Hearts were defeated 3-1 by Mansfield Town at Tynecastle in our penultimate friendly match of the summer.
The Jambos got another 90 minutes in the legs against the League Two Stags, and were in the driving seat at the break thanks to Liam Boyce’s 22nd minute strike. A second-half rally from the visitors saw them claim three goals to secure an eventual win.
It was bright start to the game for Hearts who created ample chances in the opening exchange. A marvellous cross-field ball from Alan Forrest picked out Stephen Kingsley – who cut inside before dragging an attempt inches off the mark.
The defender was at the heart of another promising move for the JTs, his cross whizzing close past Boyce’s boot. Oates had a chance for the Stags following some superb hold-up play from Akins. The number seven twisted and turned before finding his strike partner who blasted at Clark in Hearts’ goal from inside the box.
Liam Boyce then made the breakthrough after 22 minutes. Nathaniel Atkinson threaded a delightful, weighted pass into the Northern Irishman – who showed deft footwork to round the ‘keeper to score.
Mansfield kept at it, and went close on the cusp of half-time when Oates forced Zander Clark into another superb stop with a strike from 20 yards.
The visitors pulled the game back to level terms on 57 minutes. Macdonald claimed the ball in the attacking third before finding Quinn - who delivered an intelligent ball in the direction of Keillor-Dunn who was able to dink Michael McGovern and hit the net.
Mansfield took the lead ten minutes from time, after Keillor-Dunn's initial header fell as far as Oates - whose resulting volley in the area sneaked underneath McGovern.
The final goal arrived on 83 minutes, with Mansfield picking up a penalty after Luke Rathie fouled Macdonald inside the box. Bowery stepped up and scored to round off the evening in a competitive encounter.
Hearts: Clark (McGovern 45’), Atkinson (Denholm 54’), Sibbick, Rowles (Rathie 79’), Kingsley (Smith 60’), Haring (Halliday 45’), Baningime, Forrest (Neilson 60’), Shankland (Wilson 60’), Cochrane, Boyce (Grant 34’)
Subs: McGovern, Neilson, Denholm, Rathie, Halliday, Smith, Grant, Wilson
Mansfield Town: Pym (Flinders 45’), Johnson, Kilgour, Cargill, MacDonald (Cooper 86’), Lewis, Reed, Quinn (Boateng 75’), Keillor-Dunn (Hartigan 82’), Akins (Abdullah 86’), Oates (Bowery 82’)
Subs: Flinders, Cooper, Hartigan, Boateng, Bowery, Abdullah