Date: 27th July 2015 at 9:15pm
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Hearts hosted English Premier League side Everton yesterday at Tynecastle but came out on the end of a three one defeat.

Belgian international and former Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku grabbed himself a hattrick in the game but Hearts had opened the scoring through Callum Paterson.

New signing, defender Igor Rossi Branco was given his club debut by head coach Robbie Neilson and Sean McKirdy was rewarded with the start again following his impressive form so far.

Everton certainly didn’t bring a weakened side with the likes of Leighton Baines, John Stones, Phil Jagielka and Seamus Coleman all on display and a line up costing in excess of £75million in transfer fees.

Paterson scored his goal on the ninth minute as he connected with a Kevin McHattie corner.

Whilst Everton’s quality undoubtedly showed over the 90 minutes, Hearts will be disappointed with the manner of their equalised as despite a fine save from Neil Alexander, new club skipper Alim Ozturk blocked a follow up shot on the line but the referee decided it was handball and awarded the spot kick.

Hearts:

Alexander (Hamilton 77), Paterson, McHattie, McGhee, Ozturk (King 46), Rossi (L. Smith 69), Gomis (Anderson 67), McKirdy (Buchnan 78), Nicholson, Walker (Oliver 78), Sow (Reilly 65).

Everton:

Howard, Baines (Oviedo 64), Stones, Jagielka, Kone (Naismith 78), Lukaku (Barkley 78), Mirallas (Dowell 82), McCarthy (Cleverley 46), Barry, Osman, Coleman.

Subs:

Robles, Browning, Pennington, McAleny, Ledson, Robinson.

Referee: Willie Collum.

Speaking to the Official Site following the game, it was all about the positives for Neilson as despite the scoreline he was happy with a tough but rewarding test for the players as Hearts continue their build up to the Premiership campaign following last season’s Championship title win.

‘It was great that Everton brought their strongest team. When you see players like that, our lads get to realise how far they`ve got to go if they want to reach the level Everton play at. The first 20 minutes were good, we passed it about well but when we lost the equaliser, they pressed us higher up the park and it became more difficult, but remember some of these lads have over 70 caps for England and cost £30m, so for us to compete at all is positive.’

With Rossi making his debut for the club, although Blazej Augustyn and Juanma sat this one out ahead of the season opener against Arbroath, Neilson admitted the preparations hadn’t been as perfect as he would’ve hoped – but he remained confident the players would hit the ground running.

‘We`re not far away in terms of being ready for the new season. We`ve been disappointed with injuries to, what we would call, key players, but we`re getting there. We won`t hit maximum form until after the first two weeks.’

With red tape continuing to delay the signing of Juwon Oshaniwa, Neilson gave a short update on him and assured fans the Nigerian international would be ‘worth the wait.’

‘We`re still looking to do some more deals, and we`re still waiting on Juwon to get here. We were told 3 to 15 days for his visa to be processed, but now we`ve been told there`s a backlog of visas. It could be today, it could be tomorrow, nobody knows for sure. There`s nothing we can do but wait. It is what it is over there in Abuja, it takes time. Juwon’s told us that he`s training, we`ve sent him a program to follow and he`s keen to get here as soon as he can. He`s worth the wait, though. He`s definitely worth the effort.’

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