Arbroath FC 2-0 Heart of Midlothian
Saturday 29th June 2019, KO 15:00 | Friendly | Gayfield Park
A very young Hearts side fell 2-0 to Arbroath in their first pre-season friendly of the 2019-20 season.
The encounter saw last year’s Scottish Cup finalists meet newly-promoted Championship side, Arbroath.
It was a glorious afternoon on the Angus coast, with a young Hearts side playing in light blue. The sunny weather didn’t necessarily match the early exchanges, which were a little scrappy as the fresh-faced Jambos tried to match the physicality of their opponents.
Greig Spence had the first effort on goal, heading a free-kick straight at Bobby Zlamal, before Ryan Edwards hit a tame shot at the Arbroath goal.
A fantastic chance fell to the hosts after good play from talismanic attacker Bobby Linn. He showed good footwork to create a crossing chance. He cut it low to Omar Kader, but somehow Aaron Hickey got back to block a certain goal.
However, Dick Campbell’s side would be more clinical with their next chance. Good play from Linn on the left saw a cross chipped to the front-post, and Luke Donnelly flicked on to put the ball past Zlamal.
Scott Stewart was causing trouble with his midfield surges and he fired towards goal with a low drive, but Zlamal was equal to it.
Hearts would have three big chances to equalise before half-time, but unfortunately none of them bore fruit. Firstly a combination of Moore and Cochrane tested Darren Jamieson, but neither could get past the stopper.
Then, Steven MacLean picked up on the edge of the area, shaped his body for the shot and curled an effort towards goal but it crashed off the crossbar instead of dropping into the net.
Half-time came and went, and Hearts made ten changes to the side that finished the first 45 minutes. 16-year-old Leo Watson came on at full-back and immediately added some pace and flair on the left-hand side.
Hearts almost hit back immediately, when Craig Wighton sent a low cross to the back-post but Ollie Bozanic could not squeeze it in. Anthony McDonald got to the rebound, but his shot was smothered by Jamieson.
Half-time sub Colin Doyle was then tested twice, firstly by trialist Ciaran Briar and then by Scott Stewart who again hit a stinging drive at goal, only to be denied by the keeper.
Watson then linked up nicely with Euan Henderson, who cut the ball onto his right before firing down Jamieson who once again foiled the Hearts attack.
The duo almost combined to devastating effect ten minutes from the end, but Henderson could not glance his header on target.
The Lichties made the visitors pay for those missed chances just a few minutes from time when substitute Steven Doris was played through on goal and slotted calmly past Colin Doyle to make it 2-0, killing the game off.
Arbroath: Jamieson, Briar (Wilson 60’), Hamilton, Little ©, O’Brien, Gold, Kader, (McKenzie 71') Stewart, Donnelly (Doris 60’), Spence, Linn.
Subs: Gaston, Waddell.
Hearts: Zlamal (Doyle 45’), Sandison (Logan 24’, Brandon 62’), Hickey (Watson 45’), Hamilton (Dikamona 45’), Berra © (Petkov 45’), Moore (McDonald 45’), Edwards (Bozanic 45’), Cochrane (Burns 45’), MacLean (Wighton 45’), Smith (Henderson 45’, Schiavone 82’), Zanatta (Clare 45’).
Referee: Mike Roncone