OSMAN SOW, Danny Wilson and Billy King scored the goals to give Hearts a sixth straight win on the day Dave Mackay was remembered at Tynecastle.
The former captain’s passing was marked on an emotional afternoon which saw the Edinburgh club take another step closer to the Scottish Championship title.
The performance was not quite of the standard of two weeks ago, when Hearts beat Cowdenbeath 10-0, but it must be said Dumbarton defender better than their Fife counterparts. Sow’s close-range finish, Wilson’s header from a corner two goals by substitute King - all after the break - secured the three points.
After a minute’s silence in Mackay’s memory, the game started with plenty Hearts possession. However, the first opening fell to the visitors, who were playing on the break. A high forward pass fell in behind Alim Ozturk and Chris Duggan hit the dropping ball wide of target. The Dumbarton striker fastened on to another through ball moments later and forced his way past Ozturk only for goalkeeper Neil Alexander to hold his left-footed shot.
Hearts had efforts from Sam Nicholson, Sow and Genero Zeefuik but none which posed any major trouble for the Dumbarton keeper Danny Rogers. Then, from Sow’s threaded pass on 26 minutes, Walker thumped a right-footed effort off Rogers’ left post.
The goalframe rescued Dumbarton again on 29 minutes following a magnificent save by Rogers. Sow’s effort from 20 yards was destined for the top corner until the keeper pushed it on to his crossbar. He got to his feet instantly and turned to grab the ball as it bounced down before Zeefuik arrived.
The game was goalless at the interval but Hearts’ pressing reaped a dividend shortly after the restart. Rogers came for Nicholson’s corner and only succeeded in palming it down into a congested six-yard box. Sow was lurking with intent and stretched out a giant leg to prod the ball into the net.
Just over midway through the second period, Hearts secured victory with a second goal. A textbook corner from substitute King was headed home by Wilson, who rose highest in the penalty area to leave Rogers helpless as the ball hit the net.
The hosts played out the remainder of the game in confident mood and might have added to their tally sooner with some more composed finishing. Four minutes from the end, King’s impressive solo dribble and low left-footed finish did bring Hearts a third goal. Just for good measure, the winger added a fourth in the dying seconds with a powerful low drive.
Following a 10-0 win in their previous match, Hearts were content with a more modest triumph which keeps them motoring towards the title.
Hearts (4-2-3-1): Alexander; Paterson, Ozturk, Wilson, Eckersley; Pallardo, Gomis; Nicholson, Walker, Sow; Zeefuik.
61: Keatings for Sow
61: King for Walker
75: El Hassnaoui for Zeefuik
Unused subs: Hamilton, Anderson, McKay, McGhee.
Dumbarton (4-2-3-1): Rogers; Taggart, Graham, Findlay, Linton; Agnew, Petrie; Wilson, Turner, Fleming; Duggan.
66: Easton for Linton
77: Gilhaney for Wilson
85: Megginson for Duggan
Unused subs: Ewings, Mair, McCallum, Campbell.
Referee: John Beaton.
SCOTSMAN TABLET AND MOBILE APPS