Early signs are enough to suggest that this could be a very good season in prospect for a Dunfermline side that has retained the bulk of the League 1 title winning squad, and added some excellent new players to the team.
Hearts lined up with a mixture of first team squad players, a trialist and some younger players, after their first team won a Europa League qualifying game in Estonia in midweek. Don Cowie, Juanma, Sam Nicholson, Dario Zanatta and John Souttar all started for the Jambos, who had a travelling support of around 1000 fans in the away stand. Hearts started the stronger of the two teams, and the Pars had to defend resolutely in the opening 10 minutes. Lewis Martin, at left back in place of Jason Talbot, added to a tall backline of Ryan Williamson, Lee Ashcroft and Ben Richards-Everton. In midfield, Nat Wedderburn played in front of the back four, with Rhys McCabe and Andy Geggan in more forward positions, and Joe Cardle on the left but with a clear commission to roam around the field, which he did to great effect. The Moff partnered on-loan Hearts striker Gavin Reilly in attack.
Slightly against the run of play, Dunfermline took the lead after 15 minutes when Andy Geggan hammered the ball home from close range after Ben Richards-Everton had flicked on a Rhys McCabe corner kick. Geggan was the scorer of the Pars' second goal in 26 minutes when his deflected shot beat Hearts keeper Viktor Noring. Dunfermline gained in confidence and began to play some good football, with some quality quick passing movements in midfield.
The third Pars goal came in the 32nd minute. Moffat played a great pass to Cardle, and the winger expertly finished (see photo below).
A minute later, Lewis Martin blocked a goalbound shot from Todorov. Just before half-time the Moff almost scored the goal that his display deserved when his well struck shot narrowly whistled past the post.
Hearts began the second period looking to get back into the game but were up against a well-organised Dunfermline defence, with new signing Lee Ashcroft settling in quickly, and Big Ben having an outstanding game. Eventually, Hearts did call David Hutton into action when Juanma's header was superbly saved by the Dunfermline keeper.
The Pars were still pressing for a fourth goal which almost came after a fiercely driven cross was just too fast for Gavin Reilly (pictured) to position himself to turn the ball goalwards.
Paul McMullan replaced the Moff in the 77th minute and did enough to draw applause from the home support for his trickery on the ball and a couple of clever passes to team mates.
With 5 minutes remaining, referee Steven McLean awarded Hearts a penalty when he decided that Ashcroft had held Zanatta in the box. Zanatta scored the resulting kick but it was a mere consolation for a well beaten team.
Photos by Pars Review. A full match photo gallery will be uploaded tomorrow.