The Wee Jambos kept the freshness in their legs with a 3-1 friendly win over Rangers B at the Rangers Training Centre on Thursday afternoon.
The recent rain meant there was a real slickness to the surface and in what was an even start to proceedings, both sides were spraying the ball around nicely.
It was the men in maroon who had the first big chance of the afternoon on 18 minutes. Macaulay Tait nipped in to intercept a Rangers pass, 25-yards from goal. He picked out Callum Sandilands, who intelligently slipped in Makenzie Kirk and his dinked effort got the better of Mason Munn but rolled just the wrong side of the far post.
The Jambos were just beginning to get the upper hand and they went ahead three minutes later. A smart save from Munn thwarted Aidan Denholm’s header but from the resulting corner, the ball was only cleared as far Callum Sandilands.
The Hearts number nine did everything right as he got over the ball and struck his volley low into the bottom corner to break the deadlock.
Craig Gordon was playing 90 minutes for the first time since December, and it had been a fairly quiet beginning for the stopper but he was called into action 10 minutes before the break to tip Bailey Rice’s free kick over the bar.
Hearts almost doubled their lead three minutes before the break. Rangers lost possession on the edge of their own box and with Munn stranded, Sandilands’ effort went just wide.
Into the second half and there were no real openings until the hour mark, when Hearts were given the perfect chance to double their lead.
Aidan Denholm showed great energy down the right channel to beat his opposite number and when he was brought down in the box, the referee pointed to the spot.
The reliable Kirk stepped up and sent Munn the wrong way to double the Wee Jambos’ lead.
Hearts had been solid at the back all afternoon and just as it looked like there would be no further goals, Tait added a third, eight minutes from time.
The skipper glided through the middle of the Gers defence and kept his composure to slot the ball under Munn for Hearts’ third goal of the afternoon.
There was no clean sheet for Gordon on his return however as Rice pulled one back for the home side from the penalty spot three minutes from time, but that was as good as it got for the home side as Hearts saw the remainder of the game out for a deserved victory.
Rangers: Munn, Grant, Hutton, Yfeko, Allan, McInally, Stevens, Rice, Eadie, Trialist, Nsio
Subs: Thackray, Newton, Webster, Curtis, Gentles, Bell, Pasnik
Hearts: Gordon, Tait ©, McLuckie, Sandilands (Duncan, 46), Kirk, Thomas (Gordon, 80), Nair, Drysdale, Forrester, Rathie, Denholm
Subs: McConnell, Dall, Gordon, Duncan, Smutek, Ross, Chisholm, Crookston