass from Driver, who himself had done well to skip past two Pars defenders and into the box. But the Jambos did kill off the game when they were awarded a penalty in 75 minutes after trialist Stephen Jordan brought down Templeton inside the box. Sutton is desperate to make his mark for Hearts under McGlynn and confidently despatched the ball behind Smith from 12 yards.
McGlynn decided to change things around after that goal, bringing David Smith, Jamie Walker, Dale Carrick and Denis Prychynenko on for Driver, Sutton, Robinson and Templeton.
Dunfermline manager Jim Jefferies felt that the game had been a good physical workout for his side, who are still playing catch-up in terms of their squad and the signings that they are hoping to make, because of the uncertainty over who would play in the SPL this season following the financial meltdown and demotion of Rangers.
The Pars only found out on Monday last week that they will indeed be playing in the First Division, having been relegated last term, while Dundee have been voted into the top flight.
Jefferies’ side featured trialists Graeme Smith, Stephen Husband, Kevin Kyle and Jordan but he admits that he still has some way to go until he is happy with his pool of players.
The former Hearts boss said: “My preparations have been hampered a lot.
“This is only our second game and this is what it is going to be like for the next while, just finding out a bit more about them, how they play, who can play where. But it was a major improvement from where we were last midweek. That’s what we were looking for.”
Dunfermline: Smith, Geggan (Buchanan 81), McMillan, Dowie, Potter, Husband (Jordon 60), Cardle (Wallace 60), Falkingham (Kane 60), Barrowman (Kyle 60), Thomson (Whittle 60), Burns (Willis 60). Unused subs: Kirk, Byrne, Young.
Hearts: MacDonald, Paterson (D McGowan 74), McHattie, Webster, Zaliukas, Robinson (Walker 81), Driver (Carrick 81), R McGowan, Sutton (Smith 81), Holt (Taouil 73), Templeton (Prychynenko 81).
Referee: David Somers.