Goals from Andy Webster and Rudi Skacel eased Hearts to victory over a toothless Dunfermline at East End Park.

Hearts had the best of a dull first half before Webster headed past Paul Gallacher just before the break.

Dunfermline improved after the break without seriously threatening goalkeeper Marian Kello.

David Templeton was Hearts' danger man on the break and came close himself before setting up Skacel to fire home after 76 minutes.

Victory kept Hearts in fourth spot in the Scottish Premier League, with the Pars still a point ahead of bottom side Inverness Caley Thistle.

Andy Kirk had returned to Dunfermline's starting line-up, replacing Andrew Barrowman, who has undergone an appendix operation, as manager Jim McIntyre made four changes from the side that was so disappointing in a 4-0 defeat by Aberdeen.

On-loan right-back Jason Thomson was unable to face his parent club, while Alex Keddie and Craig Easton also dropped out, with Paddy Boyle, Joe Cardle and Ryan Thomson coming into the side.

Fit-again Marian Kello replaced Jamie McDonald in the Hearts goal despite the latter's clean sheet in the win over Celtic.

Kirk just failed to test the keeper within seconds of kick-off, the former Hearts striker unable to get enough of a touch on a Cardle free-kick.

However, Hearts quickly exerted midfield control and David Templeton's burst into the penalty box and low drive just evaded the back post thanks to a last-ditch deflection from John Potter.

The visitors suffered a blow on 22 minutes when Ian Black suffered a leg injury and the tenacious midfielder was replaced with the more silky skills of Mehdi Taouil.

It descended into a dour midfield battle until Skacel forced goalkeeper Paul Gallacher to touch his low drive from 20 yards past the post.

Danny Grainger appeared to mis-hit the resulting corner and, when Kirk failed with his attempt to clear at the front post, Webster stooped to head past the goalkeeper from six yards.

Dunfermline improved in terms of territory and possession after the break, but Hearts remained the more dangerous side and Ryan Stevenson headed straight at Gallacher from eight yards.

It took an individual effort from David Graham to threaten Hearts' goal, the winger going on a mazy run into the box, but his shot from an acute angle was easily held by Kello.

Boyle curled a long-range effort over Hearts' crossbar, but the emerging Pars threat was quickly extinguished as the visitors exposed space behind the full back.

Templeton had already curled an effort wide of the far post when, from a similar position, his low effort deflected off Gallacher and Skacel, who had himself set up the winger, fired into the unprotected net.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Dunfermline

  • 01 Gallacher
  • 03 McCann Booked
  • 13 Boyle
  • 15 Dowie
  • 16 Potter
  • 04 Mason
  • 07 Cardle (Buchanan - 62' )
  • 17 Burns Booked
  • 23 Thomson (Willis - 77' )
  • 10 Kirk (Clarke - 77' )
  • 11 Graham Booked

Substitutes

  • 20 Smith
  • 39 Young
  • 22 Willis
  • 26 Easton
  • 12 McDougall
  • 19 Buchanan
  • 21 Clarke

Hearts

  • 25 Kello
  • 03 Grainger
  • 06 Webster Booked
  • 26 Zaliukas
  • 02 Hamill
  • 04 Jonsson
  • 08 Black (Taouil - 23' )
  • 12 Templeton
  • 16 Stevenson (Sutton - 87' )
  • 19 Skacel (Obua - 84' )
  • 31 Mrowiec

Substitutes

  • 30 MacDonald
  • 13 Obua
  • 21 Taouil
  • 15 Sutton
  • 18 Novikovas
  • 22 Smith
  • 27 Robinson
Ref: O'Reilly
Att: 5,694

Match Stats

Shots

1 7

On target

0 4

Corners

6 2

Fouls

10 11

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:11 Full time

Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.

90:00 +0:36

Corner taken right-footed by David Graham, Marius Zaliukas manages to make a clearance.

89:53

Inswinging corner taken by David Graham from the left by-line, Marian Kello makes a save.

89:00 +4:08

Corner from the right by-line taken by Paul Willis, Marius Zaliukas makes a clearance.

88:28

Liam Buchanan is ruled offside. Daniel Grainger restarts play with the free kick.

87:20

Free kick awarded for a foul by John Sutton on Austin McCann. Paul Gallacher takes the free kick.

86:09 Substitution

Substitution Ryan Stevenson leaves the field to be replaced by John Sutton.

86:09 Booking

Booking The referee shows Austin McCann a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

85:08

Shot by David Templeton from a long way out goes over the target.

83:26 Substitution

Substitution Rudi Skacel leaves the field to be replaced by David Obua.

83:26

Mehdi Taouil gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gary Mason. Paul Willis takes the free kick.

82:52

Foul by Eggert Jonsson on Paul Willis, free kick awarded. Paul Willis takes the free kick.

79:29

Paul Willis challenges Daniel Grainger unfairly and gives away a free kick. Daniel Grainger restarts play with the free kick.

77:59

Ryan Stevenson concedes a free kick for a foul on Austin McCann. Indirect free kick taken by Paul Gallacher.

76:53 Substitution

Substitution Paul Willis joins the action as a substitute, replacing Ryan Thomson.

76:53 Substitution

Substitution Patrick Clarke replaces Andy Kirk.

75:46

The assist for the goal came from David Templeton.

75:46 Goal scored

Goal! - David Templeton - Dunf'mline 0 - 2 Hearts David Templeton grabs a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Dunfermline 0-2 Hearts.

75:10

Austin McCann fouled by Ryan Stevenson, the ref awards a free kick. Patrick Boyle takes the direct free kick.

74:45

Foul by Liam Buchanan on Eggert Jonsson, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Andy Webster.

74:00

David Templeton has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the target.

69:58

Corner taken by David Graham from the right by-line to the near post.

68:24 Booking

Booking Caution for Andy Webster.

68:17

The assistant referee flags for offside against Andy Webster. Free kick taken by Paul Gallacher.

67:33 Booking

Booking David Graham receives a yellow card.

67:22

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Rudi Skacel by David Graham. Daniel Grainger takes the free kick.

66:54

Free kick awarded for a foul by Eggert Jonsson on Liam Buchanan. Free kick taken by Austin McCann.

63:45

Handball decision goes against Mehdi Taouil. Andy Dowie restarts play with the free kick.

61:01 Substitution

Substitution Joe Cardle goes off and Liam Buchanan comes on.

60:13

Handball decision goes against Adrian Mrowiec. Gary Mason restarts play with the free kick.

58:58

Andy Kirk concedes a free kick for a foul on Marius Zaliukas. Marian Kello takes the direct free kick.

58:39

Ryan Stevenson takes a shot. Save by Paul Gallacher.

58:18

The ball is sent over by David Templeton.

56:57

Unfair challenge on Paul Burns by Marius Zaliukas results in a free kick. Joe Cardle restarts play with the free kick.

56:31

Effort from deep inside the area by Daniel Grainger misses to the left of the goal.

55:05

John Potter concedes a free kick for a foul on Ryan Stevenson. Daniel Grainger restarts play with the free kick.

52:47

Free kick awarded for a foul by Adrian Mrowiec on David Graham. Andy Dowie restarts play with the free kick.

51:37

Gary Mason gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Mehdi Taouil. Free kick taken by Mehdi Taouil.

48:58

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jamie Hamill by Ryan Thomson. Direct free kick taken by Marian Kello.

45:01

The referee gets the second half underway.

45:00 +2:08 Half time

Half Time The referee blows for half time.

45:00 +1:32

Andy Kirk gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Marius Zaliukas. Marian Kello takes the free kick.

45:00 +0:09

Jamie Hamill takes the free kick.

45:00 +0:09 Booking

Booking Paul Burns is shown a yellow card.

44:41

Paul Burns concedes a free kick for a foul on Mehdi Taouil.

41:17

The assist for the goal came from Daniel Grainger.

41:17 Goal scored

Goal! - Andy Webster - Dunf'mline 0 - 1 Hearts Andy Webster grabs a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Dunfermline 0-1 Hearts.

40:29

Daniel Grainger takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post,

39:38

Rudi Skacel takes a shot. Save by Paul Gallacher.

37:30

Daniel Grainger concedes a free kick for a foul on David Graham. Andy Dowie restarts play with the free kick.

36:05

Outswinging corner taken by Joe Cardle, free kick awarded for a foul by Andy Dowie on Andy Webster. Marian Kello takes the free kick.

34:26

Andy Kirk is caught offside. Andy Webster takes the direct free kick.

33:35

Foul by David Templeton on Paul Burns, free kick awarded. Andy Dowie takes the direct free kick.

22:27 Substitution

Substitution Mehdi Taouil replaces Ian Black.

22:27

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Joe Cardle.

15:35

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Joe Cardle by Ian Black. Shot comes in from Andy Kirk from the free kick.

12:43

Inswinging corner taken by Daniel Grainger,

5:41

The official flags Paul Burns offside. Marian Kello takes the free kick.

0:00

The game kicks-off.

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