Match report: Cowdenbeath 2-1 Hearts
Hearts continued their pre-season campaign with a trip to face ex-jambo Colin Cameron's Cowdenbeath at Central Park.
JJ's men enjoyed a lot of possession in the opening minutes and it wasn't long before the first opportunity of the match. Good hold up play from late replacement Gordon Smith (in for the injured John Sutton) ended in a left footed strike from Ryan Stevenson, who was unlucky to see his powerful drive go just over.
Eager to improve on Saturday's 3-0 defeat to Union Berlin, Hearts continued to press forward and were close to making the breakthrough on 14 minutes. Arvydas Novikovas' inswinging free-kick met the head of defender Ryan McGowan, but his effort was well blocked by Cowden 'keeper Youssef Bejaoui.
The Tynecastle men were hit with a sucker punch on 23 minutes when the home side took the lead. Trialist Jordan Morton worked the ball onto his left foot and unleashed a 20-yard strike that flew past Hearts stopper Jamie MacDonald. This came less than a minute after the Jambos had a goal disallowed for offside through Gordon Smith.
The Fife side continued their good spell and almost doubled their advantage on the half hour. Greg Stewart's left-footed free-kick left Jamie MacDonald stranded and he was unfortunate to see it strike the Hearts 'keeper's right-hand post.
Things almost got worse for the away team on 35 minutes when Cowdenbeath were awarded a penalty. Centre half Ryan McGowan's foul on Cowden striker Jon Robertson resulted in the home side being awarded a penalty kick but Greg Stewart steered the ball wide from 12 yards.
Stephen Elliot was unlucky not to draw Hearts level prior to half time as he was denied by the alert Bejaoui in the Cowdenbeath goal. The Irishman saw his right-footed effort well blocked by the big stopper.
JJ opted not to change the starting line-up at half-time and it almost paid dividends on 47 minutes when Stevenson saw his shot well stopped by replacement Cowdenbeath 'keeper Thomas Flynn.
Hearts almost went two behind just after the hour when the home side broke forward. Substitute Lewis Coult delivered a cross from the right hand side, however Lewis Milne was unable to convert his volleyed effort and he saw the ball fly over the crossbar.
The visitors then began to step their game up and were twice unlucky not to draw level, first through Dennis Prychynenko. The young midfielder left fly from a 30-yard free-kick but saw his attempt well stopped again by Flynn. This was followed quickly by a powerful Smith header on 65 minutes but the striker was again to be denied by Flynn.
Hearts did eventually equalise on 71 minutes from a penalty. Elliott was brought down after receiving the ball in the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot. Elliott stood up to take the kick himself and slotted home from 12 yards.
JJ's side continued to pile the pressure onto the home outfit and almost took the lead shortly after Elliott's penalty conversion. Again it was Smith, who this time saw his strike dragged wide of goal.
The Jambos were again unfortunate not to go ahead after Prychynenko let fly from 30 yards, the impressive midfielder again denied by Flynn.
Things would get worse for JJ's outfit shortly after as Cowdenbeath took the lead on 85 minutes. An inswinging corner from Marc McKenzie found the head of Milne, who rose highest to head past Jamie MacDonald in the Hearts goal.
Hearts will face an even stiffer test with the visit of Royal Antwerp to Tynecastle on Sunday.
Cowdenbeath: Bejaoui (Flynn 45), Brett (Mackay 47), Adamson, Cameron (Bennett 60), Winter, Mbu (Miller 60), Morton (McKenzie 71), Robertson, Milne, Stewart (Coult 60), Linton.
Hearts: MacDonald; Jonsson, Barr, McGowan, C Hamilton; Novikovas (Holt 62), Black, Prychynenko; Stevenson, Smith, Elliott. Subs not used: J Hamilton, Mullen, McHattie.
Referee: Brian Colvin.
Top man: Jamie MacDonald
On Hearts.TV today, exclusive reaction to the defeat from Jim Jefferies, plus Lee Wallace talks exclusively about all his transfer speculation.