How Hearts are shaping up as Dunfermline earn a draw after Riccarton teenager's goal

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Youngster’s goal in cancelled out by a late equaliser.

Riccarton teenager Luke Rathie saw his goal cancelled out as Hearts drew 1-1 with Dunfermline in a pre-season friendly. The 18-year-old defender struck 15 minutes from time, but an unfortunate own goal by Peter Haring levelled the scoreline at East End Park.

Rathie played for Hearts B team last season and is predominantly a centre-back, however he looked useful attacking from right-back. Dunfermline were promoted from League One to the Championship last season and worked hard to earn a draw against Premiership opponents.

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With new signings still to arrive, Hearts are still getting up to speed in what was their second outing of pre-season. Sharpness and ruthlessness in front of goal is something still to be perfected but they gave 21 players game time in Fife.

An injury to Zander Clark in the warm-up meant Hearts began this game with their third-choice goalkeeper, 21-year-old Harry Stone. He produced an excellent early save low to his right to prevent the former Tynecastle striker Craig Wighton opening the scoring on eight minutes.

The Dunfermline keeper Denis Mehmet stopped one of several goal attempts from Lawrence Shankland and then held a deflected effort from Connor Smith. The hosts played mainly on the counter-attack during the first half with Hearts controlling possession. Smith looked to be impeded in the box by defender Sam Fisher as half-time approached, but the penalty appeals fell on deaf ears.

Multiple substitutes from both sides during the interval ensured a somewhat different look to the second half. The travelling support got their first sighting of the highly-rated Riccarton youth product James Wilson, who only turned 16 earlier this year. He displayed some nice touches, intelligent movement, sound technique, and certainly didn’t look out of place in the first-team environment.

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Dunfermline substitute Lewis McCann had the first serious shot on goal after the break. His powerful drive from 18 yards was collected by Stone. The warm summer air in Fife perhaps contributed to an at-times lethargic game overall which was very much in keeping with its ‘friendly’ title.

Dunfermline's Michael O'Halloran and Hearts' Aidan Denholm during Sunday's pre-season friendly match. Pic: SNSDunfermline's Michael O'Halloran and Hearts' Aidan Denholm during Sunday's pre-season friendly match. Pic: SNS
Dunfermline's Michael O'Halloran and Hearts' Aidan Denholm during Sunday's pre-season friendly match. Pic: SNS

A major Hearts highlight arrived with 21 minutes remaining as Liam Boyce and Beni Baningime both entered the fray as substitutes. They featured in last week’s friendly with Plymouth Argyle in Spain having been out since last year with cruciate ligament injuries. They are now working towards regaining full fitness in time for the cinch Premiership campaign starting on August 5.

Boyce’s craft generated an opening for the winning goal on 75 minutes. Rathie – one of the half-time replacements – galloped forward from right-back and was fed a weighted pass from the Northern Irishman. He took a touch before lashing the ball into the net via a deflection and setting off for a notably passionate celebration in front of the 3,083 Hearts fans in a 4,883 crowd.

Dunfermline equalised ten minutes later when McCann’s cutback was inadvertently turned into his own net by the Hearts substitute Haring.

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Dunfermline (3-4-1-2): Mehmet; Fisher, Benedictus, Breen (Tod 66); Comrie, Allan (McGowan 46), Chalmers, Edwards; Todd (Sutherland 80); O’Halloran (Etoo 46), Wighton (McCann 46).

Hearts (4-2-3-1): Stone; Atkinson (Rathie 46), Sibbick (Neilson 46), Kingsley (Rowles 46), Cochrane (Halliday 46); Denholm (Baningime 69), Devlin (Haring 46); Oda (Sandilands 46), Grant (Boyce 69), Smith (Wilson 46); Shankland (Forrest 46).

Refereee: Graham Grainger.

Attendance: 4,883.

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