Shelbourne 0-7 Heart of Midlothian
Monday 1st July 2019, KO 19:30 | Friendly | Tolka Park
Hearts kicked off their week-long trip to Ireland with an emphatic 7-0 victory over Shelbourne on Monday night.
Goals from Steven MacLean and Jake Mulraney put the Jambos 2-0 up at half-time before going goal crazy in the final 45. Sean Clare, Craig Wighton, Dario Zanatta, Connor Smith and Christophe Berra all found the back of the net to seal a comfortable win at Tolka Park.
The Hearts squad jetted into Dublin earlier this afternoon for their week-long training camp and tonight’s fixture marked the first of two friendlies – with the final one to be played in Belfast this coming Saturday.
Five players who started in the Scottish Cup Final against Celtic retained their places for the fixture – including goalscorer Ryan Edwards - with Clevid Dikamona coming back into the fold and youngster Andy Irving handed a start. Aaron Hickey was scheduled to start, however, a knock during the warm up meant Bobby Burns stepped in to replace him.
Dikamona came within inches of handing Hearts the lead when he rose to meet a Sean Clare corner from the left, but his headed effort went just the wrong side of the right post on 15 minutes.
The Jambos began to dominate soon after as they enjoyed lengthy spells of possession in the final third. They got the goal they deserved on 23 minutes as Wighton was played in on the right side of the box before squaring it to MacLean who slotted the ball into the bottom left corner.
The Gorgie men continued to dictate play and got their second shortly after the hour mark. Mulraney picked up a loose ball on the right side of the box and drilled a low shot beyond the keeper to double the Edinburgh side’s advantage.
The hosts almost pulled one back on 37 minutes when a Doyle clearance landed at the feet of Dayle Rooney. With the keeper off his line, he attempted an audacious lob that saw the ball crash off the cross bar with Doyle racing back to gather.
Zanatta replaced Mulraney ahead of the second half and the Jambos grabbed their third inside the opening minute. Clare’s free-kick to the left of the box evaded everyone and nestled into the bottom right corner.
The fourth duly arrived on 55 minutes when Clare raced down the right flank. The ball found MacLean who pulled it back for Wighton to sweep past the keeper.
Zanatta made it 5-0 after picking up a Connor Smith through ball and expertly curling a low shot beyond the keeper. Within minutes, the provider turned goalscorer as his cross/shot from the right side beat the keeper at his near post.
The Skipper then wrapped up the scoring with seconds to go as he got on the end of a fine Smith cross to power a header beyond the keeper.
Christophe's goal rounded off an excellent run out for the Jambos who will now spend the week training outside of Dublin before heading north to Belfast on Friday.
HEARTS: Doyle, Brandon, Burns, Irving, Dikamona (Petkov '70), Berra, Edwards (Smith '60), Clare, MacLean (Moore '60), Wighton (McDonald '70), Mulraney (Zanatta '45).
Subs: Zlamal, Bozanic, Hickey.
SHELBOURNE: Delany, Wilson, Giles, Marku, Farrell, O’Hanlon, C.Byrne, D.Byrne, Rooney, Groome, Alamu.
Subs: Lydon, O’Sullivan, Connolly, Raymond, Doyle, Emakhy, Mulawe