Hearts cruised to a 5-1 victory away to Forfar Athletic this afternoon in the Jambos’ final pre-season friendly.
Ross Callachan and Jake Mulraney’s first-half goals set the boys in maroon on the way to victory, with Dario Zanatta and Rory Currie adding to the scoreline either side of John Baird’s penalty, before Currie added a fifth late on.
Hearts were first to threaten inside three minutes. Danny Amankwaa chested down for Ross Callachan, who took a touch before drilling towards the bottom corner but Marc McCallum got down to his right to push the ball around the post.
The deadlock was broken on 13 minutes, thanks to a rather large slice of good fortune on Hearts’ part, and bad luck on Forfar’s. The ball broke to Callachan 20-yards out and he half-volleyed an effort into the ground, bouncing the ball up and towards McCallum’s right-hand post. The Loons ‘keeper misjudged the bounce, however, and the ball ended up creeping through the smallest of gaps and into the back of the net.
It was 2-0 three minutes later. Andy Irving showed some neat footwork to dance his way through the Forfar backline before cutting back to Mulraney, who slammed home from close range.
Irving was impressing with his range of passing and 26 minutes in tried his luck from 25-yards with a low drive but McCallum got down to make a comfortable save.
Silva had to be alert at the other end to keep the hosts at bay. Dylan Easton shirked his man to pull off a shot inside the box but the Hearts ‘keeper made a good stop with his legs.
Silva was called into action after 35 minutes, pouncing to his right to smother a powerful Andy Munro header from a free-kick.
With two minutes until half-time, the hosts created a half chance. Jamie Bain broke through the middle of the park before pulling the trigger 25-yards out, be his effort flew a good few yards of Silva’s right-hand post.
Currie was introduced at half-time, in the place of Mulraney, and made an immediate impact; playing a neat one-two with Zanatta inside the box before the Canadian struck low, but straight at McCallum.
Zanatta did find the back of the net on 49 minutes. Bobby Burns whipped in a cross from the left, which found its way to the back post for Zanatta to simply nod home from three-yards out.
Forfar went up the park and nearly pulled one back. Easton cut inside before slamming a shot, which flew over the outstretched arms of Silva but came crashing back down off the underside of the crossbar.
The hosts did pull a goal back via the penalty spot on 58 minutes after a Trialist was fouled in the box, and Baird stepped up to smash the ball past Silva and into the back of the net.
McCallum made another good save for the Loons six minutes later, blocking from a Burns thunderbolt from the edge of the box.
The home keeper followed that up with two saves in quick succession moments later, first stopping Zanatta’s shot with his upper arm before smothering Callumn Morrison’s low drive at his near post.
Substitutes Harry Cochrane and Anthony McDonald combined to almost hand Hearts a fourth, with the former threading through the latter, who skipped away from his man only to see his shot saved by sub ‘keeper Willie Muir, before Burns’ follow up was blocked behind.
The fourth goal did arrive after 73 minutes. McDonald sent Zanatta clear on the left and he moved back inside for McDonald to beautifully spin away from his man and pull off a shot that hit Currie, but luckily for the striker the ball remained at his feet and he was able to stab it home.
Muir saved again with five minutes remaining after Liam Smith had got to the byline to cross for Currie to flick goalwards inside the six-yard box, but the ‘keeper was alert enough to make the stop.
There was still time for another goal when Burns sent over a teasing cross, which found the unmarked Currie, and he slid in to knock in his second and Hearts’ fifth of the game.
Forfar: McCallum (Muir, 66'), Meechan (Trialist, 56'), Whyte, Munro, Travis, Reilly, Bain, MacKintosh (Malone, 56'), Hilson (Kelly, 56'), Baird, Easton. Subs: Strakey, Clark, Coupe.
Hearts: Silva, Morrison, Burns, L. Smith, Baur, Petkov, Amankwaa (McDobnald, 62'), Callachan (Cochrane, 62'), Zanatta, Irving (C. Smith, 80'), Mulraney (Currie, 46'). Subs: Mason, Moore, Ritchie.
Referee: Euan Anderson