Hearts were 2-0 victors over Bohemians in their first pre-season friendly match this evening.
Callum Paterson’s 86th effort was complimented by a last minute Soufian El Hassnaoui penalty to get the Jambos off to a flying start on their Irish adventure.
As far as team selection goes, it was a game of two halves. New boys Blazej Augustyn, Juanma and Gavin Reilly all made their first starts for the club, while trialist Mergim Bajraktari was also pitched in from the beginning.
Ring rustiness showed early on for the Jambos, with a slack Jordan McGhee passback then a blocked Neil Alexander clearance almost gifting the hosts golden opportunities in the opening five minutes.
Augustyn was first to threaten for Hearts with a 30-yard piledriver, which fell five-yards wide of Lee Steacy’s left-hand post.
The Gorgie boys then had the two best chances of the half. First, Sam Nicholson ran the length of the box and curled a wonderful effort goalward but Steacy pounced to make the block. Minutes later, Liam Smith’s whipped cross was et by the unmarked Juanma who was denied by the crossbar.
Half-time saw wholesale changes, with an entirely new Hearts XI on the pitch.
The substitutes took the game by the scruff of the neck and Hearts were in control. Osman Sow proved a menace leading the line as he produced some neat link-up play with Soufian El Hassnaoui.
The Moroccan saw an effort fly over the bar, while Kevin McHattie was unlucky not to hit the target from an acute angle, before seeing a shot from the edge of the box collected by Steacy.
At the other end Hearts had Jack Hamilton to thank for keeping the scores level. Craig Hayes latched onto a through ball to hit a snapshot, but despite being well off his line, the ‘keeper flung himself to his left to palm the ball away.
With only four minutes remaining, Hearts took the lead. Paterson hit the touchline and sent over a deceptive cross which fooled the ‘keeper and dipped over his head and just crossed the line.
Right on the death McHattie was brought down in the box and El Hassnaoui slotted home to seal the victory.
Bohemians: Steacy, Best, Caffrey, Creevy, Hughes, Dillon, O'Brien, Duggan, Kavanagh, Ashe, Hyland. Subs: Mahon, Lawless, Buckley, Murphy, Akinade, Wixted, Hayes.
Hearts first-half: Alexander, Smith, McGhee, Augustyn, Henderson, Nicholson, Gomis, Bajraktari, Oliver, Juanma, Reilly.
Hearts second-half: Hamilton, Paterson, McHattie, Trialist, Buaben, Anderson, Pallardo, Walker, King, Sow (Buchanan, 74'), El Hassnaoui.
Referee: Rob Rogers
Top man: Billy King