Cowdenbeath 0, Hearts 2.

Betfred Cup Section A


HEARTS were just too sharp for Cowden but the Fifers never gave up despite losing early goals, at Central Park last night.

The Tynecastle side opened really well and their early salvo sealed the result but Cowdenbeath can take a lot from the game.

Hearts boss and former Blue Brazil supremo, Craig Levein, was delighted to get the win on the board after Friday’s two point haul against Dundee United: “It was ideal to get an early goal and we went on to play some good football in the first period.

“Cowdenbeath defended well and tried to deny us space but there were still some decent openings for us the longer the game went.”

Blues boss Gary Bollan was happy that his team recovered from a bad opening to the game: “Losing two goals in the opening quarter was not part of the game plan but the lads worked superbly hard throughout the game and we stayed competitive all the way which is pleasing playing against a top league side.”

Blues' 'keeper Kevin Dabrowski was rightly named man of the match for a top show.

Hearts attacked in the first minute against Cowden wearing their new strip and Steven Maclean headed over from only six yards out after a fine cross from Dario Zanatta.

The Jambos were looking sharp and Zanatta headed wide in four minutes but a minute later, at the other end Archie Thomas fired wide from the edge of the box for the hosts.

The visitors got their noses in front in eight minutes when the home defence made a hash of a corner situation and Craig HALKETT was totally unmarked to head home from eight yards out.

In 13 minutes Cowden ‘keeper Dabrowski made a good save from a low Conor Washington shot then at the other end a Robbie Buchanan cross looked perfect for David Taylor and with the goal gaping he just could not get a touch on the ball.

In 21 minutes HALKETT scored again when a neat pass from Maclean was perfect for him to net from close in with Dabrowski having no chance.

Hearts were playing with a lot of pace and the Fifers were struggling to compete and it took a fine save from Maclean’s fierce 16 yarder by Dabrowski to keep the gap at two goals three minutes from the break.

Six minutes after the break Zanatta looked clearly off-side when he latched onto a pass from Bobby Burns but the flag stayed down and the forward raced in on Dabrowski but the ‘keeper made an excellent save from the striker.

Three minutes later Christophe Berra’s header flew just wide as Hearts looked for the third goal to close Cowdenbeath out.

In 57 minutes David Cox created danger after latching on to Kris Renton’s pass and his cut back flew across the face of the Hearts goal but there was no one lying handy to turn the ball home.

Taylor then had a go for the Blue Brazil but his shot lacked pace and Bobby Zlamal held it well.

Hearts sub Aiden Keena came close to a third with a fierce 16 yarder which Dabrowski finger tipped to safety to again the visitors.

Cowdenbeath: Kevin Dabrowski (8); Fraser Mullen (6), Jamie Pyper (7); Jamie Todd (6), Craig Barr (7), Kyle Miller (6); David Cox (7), Robbie Buchanan (6), David Taylor (6) (Jordan Allan 79 (3)), Archie Thomas (7) (Michael Herd 82 (2)), Kris Renton (6). Subs not used, Euan Valentine, Kyle Sneddon, Ryan Connelly, Jordyn Sheerin and RossPollok.

Hearts: Zlamal (7); Smith (6), Clare (7); Bozanic (7), Berra (7), Washington (6) (Ikpeazu 62 (3)); Halkett (8), McDonald (7), Maclean (7) (Keena 74 (3)), Zanatta (7) (Walker 82)), Burns (6). Subs not used, Mulraney, Dikamona, Hickey and Doyle.

Referee-Colin Steven (7).