Hearts 4-0 Dunfermline

Hearts' players shrugged off their wage dispute to secure an easy victory that leaves Dunfermline Athletic at the foot of the Scottish Premier League.

The Pars paid for static marking as Stephen Elliott turned the ball in from close range after only two minutes.

Both sides had chances before Mehdi Taouil's mis-hit shot evaded goalkeeper Paul Gallacher after 27 minutes.

David Templeton fired in the third with 20 minutes remaining before Rudi Skacel headed a stoppage-time fourth.

Hearts had gone into the game 24 hours after making an official complaint to the Scottish Premier League by their squad after their wages were delayed for a third successive month

But they thoroughly deserved only their second win in eight matches since their salaries were first delayed.

Mahdi Taouil celebrates
Taouil rounded off a fine personal display by scoring the second goal

Liam Buchanan, who started along with Paul Burns in place of Joe Cardle and the injured Paddy Boyle, threatened within a minute, but his low shot was smothered by goalkeeper Marian Kello at the second attempt.

Elliott, who had returned to the starting line-up along with fit-again Andy Webster in place of Eggert Jonsson and Ryan Stevenson, pounced to score from two yards after Ryan McGowan scuffed his own effort from an Ian Black corner.

The Pars' marking was again found wanting, but McGowan's header was straight at goalkeeper Paul Gallacher.

Dunfermline were suspect in at the back but remained dangerous at the other end, where Alex Keddie squandered a chance when the defender controlled the ball on his chest but hurried his shot side of the far post.

Black's well-worked corners continued to cause problems and the unmarked Marius Zaliukas sent a powerful header wide before Taouil curled a drive inches over the Dunfermline crossbar.

Defender McGowan set up Hearts' second goal with a fine run into the penalty box, finding Taouil for a shot that was not struck cleanly but managed to somehow evade goalkeeper Gallacher.

Dunfermline's Andrew Barrowman headed over from a corner before Zaliukas squandered another chance with a free header from only six yards.

Interview - Dunfermline manager Jim McIntyre

The Pars were first to threaten shortly after the break, but Kello denies Buchanan with a brilliant save after the striker was set up inside the box by Martin Hardie.

Hearts came close to ending the game as a contest moments later, but Elliott sent his drive into the side-netting after a quick break.

Templeton whipped a shot over his shoulder but just wide after fine work from goalscorer Taouil.

The inspired Templeton forced the first a fine double save from Gallacher and, when the second from Adrian Mrowiec, came back out off the goalkeeper, there were strong cries for a penalty as the winger crashed to the ground.

There was to be no mistake by Templeton after Martin Hardie lost the ball when the midfielder lost the ball trying to dribble out of defence and it broke for the Hearts man to finish superbly.

That killed the game as a contest before Skacel headed in after Gallacher failed to hold a blistering effort from fellow substitute Ryan Stephenson.

Dunfermline not only missed the chance to overtake Hibernian at the bottom of the table after the Edinburgh side's earlier defeat away to Aberdeen but their goalkeeper was left clutching an injured shoulder in the lead-up to that final goal.

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