Hearts too strong for Forfar in League Cup
Callum Paterson struck in extra-time to take Hearts through to the next round of the Scottish League Cup after a glut of missed opportunities against Forfar Athletic at Station Park.
Kevin McHattie put the visitors into the lead deep into the second half before Mick Dunlop equalised in a game that should have seen Hearts find the net multiple times.
However Paterson made the difference in the extra half-hour to give Scottish Premiership pace-setters Hearts a 2-1 victory over a side who finished with nine men.
The visitors began brightly and good work from Billy King in the 12th minute went unrewarded when his shot from deep on the right went straight to the arms of Rab Douglas.
Hearts continued to press, with a Gary Oliver cross from the right setting up Gavin Reilly who fired wide.
Another good link-up between Oliver and Reilly just before the half-hour mark also failed to produce a goal when Oliver sent the ball inches over the net after Reilly laid on the ball.
The only clear chance for the home side came from a Martyn Fotheringham free-kick which went low and straight to Jack Hamilton from 35 yards.
It was more of the same from Hearts as the second half got under way when a Jordan McGhee free-kick was caught easily by Douglas in the 50th minute.
In the 70th minute Hearts were awarded a penalty for a Kevin Nicoll handball in the box. Reilly stepped up and his low ball was saved well by Douglas.
The visitors eventually broke the deadlock when McHattie blasted the ball into the top of the net at close range in the 73rd minute.
Liam Smith could have doubled the advantage in the 79th minute but his header just bounced wide.
Hearts rued their missed chances as the home side equalised when Dunlop looped the ball in from a narrow angle deep in the box in the 85th minute.
Danny Denholm should have taken the Loons into the lead with two minutes to go but his clear shot at goal went vertical. His game was over in the 90th minute when he picked up a second yellow for a foul on Paterson.
Douglas was forced into a stellar save when a McHattie thunderbolt from 30 yards was tipped clear.
Substitute Paterson took Hearts into the lead once again at the end of the first half of extra-time when he struck a low ball into the back corner of the net.
With a minute to go Forfar went down to nine men when Nicoll saw red for a foul on Callum Morrison.