Hearts won their second pre-season game on the bounce with a 2-0 victory at Dumbarton.
Uche Ikpeazu struck in both halves to hand the Jambos the win as preparations for the 2018/19 continue to gather steam.
Craig Levein handed a start to Steven Naismith after he rejoined the club on a season-long loan deal yesterday, with fellow recent addition Zdenek Zlamal also given his first outing since arriving in the summer.
Hearts started the game brightly and had the ball in the back of the net after 7 minutes. Bobby Burns’ free-kick was met by Aidan Keena, who powered a header beyond Grant Adam, only to be flagged for offside.
The men in maroon did take the lead six-minutes later. Ikpeazu got on the end of Burns’ deft through ball, only to be bundled over inside the box by Craig Barr. The big striker dusted himself off to send the ‘keeper the wrong way from the spot and open the scoring.
Dumbarton’s Ross Forbes and Stuart Carswell both tried their luck in an around the Hearts box but neither player could hit the target.
Ikpeazu was proving to be a real handful for the Sons’ defence and was pushed to the ground on 35 minutes to earn a free-kick on the edge of the D. The big man stepped up and curled a wonderful effort on target, only for the ball to clip the top of the bar on its way over.
Chances in the second-half were few and far between, with Andy Irving and Callumn Morrison introduced to the field of play in the place of Callachan and Lewis Moore, with Danny Amankwaa added later on for Keena.
The first real chance of the second-half came on 73 minutes when Burns found Jake Mulraney out on the right. The winger cut inside before smashing a right-foot shot from the edge of the box, which failed to find the target.
Zlamal was called into action in the 79th minute and didn’t disappoint, making a great block from a Dumbarton trialist after he had powered past Peter Haring into the box and hitting low and on target.
With four minutes remaining it was 2-0. Mulraney’s rocket shot from 18-yards was palmed away by Adam but only as far as Morrison, who was able to knock it back across the face of goal for Ikpeazu to touch home.
Dumbarton: Adam, Trialist A, Dyer, C. Barr (Dowie, 46'), Perry, Carswell, Forbes, Hutton, Tirlaist B, Thomson, B. Barr. Subs: Trialist C, Trialist D, Trialist E, Trialist F.
Hearts: Zlamal, Souttar, Haring, Berra, Moore (Morrison, 62'), Callachan (Irving, 62'), Burns, Mulraney, Naismith, Ikpeazu, Keena. Subs: Silva (T), Amankwaa, Baur, Petkov, Ritchie, Zanatta, Currie
Referee: Steven McLean