Match ends, Cove Rangers 1, Heart of Midlothian 2.
Top-flight Hearts battled past Highland League champions Cove Rangers to win their first competitive match of the season in League Cup Group C.
Two of Craig Levein's 13 summer signings, Olly Lee and Steven MacLean, scored debut goals for the visitors.
Jake Mulraney too came close to opening his Hearts account, while Lee struck the post in search of a third goal.
Paul McManus pulled one back for Cove with 15 minutes remaining, but the hosts could not find an equaliser.
The Toonsers, for whom it was a first competitive game at their new Balmoor Stadium, have now lost both of their League Cup matches and sit bottom of the section.
Hearts climb to second place, behind Championship side Inverness Caledonian Thistle, who have taken maximum points from their two fixtures.
Seven of Levein's new additions started and it was particularly surprising to see MacLean, who has arrived from St Johnstone, feature.
Saints boss Tommy Wright never played the striker on synthetic surfaces because of his history of knee injuries, but the 35-year-old was selected in the away forward line on the new artificial pitch.
MacLean certainly seemed unconcerned by the surface. He had a goal disallowed for offside in the opening half before scoring after the break, but it was Lee who was first to break his Hearts duck.
The midfielder, whom Levein signed from Luton Town, swapped passes with Kyle Lafferty at the edge of the box before drilling the ball into the bottom-left corner of the net after just 11 minutes.
It looked like that might spark a comfortable win for the Premiership side, who certainly played with pace and intensity, especially in the wide areas, where Mulraney and Callum Morrison caused persistent problems.
Cove were limited to the occasional counterattack, with Mitch Megginson twice blocked by John Souttar when in good positions.
The Hearts defender nearly scored at the other end on the stroke of half-time, his header hooked off the line by Darryn Kelly, rescuing the otherwise impressive Stuart McKenzie after the goalkeeper made a rare error.
Ryan Strachan made another goal-line clearance for the hosts seconds into the new half, denying Oliver Bozanic.
There was no stopping MacLean's effort, though, as he pounced to prod in Peter Haring's flick-on from inside the six-yard box after 57 minutes.
Lee could have doubled his tally when he rounded McKenzie, but he struck the upright with his shot.
The ending was more fraught than it should have been for Hearts after McManus tapped home from close-range.
Hearts captain Christophe Berra: "It was overall a comfortable game, they got a goal that was sloppy on our behalf, basic stuff.
"We had the majority of possession, some great chances, great movement around the box and combinations, and on another day there'd have been more goals.
"Seven new players, Cove have given Inverness a tough game, they're on the up and have some good players, but if we'd won 4-1 or 5-1, I don't think anyone could have said anything against it."
- 2MilneSubstituted forRedfordat 76'minutes
- 3MilneBooked at 73mins
- 11MassonSubstituted forSmithat 80'minutes
- 5HaringBooked at 84mins
- 8LeeSubstituted forIrvingat 65'minutes
- 23MulraneySubstituted forIkpeazuat 80'minutes
- 18MacLeanSubstituted forSmithat 65'minutes
- Nick Walsh
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Cove Rangers 1, Heart of Midlothian 2.
Oliver Bozanic (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Mitch Megginson (Cove Rangers).
Attempt saved. Connor Scully (Cove Rangers) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Bobby Burns (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Daniel Park (Cove Rangers).
Peter Haring (Heart of Midlothian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Peter Haring (Heart of Midlothian).
Connor Scully (Cove Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Callumn Morrison (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Blair Yule (Cove Rangers).
Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Uche Ikpeazu replaces Jake Mulraney.
Substitution, Cove Rangers. Jonny Smith replaces Jamie Masson.
Attempt saved. Bobby Burns (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Hand ball by Paul McManus (Cove Rangers).
Attempt missed. Andrew Irving (Heart of Midlothian) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.
Substitution, Cove Rangers. Alan Redford replaces Cameron Milne.
Goal! Cove Rangers 1, Heart of Midlothian 2. Paul McManus (Cove Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Daniel Park.
Attempt missed. Kyle Lafferty (Heart of Midlothian) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left.