Michael Smith’s own goal consigned Hearts to their first pre-season defeat at Queen of the South, losing 1-0 in Dumfries.
The Northern Irishman could do little to prevent former Hibs man Stephen Dobbie’s cross hitting his shin and rolling into the net in the first half.
A strong team from Tynecastle created several chances throughout the 90 minutes but found themselves too often off target. Having beaten Arbroath, Dumbarton and Partick Thistle in previous friendlies, this 1-0 defeat will act as a reminder that nothing in Scottish football is straightforward.
Championship side Queens recovered from a slow start to match their Premiership guests in many areas of the field. Some in maroon did not impose themselves as might have been expected on the night, but their opponents in blue were gritty and resilient to a man.
Kyle Lafferty, Steven Naismith, Steven MacLean and Zdenek Zlamal were all missing from the Hearts line-up, but there was still plenty experience on display. Midfielder Olly Lee’s hooked effort from Michael Smith’s cross went bouncing wide on 17 minutes before fellow midfielder Olly Bozanic sent a 20-yard shot over the Queens crossbar.
Christophe Berra should then have broken the stalemate from Bozanic’s corner, however the unmarked defender glanced his header narrowly past the far post.
Those in maroon were made to rue their profligacy 11 minutes before half-time. Dobbie’s cross from the right landed towards the back post, where Hearts defender Smith inadvertently knocked it past trialist goalkeeper Kevin Silva and into the net.Hearts have one more friendly – at Forfar on Saturday – before starting their Betfred Cup campaign away at Cove Rangers next Wednesday.