John McGlynn had some happy times in Fife at the helm of Raith Rovers and having taken over the managerial reins at Hearts his return visits aren’t going too badly either.
Having won at his former Kirkcaldy stomping ground seven days previously, McGlynn completed a double as his new charges cruised to a victory over Dunfermline.
Goals in either half from Andy Webster and John Sutton, the latter from the penalty spot, confirmed Hearts’ superiority and were a reminder that despite the new age of austerity down Gorgie way, the new Hearts boss still has some accomplished resources at his disposal. As well as the goalscorers, there were impressive performances down either flank from David Templeton and Andy Driver, whilst Ryan McGowan once again caught the eye in his recast role as supporting front man to Sutton. “After the midweek setback to Falkirk, it was good to get back to winning ways,” professed McGlynn. “I thought we should have won by more but it was a good all-round performance. I definitely think McGowan can do well playing further forward because he’s got the pace and legs for it.”
In his programme notes former Hearts man and current Dunfermline manager Jim Jefferies reflected on what has been an exceptionally trying pre-season for himself and the Fife club with the prolonged uncertainty over whether they would be playing SPL or SFL football only being brought to a close last Monday. With it finally being decreed that they will drop into the First Division after all, Jefferies has had his work cut out trying to build a squad equipped for the campaign ahead and this was reflected when he used no fewer than 18 players, including several trialists over the course of the 90 minutes. Regarding the tantalising prospect of Kevin Kyle once again joining forces with Jefferies – the player was a second-half substitute in this game – the official line remains that he is merely training with the East End Park side.
Despite some sterling performances for some from Jefferies’ experimental squad, Hearts were well on top from the early stages of this encounter, but it took them a while to get their rhythm and passing into shape.
Perhaps keen to make their mark in more ways than one some of the home players’ challenges fell into the robust category and somewhat unusually for a low key friendly we had the sight of two Dunfermline players – Josh Falkingham and John Potter – being shown yellow cards in quick succession midway through the first half.
Giving away needless free kicks played right into the visitors’ hands as they posed a considerable threat from set-pieces from the aerial prowess of Sutton, Webster and Marius Zaliukas. It was indeed the result of a free kick that was only cleared for a corner that gave Hearts the lead with Templeton floating the ball over and it fell to Webster to hook it into the net from near the penalty spot.
The Tynecastle men took command after this with Driver unlucky with a succession of attempts and Templeton doing his bit from the other flank. Inevitably, the game suffered as a spectacle as time ticked by – at one point we had the astonishing sight of Jefferies introducing six players in a mass substitution. Not to be outdone McGlynn replaced four in a single swoop later on.
Despite this, the pattern of the play remained remarkably unchanged and Hearts eventually extended their lead when Templeton was floored by one of Dunfermline’s trialists and Sutton put away the spot kick.
Dunfermline: G Smith; Geggan, Potter, Dowie, McMillan; Burns, Falkingham, Thomson, Trialist, Cardle; Barrowman.
Hearts: McDonald; Paterson, Webster, Zaliukas, McHattie; Driver, Robinson, Holt, Templeton; R McGowan, Sutton.
Referee: S Somers. Attendance: 1700.