First Team

East Fife 1-1 Heart of Midlothian

Saturday 27th July 2019, KO 15:00 | Betfred Cup | Bayview

Match Report

Hearts qualified for the next stage of the Betfred Cup after a 1-1 draw at New Bayview today.

East Fife won the penalty shootout for the bonus point by seven goals to six, but the point earned in regular time ensured Hearts won Group A to make the next round.

Craig Levein made five changes to the side that defeated Stenhousemuir, with Christophe Berra, Andy Irving, Jamie Walker, Jake Mulraney and Uche Ikpeazu returning to the side.

Hearts started brightly and Jamie Walker came close to opening the scoring after two minutes when Craig Halkett flicked on a long throw but Walker’s shot was deflected over. From the corner, Berra rose to meet the ball but his header was straight at Brett Long.

The Jambos were rewarded for their early pressure with a first goal for Jamie Walker since rejoining the club in the summer. Halkett did brilliantly to win the ball on the right flank and drove in an excellent cross that Walker tapped in at the back post.

Ikpeazu almost made it 2-0 ten minutes later when he rose to met an Irving corner from the right side, but Long produced a fine save to tip the ball over. The striker came close again, just prior to the interval, when Irving slid a pass through to play the striker in on goal, but the Englishman could only hit the side netting.

Into the second half, and East Fife levelled with their first attack of the match. A counter attack set Ryan Wallace free on the right wing and his swinging cross was met by Chris Duggan who fired the ball past Bobby Zlamal.

Hearts continued to press for a second goal and Michael Smith came agonisingly close to netting when he met Ikpeazu’s cross but his shot flew inches wide of the post.

Substitute Steven MacLean could have then won it for the visitors when Mulraney burst down the right wing and moved the ball across goal but the striker didn’t contact the ball properly and the ball dribbled across the goal-line and out.

From there, it went to penalties and in a dramatic shootout, the Fifers won 7-6 despite Hearts missing their first two kicks.

Zlamal produced a terrific stop to send the penalties to sudden death and goal after goal went in before Aaron Hickey’s penalty drew a fine save from Long. Up stepped Aaron Dunsmore, who converted to earn the bonus point for East Fife.

East Fife: Long, Dunsmore, Higgins, Murdoch, Dunlop, Slattery, Wallace, Agnew, Hunter (R. Davidson, 63'), Watt (Dowds, 79'), Duggan. Subs: Hart, Watson, A. Davidson, Laird, Lamont.

Hearts: Zlamal, M. Smith, Berra, Clare, Walker, Mulraney, Ikpeazu (MacLean, 80'), Halkett, Zanatta (Keena, 63'), Irving (Bozanic, 68'), Hickey. Subs: Doyle, Cochrane, Dikamona, C. Smith.

Referee: David Munro