Glenavon 2-1 Heart of Midlothian
Saturday 6th July 2019, KO 14:00 | Friendly | Mourneview Park
Hearts suffered a 2-1 loss to Glenavon on a day where Bobby Burns returned to his old club.
The game started slowly and resembled a traditional pre-season affair despite the fanfare of the returning Burns, who would go up against his brother Paddy, also a left-back, in the second-half.
The hosts were threatening on the counter but new defensive duo Craig Halkett and John Souttar were looking strong as a pairing. Even when Stephen Murray looked to go clear through, Halkett was there to deny with a superb sliding tackle.
Hearts finally troubled former Partick Thistle keeper Johnny Tuffey just after the half-hour mark. Jake Mulraney spread the play left to Conor Washington, who cut in on his right foot and rifled a shot low into the side netting.
The Lurgan Blues would have one more chance before the opener, wasting a fantastic position from a direct free-kick when Eoin Wearon failed to properly test Bobby Zlamal.
A minute later, they had the lead. Harry Cochrane was caught in possession allowing Murray to go through one-on-one and he made no mistake, finishing calmly past Zlamal.
Half-time came and Glenavon changed ten, with Hearts making five changes of their own.
Hearts started the second-half on the front foot, with Uche Ikpeazu and Ryan Edwards going close.
But, Glenavon would make it two on the hour mark. A cross from the left was whipped to the back-post and trialist Matthew Ferguson nodded in at the back-post.
He came close again after he robbed Ryan Edwards – who played at right-back during the second-half – and went one-on-one, but he fired it straight down Zlamal’s throat.
Hearts almost hit back through man of the moment Bobby Burns. Ikpeazu burst down the right and cut back to the edge of the area, where Burns’ hit a low effort with his right – but the keeper was equal to it.
With close to ten minutes remaining, Glenavon tried for a third. Andrew Hall swung a deep cross in where Andrew Doyle met it, but his header went just over.
The Jambos went agonisingly close soon later. Connor Smith played a brilliant ball down the line for Ikpeazu who, after initially losing his footing, did brilliantly to find the youngster again. The 17-year-old shimmied onto his right and went for the far post, but it went just wide.
They would get a goal back late on to make things interesting. Anthony McDonald and Edwards combined well on the right, and the Aussie swung in a cross which was volleyed home by Sean Clare. However, they could not find a late leveller.
Glenavon: Tuffey ©; Harmon, Marron, Sharkey, Singleton; Trialist, Garrett, Wearon, Daniels; Murray, Jenkins
Second-half XI: Taylor; Norton, Larmour, Doyle, Singleton (P. Burns 59’); Hall, Clingan, McCloskey, Trialist; Trialist (Barr 81’), Mitchell (Hunter 81’).
Hearts: Zlamal; Moore (Zanatta 46’), Souttar ©, Halkett (Petkov 75’), White (Burns 46’); Edwards, Cochrane (Clare 46’), Bozanic (Irving 46’), Mulraney (McDonald 85'); Wighton (Ikpeazu 46’), Washington (C. Smith 61’).
Subs: Doyle, Dikamona.
Referee: Keith Kennedy