Hearts manager Craig Levein’s satisfaction over last night’s 2-0 Betfred Cup victory at Cowdenbeath was tempered by his alarm over the level of his team’s woeful finishing at Central Park.

The Tynecastle team scored two, courtesy of first-half strikes from Craig Halkett, who was making his competitive debut, and Anthony McDonald.

However, the visitors were guilty of passing up a series of chances either side of the interval.

A lack of composure in front of goal was one factor, on-loan Hibs goalkeeper Kevin Dabrowski’s heroics was another.

Dabrowski even earned a round of applause from the away fans when it was announced over the tannoy he had been chosen as man of the match.

“We could have scored more goals,” lamented Levein, whose side climb to the top of Group A.

“We were a bit wasteful and the goalie had a good match.

“We have a lot of strikers desperate to score. They had opportunities to pass to an unmarked player but decided to shoot.

“I understand that a striker needs to be greedy. We are creating these chances, which is pleasing.

“We had a bundle on Friday (against Dundee United) and again tonight so it is frustrating we never got more goals.

“It might be the seedings come down to goal difference so we need to try to sharpen up in front of goal. I was pleased with tonight other than that one thing.”

It was a return to familiar ground for Levein, 38 years after beginning his football career at this ground, and 22 years on from transitioning to the dugout with the Blue Brazil.

Halkett was one of six Hearts changes for the trip to Central Park, four days on from the penalties victory over United in their opening group clash.

Backed by a large travelling support, the visitors meant business from the first whistle.

Less than 25 seconds were on the clock when Zanatta forced Dabrowski into a save from close range

The opportunities kept coming; Steven MacLean headed over when he should have scored before Halkett was also wasteful with a similar effort.

Former Lions defender Halkett, however, made no mistake when he got on the end of Oliver Bozanic’s corner in the eighth minute - powering a header past Dabrowski.

Cowdenbeath have been on the end of heavy defeats to Hearts recently, losing 5-0 and 10-0 last season and in 2015 respectively.

But, just like against United, Hearts were again guilty of squandering chances.

Conor Washington found himself through on goal but had his effort repelled by Dabrowski before McDonald lifted a half-volley just wide.

Hearts finally created the two-goal cushion their play warranted in the 22nd minute, McDonald placing a MacLean cross into the net from six yards as the visitors’ insatiable desire for goals showed no sign of abating.

Perhaps driven by the fact he is employed by Hearts’ arch rivals, Dabrowski again frustrated the Edinburgh club before the half was out and the Pole refused to be beaten following the interval as the Gorgie outfit saw out a comfortable victory.

Cowdenbeath manager Gary Bollan said: “We lost two goals but for the rest of the game the work rate and attitude of the lads was superb and I can’t fault them.

“It was a great performance from Kevin and he’s here to learn the game, he wants to stick out against Hearts as well being a Hibee.

“In all seriousness, his performance was superb and hopefully he can continue that throughout the season.”

Cowdenbeath: Dabrowski, Pyper, Barr, Todd, Mullen, Buchanan, Miller , Thomas (Herd 83), Taylor (Allan 80), Cox, Renton

Substitutes not used: Valentine, Sneddon, Connelly, Sheerin, Pollock

Hearts: Zlamal; Smith, Halkett, Berra, Burns; McDonald, Bozanic, Clare, Zanatta (Walker 84); MacLean (Keena 76), Washington (Ikpeazu 61)

Substitutes not used: Doyle, Mulraney, Dikamona, Hickey

Referee: Colin Steven

Attendance: 2,311