Hearts were dealt a cruel blow when Marvin Compper's late header crept into the net to give Celtic a 3-2 win at Cappielow in the SPFL Reserve League.
Celtic got the scoring underway early when Wallace Duffy nodded the hosts in front after five minutes. Karamoko Dembele was fouled wide on the right-hand side and dusted himself off to take the free-kick, crossing deep to the back-post. His ball found the head of Marvin Compper, who headed across goal for right-back Duffy who got their ahead of Kelby Mason.
It didn't take them long to find the second. It was a simple goal from a corner, swung in by Armstrong Oko-Flex and headed in by Compper to stretch the lead to 2-0.
Hearts did have a few chances in the first-half, mainly through Ryan Edwards. His best chance was a header, with Lewis Moore crossing in from the left to find the Australian free in the box, but he put his effort over the bar from six yards.
Hearts were re-invigorated after the break and took the game to Celtic, who had largely dominated the first-half.
They gave themselves a lifeline in the 53rd minute when Lewis Moore hit the back of the net. Hearts had been pressing and the ball broke to Andy Irving on the edge of the box. The midfielder hit a half-volley, it was blocked and fell to Lewis Moore, who curled a right-footed effort into the back of the net.
The Jambos were clinical with their next chance as well, equalising just after the hour mark. Chris Hamilton was fouled in a good position and free-kick specialist Andy Irving stepped up. He curled it low round the left of the wall and levelled the score as the Jambos looked for a winner.
But, as the game got scrappier towards the end, it was Celtic who found a late goal which proved to be the winner. Dembele curled a free-kick in from the right and the Hearts defence switched off, allowing Compper to get the slightest of touches past Kelby Mason.
Celtic: Wallace, Duffy, Church, Welsh, Compper, McInroy, Dembele (Caffrey, 91'), McLaughlin (Coffey, 68'), Bayo (Diver, 81'), Aitchison (Robertson, 68'), Oko-Flex.
Subs: Willison, Mazis, Savoury.
Hearts: Mason, Brandon, Burns, Shaughnessy, Hamilton (c), Irving, Smith, Cochrane, Henderson, Edwards, Moore.
Subs: Silva, Sandison, Ritchie, Logan, Makovora, Ward.
Referee: Ross Anderson