Hearts 2 Dundee 0: Dark Blues leave Tynecastle empty handed

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Hearts' Esmael Goncavles celebrates his goal to make it 1-0.

Dundee left Edinburgh empty-handed as Hearts consigned the Dark Blues to their second successive defeat at Tynecastle.

The Jambos opened the scoring through Esmael Goncalves in the first half with Christophe Berra wrapping up all three points for the Edinburgh outfit in the second 45.

Dundee could have few complaints about the result with Hearts possessing far more of a goal threat throughout.

Dark Blues boss Neil McCann made two changes from the team that lost 1-0 at Dens on Friday night to Aberdeen with Scott Allan and Kerr Waddell coming in for Faissal El Bakhtaoui and Cammy Kerr.

With the latter on the bench, the captain’s armband passed to Paul McGowan.

Hearts boss Craig Levein started Saturday’s match winner against Motherwell, Kyle Lafferty, as a substitute with the former Dundee United manager handing a debut to 16-year-old midfielder Anthony McDonald.

The Dark Blues started the game in confident fashion, looking to impose themselves on proceedings from the off but it was the Jambos who had the first half chance in the fifth minute when home skipper Berra sent a speculative shot well over from a corner.

Arnaud Djoum was next to try his luck for Hearts but his 20-yard shot flew well wide.

Goncalves made space for himself in the 16th minute before attempting an ambitious long-range effort which embarrassingly for the Hearts player flew across the pitch and out for a Dundee throw-in.

The Jambos certainly had their shooting boots on although their radar was wonky to say the least – Connor Randall was the next to send a ridiculous drive high, wide and not so handsome.

However, Hearts did finally hit the target in the 22nd minute when Djoum played in Cole Stockton eight yards out but his snap shot was saved by Parish with his legs at his near post.

Despite all the home side’s opportunities, Dundee were not under sustained pressure although McCann would no doubt have hoped for more from his side in an attacking sense.

Jambos keeper Jon McLaughlin was finally called into action when Allan whipped in a free-kick from 25 yards but it was straight at the goalie who easily gathered.

However, the deadlock was broken in the 30th minute.

Young McDonald embarked on a long, rampaging run before flicking the ball into the path of Goncalves inside the Dundee box and he gave Parish no chance, sending a low shot past the keeper and into the far corner of the net.

The Dark Blues did have a chance of their own in the 44th minute when the ball broke to Sofien Moussa six yards out but the big striker could not get a shot away and McLaughlin gathered to ensure his side trooped off at half-time one goal to the good.

McCann made a change at half-time with Kerr coming on for Jack Hendry who had been on the wrong end of a heavy challenge earlier.

Just three minutes after the restart, Dundee came close to equalising when Jon Aurtenetxe sent a great ball across to Roarie Deacon on the right but the winger’s shot hit the side netting.

Shortly after, Hearts had the ball in the back of the net again but Stockton’s effort was ruled out for offside.

The Dark Blues then had an opportunity when Allan attempted a cheeky free-kick trying to catch out McLaughlin at his near post but the keeper was alive to the danger and saved easily.

However, the home side could and probably should have extended their lead in the 65th minute when Stockton sent sub Ross Callachan racing straight through on goal, one on one with Parish but the keeper won the duel, keeping out the former Raith midfielder’s shot.

It was the Dark Blues who had the next chance but Aurtenetxe sent a 20-yard free-kick just wide of McLaughlin’s left-hand post.

There was though another goal in the 77th minute and unfortunately from a Dundee perspective, it was Hearts who scored it.

McDonald sent a corner in from the left with the ball breaking kindly off a Dundee defender for Berra lurking at the back post and he made no mistake steering a shot past Parish.

Lafferty was off the bench and he almost made it three in the 86th minute but Parish came to the rescue this time.

Attendance – 15,566.

Hearts – McLaughlin, Souttar, Berra, Buaben, Djoum (Cochrane, 32), Randall, Stockton, Grzelak, Moore (Lafferty, 73), McDonald, Goncalves (Callachan, 58).

Subs not used – Hamilton, Smith, Cowie, Brandon.

Dundee – Parish, Kamara, Moussa, Allan, O’Hara, Aurtenetxe, McGowan (Leitch-Smith, 75), Deacon (El Bakhtaoui, 64), Hendry (Kerr, 45), Meekings, Waddell.

Subs not used – Ferrie, Holt, O’Dea, Haber.

Referee – Craig Thomson.

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