Paton made two changes from the side that lost last Saturday at Motherwell. Andy Smith was back after a two match suspension and George Shaw replaces the injured McCulloch.

Rousset was first into action saving a fierce David Bingham shot from a Curran cross from the left. The Hearts keeper fisted the volley over the bar. Three corners in quick succession yielded nothing and then Hearts struck. Jose Quitongo the £90,000 signing from Hamilton bewildered Shields before crossing for Jim Hamilton to nod in the opener.

Nine minutes later Shields released Smith down the left. Paul Ritchie bundled him over and Hugh Dallas gave a penalty. David BINGHAM was given the task after Hamish’s miss at Kilmarnock and with Rousset sent the wrong way the sores were level at 1-1.

Pointon was yellow carded for a 20th minute foul on Bingham and there was a unsavoury moment when a bottle was thrown from the Hearts support.

It was Westie however who lost his bottle with a 28th minute gift. Hamilton sent in a header which was headed off the line by Andy Tod. The ball spun high into the air and the Pars keeper completely mistimed his attempt to palm the ball over and instead turned it into his own net.

Next Salvatori got his first goal for the Jambos; gathering a ball from Cameron he hit a fierce shot from just outside the penalty box high into the net.

3-1 at half time and following a stupid yellow carded tackle on Paul Ritchie in the 52nd minute Andy Smith’s departure left the Pars with ten men of little hope. This being his second yellow of the game.

Dunfermline did play better with 10 men Hamish French an improvement in attack but Hearts just filled the midfield and hung on for the points

DUNFERMLINE: Westwater, Shields, Den Bieman, Tod, Barnett, Curran (Duarte 75), Shaw (Moore 72), Robertson, Smith, French, Bingham. Subs not Used: Welsh.
Scorers Dunfermline: Bingham (16 pen)
Yellow Cards: Bingham
Red Card: Smith (52)
Attendance: 11.689
Referee: H Dallas (Motherwell)

Scorers Hearts: Hamilton (7) Westwater (og 28) Salvatori (33)

Next match v St Johnstone (home) Saturday 3rd January 1998