Hearts 3-0 East Fife

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East Fife were forced to soak up more than relentless Hearts pressure in near monsoon conditions at Tynecastle.

The Bayview men arrived for their Betfred Cup tie at the home of the Premiership side again struggling for numbers, a situation which is becoming more familiar during a difficult start to the new season.

Boss Darren Young listed himself on the bench along with teenager Ryan Inglis.

Kyle Wilkie, missing since the middle of the last campaign, was stripped but was never likely to make an appearance.

There was no sub 'keeper either, with Thomas Cordery injured in the midweek encounter with Dunfermline.

The club certainly doesn't have its troubles to seek, but the list of names nearing fitness again will be a source of comfort for Young.

The gaffer knows that he'll soon be able to call on the services of Wilkie, Mark Lamont, Jonathan Page, Chris Kane and Kevin Smith - basically an entire spine of his team.

It was a patched up side which headed to Tynecastle, but those who played could be more than proud of the effort they put in.

The Jambos side boasts a host of players with international experience, but they were largely frustrated by a well drilled East Fife resistance.

The home side had the bulk of possession, with their deliveries from the wide areas particularly impressive.

Hearts started the game well and were unlucky not to take the lead with barely eight minutes on the clock when Michael Smith had far too much time at the back post to get a shot away which cracked back off the woodwork.

It was backs to the wall stuff for East Fife who were having to withstand wave after wave of Hearts attack.

Christophe Berra should have done better with a glancing header before Kyle Lafferty somehow headed wide from five yards when totally unmarked.

The Fifers had shown in midweek against Dunfermline that they wouldn't be a side to give goals away easily this season.

They managed to take the Hearts pressure on the chin and went close to breaking the deadlock themselves when Ben Reilly smashed a Chris Duggan knock down just wide.

The scare gave Hearts a shake and they quickly gathered momentum again.

Ian Cathro's men grabbed the game's opening goal when Lafferty made up for his earlier miss by peeling off at the back post and heading home a Smith cross.

The Northern Ireland international was causing all sorts of problems for the Fifers every time Hearts broke forward.

He was unlucky not to double his, and his side's, tally when a ball whipped in along the face of goal was nicked off his toe by Aaron Dunsmore.

As the Heavens opened above Tynecastle the Fifers went on to have their best spell of the game in horrific conditions.

Safety warnings were announced to the scrambling supporters inside the ground as they did their best to head to the back of the stands and escape the downpour

East Fife had their best spell of play during this period and Paul Willis had a clear sight of goal but found Jack Hamilton equal to his header.

Again, though, this just seemed to perk Hearts up.

Sub Malaury Martin had barely been on the park a few minutes when he turned provider for the home side's second goal.

His corner was pinpoint and Berra needed only to direct his header beyond Goodfellow.

East Fife had fought their corner bravely but as the clock ticked down the Jambos managed to close out the win.

Their task was made that bit easier when Ben Gordon sliced down Esmael Goncalves inside the box.

The Fife stopper was flashed his second yellow card for the challenge while Lafferty stepped up and added a third from the spot.

Boss Young said: "We never created much in the first half so changed a few things.

"We stuck with it in the second half and I thought we were brilliant for the first 20 minutes.

"We created three or four chances to get back in the game which we missed which was disappointing.

"The positives are we are creating them.

"They got their second goal from a set-piece so again didn't really cut us open.

"We've played Dunfermline and Hearts now, two full-time teams who will be at the top end of the divisions they're in.

"Our effort, work rate and commitment was great and we've created chances against both of those teams."

Hearts - Hamilton, Smith, Souttar (Petkov 45), Berra, Walker (Stockton 77), Buaben, Lafferty, Cowie (Martin 62), McGhee, Grzelak, Goncalves.

Subs - Noring, Nowak, Brandon, Moore.

East Fife - Goodfellow, Dunsmore, Docherty, Watson, Slattery, Duggan, Wilson, Millar, Gordon, Reilly (Flanagan 74), Willis.

Subs - Wilkie, Inglis, Mutch, Young.