Heart of Midlothian 3-1 Cowdenbeath
Tuesday 13th August 2019, KO 19:45 | Challenge Cup | Prestonfield
The Jambos marched on to the Third round of the Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup with a convincing 3-1 win over Cowdenbeath.
Goals from Dan Baur, Aidan Keena and Dario Zanatta sewed thing's up for Andy Kirk's side before Craig Barr's late consolation goal for the Blue Brazil.
The Jambos almost got off to the best possible start in this action-packed game, when Bobby Burns fired a half-volley just inches wide from the edge of the box.
Keena and Zanatta both had chances to open the scoring in the first-half, but both dragged their shots just wide.
Cowden did test Harry Stone in the first half. He twice denied Fraser Mullen and had to be off his line quickly to deny Kris Renton, but the 17-year-old keeper closed down the striker well.
Cammy Logan and Alex Petkov before Chris Hamilton hit the post with a header just before the half.
There was still time for the Jambos to put the ball in the back of the net when Anthony McDonald chipped Kevin Dabrowski beautifully - but the linesman controversially had his flag up.
The second-half continued at the pace of the first-half and on-loan Hibs keeper Dabrowski kept the score down at times.
Chris Hamilton almost opened the scoring immediately and should have scored from a close range header, but Dabrowski was there to deny him.
On the hour mark, the Jambos' luck seemed to change when referee Lloyd Wilson awarded Hearts a penalty.
Zanatta burst forward and surged into the box before being taken down by Jamie Todd - who was booked for his troubles. Keena stepped up and blasted it straight down the middle - but Dabrowski got a toe to the ball and the game remained scoreless.
The battle between the Polish keeper and the Hearts frontline continued and he produced three genuinely world-class saves to deny a close-range McDonald effort, a curling Keena shot from 25 yards and finally a powerful drive from Zanatta which he tipped onto the post.
However, there was nothing he could do to deny the first goal. McDonald curled a delicious cross to the back-post and Dan Baur powered a header in at the back-post to open the scoring.
Things went from bad to worse for the Blue Brazil when skipper David Cox was shown red for a poor challenge on Cammy Logan.
Hearts responded by scoring two goals in the space of three minutes.
Keena finally got on the scoresheet when he was sent through by McDonald and his shot squirmed under Dabrowski and trickled over the line.
Zanatta then got in on the act when burst down the right, cut back onto his left and fired it across the keeper, killing the game off as a contest.
There was still time for Cowden to get a consolation when Craig Barr slammed home a low corner, but it wasn't enough and the Jambos go through to the Third Round.
Hearts: Stone; Petkov, Hamilton ©, Baur; Logan, Ritchie (C. Smith, 84’), Cochrane, Burns; McDonald, Keena (Currie, 84’), Zanatta
Subs: Spratt (GK), Ward, Makovora, McGill, Charleston-King.
Cowdenbeath: Dabrowski; Mullen, Todd (Barr, 77’), Pyper, Valentine; Buchanan, Miller, Thomas, Swann (Sheerin, 40’); Cox, Renton
Subs: Whyte (GK), Sneddon, Barr, Pollock, Connolly, Glass.
Referee: Lloyd Wilson
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