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SPFL Championship, Saturday 14 March 2015 – Tynecastle

An emotional day at Tynecastle where Hearts paid tribute to their greatest ever player – and one of Scotland’s finest – Dave Mackay ended with the home side recording a 4-0 win over Dumbarton as the Maroons marched ever closer to the Championship title.

Hearts last game came on 28 February with that astonishing 10-0 hammering of Cowdenbeath. The euphoria which greeted that stupendous result was replaced by grief little more than 48 hours later with the news that Dave Mackay, a player who symbolised the all-conquering Hearts team of the 1950s, had died aged 80.

Hearts began the game in their usual attacking style but it was clear Dumbarton, managed by former Hibs player Ian Murray – who was taunted by the home support throughout the 90 minutes – were determined not to suffer the same fate as the Blue Brazil did a fortnight earlier. The Sons defended resolutely in the first half and may even have opened the scoring themselves when a mistake by Alim Ozturk gave a chance to Duggan but his effort went wide of goal.

Osman Sow had Hearts best opportunity in the opening period when the Swede fired in a brilliant effort which brought out a magnificent save from Sons keeper Rogers who tipped the ball on to the bar.

Half-time: Hearts 0 Dumbarton 0

Hearts went ahead in the 53rd minute. Nicholson’s corner was flapped at by keeper Rogers and Sow thrashed the ball home to the delight of the home fans who chanted ‘There’s Only One Dave Mackay’ incessantly in the 58th minute – to mark 1958, the year Hearts won the Scottish league title in record-breaking fashion.

Ten minutes later the 2015 Hearts team went 2-0 up. Billy King’s corner was met by the head of a totally unchallenged Danny Wilson and the skipper found the corner of the net.

Hearts completed the scoring with two fine goals from Billy King.

If the scoreline was a little harsh on Dumbarton there is no doubt Hearts dominated the game and deserved the win. Just three wins are now required for the title and a return to the Premiership. Hearts play Raith Rovers this Tuesday and Falkirk next Saturday. With Hibernian and Rangers meeting next weekend it’s not inconceivable the title could be clinched this time next week. If not then, it’s only a matter of time – something David Craig Mackay would have been proud of.

Hearts: Alexander, Paterson, Wilson, Ozturk, Gomis, Walker, Nicholson, Pallardo, Sow, Zeefuik, Eckersley.

Dumbarton: Rogers, Linton , Graham, Turner, Agnew, Duggan , Taggart, Fleming, Petrie, Findlay, M.Wilson

Referee: John Beaton

Att: 15,631

Top man: Miguel Pallardo