Alex Macdonald’s first competitive in charge of Hearts was a happy one as he watched his players earn themselves a fourth-round home tie with Forfar after dominating their hosts at Firs Park.
MacDonald, in his short time in charge, has certainly ensured his players adopt the right attitude for an important cup tie.
Providing Hearts show the same determination and fighting spirit in their remaining league games, the second half of the season should be much happier for their fans.
Hearts opened the scoring in seven minutes when Roddy McDonald converted Peter Marinello’s corner.
Willie Howitt took advantage of a mix-up between McDonald and Stewart McLaren to equalise.
Chris Robertson put Hearts ahead again after half an hour converting another cross by Marinello who added a third just before the interval.
Robertson’s shot from a Pat Byrne cross struck the goalkeeper and Marinello was lying handy to force it over the line. It was just a question of playing out time but Byrne , with a great 25-yard left-foot drive, scored Hearts’ fourth in 80 minutes.
MacDonald said: “I was pleased to make a winning start and the way the lads tackled the game was what I will be looking for in future.”
East Stirlingshire: Pearce, McLaren-Blair, Watt, Renwick, Rennie, Gourlay, Lamont, McGall, Edgar, Howitt, Sharp. Substitutes: N/A.
Hearts: Smith, Kidd, Shields, Byrne, McDonald, McLaren (c), Bowman, Pettigrew, Robertson, Addison, Marinello. Substitutes: McNeill, McCoy.