HEARTS suffered a defeat in the their final friendly clash and, with the first match of the SPFL campaign just a week away, manager Gary Locke faces an anxious wait to find out the extent of a second-half injury sustained by Callum Tapping.
Tapping had been one of the Tynecastle side’s better performers in the 1-0 defeat by a Liverpool select at The Oval.
But the youngster was stretchered off and appeared to be in considerable pain after a collision with Jordan Lussey.
It had all started brightly for Hearts but the Anfield side looked strong down the left-hand side and Jakob Sokolick carved an early chance with his diagonal ball, which was cut back by Adam Morgan, but Danny Wilson managed to poke it away before Jack Dunn could connect.
With Liverpool’s first-team squad on tour in Asia, this was a side packed with kids, but £1 million-rated Jaoa Teixeira made sure that Jamie Hamill, Scott Robinson and Tapping – who was booked for a challenge on the Portuguese midfielder late in the first half – were given a real workout in the sweltering conditions.
Liverpool again came close when an attempted clearance by Dylan McGowan bounced awkwardly and fell kindly for Kris Peterson, who was just a yard or two out but his header was well saved by Jamie MacDonald.
Hearts almost broke the deadlock ten minutes before the break when McGowan teed up Stevenson for a snapshot that took a deflection on the way past.
After the restart Hearts were fortunate not to fall behind when Nancho’s corner seemed to he headed over the line by Trickett Smith, only for the linesman to rule that it hadn’t gone in.
But Liverpool scored the only goal with just over an hour gone, when Nancho floated the ball in, Peterson chested it down, turned and drilled it beyond MacDonald.