Arbroath FC 1-2 Heart of Midlothian
Tuesday 3rd July 2018, KO 19:30 | Friendly | Gayfield Park
Hearts opened their pre-season campaign with a 2-1 win away at Arbroath.
Aidan Keena’s low drive two minutes before half-time put the Jambos in front before Ross Callachan bagged a goal in the 85th minute.
There was time for a late consolation, when Kane Hester ran the length of the Hearts half before slotting past Kelby Mason.
Craig Levein was able to give 23 players game time in what was his side’s opening pre-season encounter.
Hearts started brightly and nearly took the lead after only three minutes. Liam Smith sprung the offside trap to advance down the right and into the Arbroath box before cutting back to Ollie Bozanic, but his first-time shot crashed off the underside of the bar and away.
Four minutes later, the hosts were denied by trialist goalkeeper Kevin Silva. Bobby Linn was afforded space to cut inside before pulling the trigger from 20-yards, but the ‘keeper got down to his left to make a strong block.
A piece of good fortune nearly handed Hearts the opener nine minutes in. A long ball into the Arbroath box was chested down by Jason Thomson but the ball nearly creeped into the corner of the net, however Darren Jamieson was quick to claw it away.
Moments later, Steven MacLean found space at the back door and drilled low on target but Jamieson made a good save with his legs to turn the ball behind.
Silva came to Hearts’ rescue again, this time on 25 minutes. Danny Denholm produced a volley from 12-yards but the trialist ‘keeper was his equal, beating the ball away in an impressive manner.
Colin Hamilton tried his luck from 30-yards with ten minutes of the half remaining, but his long-range drive flew a few yards past Silva’s left-hand post.
Hearts went close at the other end when Aidan Keena’s cross-field pass found Liam Smith at the edge of the box but his low effort across the face of goal was deflected behind.
The deadlock was broken in the 43rd minute and it was the Jambos’ who made the breakthrough. Ali Crawford’s through ball saw Keena spring the offside trap and advance into the Arbroath box before slotting low beyond Jamieson and into the back of the net.
Wholesale changes were made at the break as Craig Levein sent an entirely new 11 out onto the park, a full list of which can be found at the bottom of the page.
Uche Ikpeazu proved to be a handful for the home defence, showing quick to ghost past defender on several occasions. He turned his man inside the box on 64 minutes and tried for goal, but could only flash his effort wide of the target.
A stunning Jamieson save in the 68th minute kept the score at 1-0. The ball ricocheted around the Arbroath box before Peter Haring popped up to bullet a header on target, but the Red Lichities ‘keeper flung himself backwards to tip the ball over the bar.
Moments later Hearts hit the woodwork again. A long ball into the box found Christophe Berra completely unmarked and his half-volley rattled off the underside of the crossbar and out.
Berra was in the thick of it again shortly after; nodding down Olly Lee’s free-kick across the face of goal but the outstretched leg of Ikpeazu couldn’t make contact.
The Jambos put the game to bed with five minutes remaining. Bobby Burns’ cut back found Callachan, who fired beyond Jamieson and into the bottom right corner of the net.
Arbroath: Jamieson, Thomson, Hamilton, O'Brien, Whatley, Denholm (Fraser, 46'), Linn (Kader, 46'), McCord (Leishman, 46'), Wallace (Gold, 46'), Swankie (Elder, 63'), McKenna (Hester, 46'). Subs not used: Hill.
Hearts first half: Silva (Trialist), M. Smith, Souttar, Baur, L. Smith, Bozanic, Crawford (Trialist), Garuccio, Edwards, MacLean, Keena.
Hearts second half: Mason, Petkov, Haring, Berra, Moore, Lee, Burns, Mulraney, Callachan, Ikpeazu, Currie (Zanatta, 75').
Subs not used: Irving
Referee: Alan Newlands