From Hearts News at The Oval, in Belfast

Hearts launched pre-season in Belfast with a new manager and playing in the new resplendent Umbro away kit. The team formation was also a novelty with lone striker Glen backed by Driver, Mikoliunas and Stewart. Palazuelos and Jonsson set up in front of the back four of Thomson, Karapidis, Zaliukas and Wallace.


Csaba Laszlo chose to direct operations from the dugout with Steve Banks captaining the team in the absence of Christophe Berra through injury. Banks was called into action after only two minutes but dealt comfortably with a high cross from Halliday.

Hearts however were keen to play a passing game and keep the ball on the floor and after only five minutes the blue-booted Saulius Mikoliunas accepted a Michael Stewart swivel pass and then chipped keeper Morris from 20 yards.

The band of 200 travelling supporters were almost on their feet again two minutes later when Glen sent a rasping shot just past the left hand post.

Jason Thomson then had to look lively after 15 minutes when the hard working Halliday took aim 18 yards out but the youngster's blocking tackle was well executed to avert the goal threat.

The sun broke through the cloud to bathe the 1,000 supporters in warmth with the famous backdrop of the Harland and Wolff cranes providing a charismatic backdrop to a match between two teams who hadn't met since 1899.

Despite the summer sunshine though, Hearts didn't look like a team that had just resumed pre-season training. They were proving every bit a match for their Northern Irish opponents who face a UEFA Cup first round tie against  Metalurgs on Thursday evening.

Mikoluinas was again thwarted after clever interplay between Jonsson and Driver with only Morris' legs preventing the Jambos going two-nil to the good.

Glentoran's Neill was warned by referee Carville for a reckless challenge on Thomson and it was from the resulting free kick that Hearts carved out another good opportunity. The long ball from Thomson found Driver who squared the ball to Glen. He created room to pass to Mikoliunas on the angle of the area and the young Lithuanian did well to cross the ball but Morris dived low to cut the ball out.

Karipidis remained solid at the back and was a commanding force in the air with little passing either him or central partner Zaliukas. Thomson, Driver and Jonsson also continued to link well up the right.

Glentoran then started pressing, matching physical prowess with slick passing down the channels. Despite their possesion they created little other than a Gary Hamilton shot which ballooned over the bar on 35 minutes. The 'Glens' then freshened things up with three substitutions.

Karipidis then conceded a free kick on the edge of the box following a towering challenge but Hamilton wasted the free kick.

On 40 minutes Driver then won a corner but was substituted before the kick was taken to make way for Ivaskevicius. Jonsson was then cut down on the edge of the box by Taylor and Michael Stewart's shot was goal bound but again Morris saved well. Palazuelos then sent Ivaskevicius clear but the result was another harsh tackle by Glentoran's McGovern.

A mistimed 'faint' by Zaliukas could have cost Hearts their lead on 45 minutes but the resultant shot by Hamilton fizzed over the bar.

The second half started with a couple of substitutions Basso on for Banks and a minute later Sives on for Karipidis. Mikoliunas looked lively once again and continued to pester the Glens defence with good cross balls, one of which would have fallen perfectly for Glen had it not been for a lunging last-ditch tackle from a Glentoran defender.

Palazuelos then made way for Fernando Screpis. Basso was then unlucky with a pass which dribbled out for a throw half way inside the Hearts half however after a battle in the midfield Jonsson took charge to close out any danger. Lee Wallace then played a beautiful one-two with Ivaskevicius. After a deft chip by the Lithuanian, the young Scot cut in onto to his right foot and shot just past the keepers right hand post.  

Calum Elliot then replaced the industrious Glen on 54 minutes. Michael Stewart was working hard in the middle but Glentoran were in the ascendancy and they almost snatched an equaliser. Sloppy defending in the centre presented Scullion with a golden opportunity but his shot was well saved by Basso from only ten yards out.

Hearts then had a harder chance to extend their lead. Stewart linked well again with Ivaskevicius. He passed to Elliot who managed to wriggle clear of two defenders only to be blocked out by a third on the edge of the box.

It was pinball on 70 minutes with both Stewart and Elliot taking quick shots in a packed area but luck was with Glentoran. Hearts looked sharp and Elliot was proving a real manace with his quick footwork. Mikoliunas then left for a well deserved rest to be replaced by Matthew Doherty.

An ever younger looking Hearts were to suffer however only a minute later when a free kick presented a 25-yard opportunity and Ryan Berry rifled a tremendous shot low past Basso.

Hearts maintained their desire to play passing football and were not shying from creativity. A corner from Stewart landed with Screpis who immediately returned the ball and Stewart then looped a thoughtful high inswinging ball just over the bar as everyone advanced from the penalty area. Calum Elliot continued his trickery with a clever back heel giving him space to shoot but it was a weak effort and Morris mopped it up.

Hearts made a final substitution with Stewart going off for Shaun Kelly. Matthew Doherty then worked hard on the right and created a clever shooting opportunity but glanced his shot a yard wide. He was at the centre of the action again on 84 minutes with a shot which was blocked on the six yard box.

Glentoran then could have wrapped it up with a quick break but the final shot  by Carson went sky high when a little composure would have seen the Umbro Trophy in the Glentoran Trophy Cabinet.

As the match headed for penalties a still fit looking Hearts continued to press but to little avail. Both teams could have won it but  it was spot-kicks to decide the destination of the trophy.


Hearts: Screpis MISS; Elliot GOAL; Jonsson GOAL; Zaliukas MISS; Ivaskevicius GOAL; Doherty GOAL; Wallace GOAL; Sives MISS

Glentoran: Carson MISS;  Harris MISS; Berry GOAL; Scallion GOAL; Gardiner GOAL; Simpson GOAL; Burrows GOAL; GOAL

Glentoran: Morris; Nixon, Hill, Ward, Taylor, Neill, Boyce, Fordyce, Fitzgerald, Hamilton, Halliday; Subs:  Taylor, Simpson, Scullion, Carson, Berry, McGovern, Bowers, McMenamin, Burrows, Ferguson.

Hearts: Banks (Basso, 46); Thomson, Zaliukas, Karipidis (Sives, 47), Wallace; Palazuelos (Screpis, 50), Jonsson; Mikoliunas (Doherty, 72), Stewart, Driver (Ivaskevicius 39); Glen (Elliot, 54). Subs not used: Kelly

Referee: Hugh Carville

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