Hearts and Cowdenbeath played out a 1-1 draw at Central Park this evening.
Billy King’s 43-second strike Robbie Neilson’s side into an early lead but Craig Johnston got the Blue Brazil back on level terms in the 37th minute.
The Jambos lined up with the much the same team that finished the match against Stirling Albion the previous night, with the exception of trailist Dario Zanatta who was given another run out.
Hearts got off to the perfect start, getting their noses in front after only 43 seconds. Osman Sow’s flick to the wing found King who ran in on goal and blasted past the Cowdenbeath ‘keeper.
The game then descended into a scrappy fair with lots of misplaced passes and niggly fouls.
A couple of half chances fell to the hosts, with Greig Spence’s audacious overhead kick missing the target before Trialist 10 flashed an effort across the face of goal, neither troubled Jack Hamilton though.
Liam Smith and Jamie Walker tried their luck from distance but the Cowdenbeath ‘keeper stood firm on both occasions.
Gavin Reilly posed a threat across the backline with his endless running. He thundered down the left on 34 minutes to find Zanatta in the box who teed-up Sow at the edge f the box but the big striker’s effort cleared the crossbar.
Two minutes later the hosts equalised. Trialist 7’s cross from the left found Johnston, who side-footed home from close range.
Half-time brought around the now customary full team change, with only Baur and Zanatta retaining their places.
The first real chance of the second-half fell to Gary Oliver. He hit close-range half-volley but straight at the ‘keeper who made the block.
Chances were then few and far between. Cowdenbeath’s Liam Callaghan robbed Kenny Anderson in the middle of the park before ballooning over the bar, while at the other end Lewis Moore cleaned the crossbar from 20-yards.
Oliver had the game’s final half-chance with nine minutes remaining but his half-volley sailed straight into the ‘keeper’s arms.
Cowdenbeath: Trialist (Trialist, 51'), Brett, Yaqub, Hughes (Callaghan,51'), Donaldson, Armstrong, Trialist (Miller, 62'), Kane (Scullion, 51'), Spence, Trialist, Johnston. Subs: Trialist, Wright, Nish.
Hearts first-half: Hamilton, L. Smith, I. Smith, Baur, McGhee, Buchanan, Zanatta, Walker, Sow, Reilly, King.
Hearts second-half: Alexander, Paterson, Jones, Baur, McHattie, Anderson, McKirdy, Zanatta, Moore, Oliver, McLean.
Referee: George Salmond