Forget the City of Discovery. Dundee might just be the city of recovery after this. A spirited, dogged, defiant display was rewarded with just a third win of the season and a first at Tynecastle since 2012.

The Dens Park men had been down in the depths so long their shirts just about had deep-sea coral on them, but this success finally lifted them off the bottom of the table as a display of intrepid industry and no little invention gave them a much-needed three points

On a parky night that was colder than a Morningside welcome, Dundee tried to warm the cockles with a sprightly opening that gave much-needed heart to the small battalion of visiting fans.

Andrew Nelson, plucked from Sunderland, was full of energy and menace and his searing shot on the angle was tipped round the post by Michael Smith, even though the officials failed to spot that the Hearts custodian had got a telling touch on the ball.

At the other end, Hearts began to make their presence felt and Arnaud Djoum’s powerful drive was palmed to safety by the flying Seny Dieng.

It was lively stuff and Dundee were awarded for their early adventure on 23 minutes through an unlikely source as the defender Genseric Kusunga barged his way into the box and squeezed a shot home.

After two own-goals in his Dundee career, this was a welcome change.

Hearts were rattled and new signing David Vanecek was replaced after just half an hour.

Craig Curran had a good chance with a header which was plucked out of the air by Smith before Hearts grabbed a somewhat fortuitous equaliser five minutes before the break.

Olly Lee’s strike took a big deflection off Jesse Curran and looped in at the back post. Hearts were galvanised and Martin Wood blocked a goal-bound attempt from Sean Clare as the hosts upped the ante.

The home side continued their surging advances after the resumption as the match zipped along at a fair old lick. Callumn Morrison had a driving run and shot before Christophe Berra’s header was scrambled off the line. Aidan Keena then blasted a good chance over as the onslaught roared on.

Dundee may have been on the ropes but they countered with purpose and hit Hearts with a real sore one just after the hour as Craig Curran laid the ball off to Nelson who finished with composed, clinical authority before being immediately substituted.

It wasn’t a bad way to sign off from a fine shift.

Predictably, the Hearts offensive intensified as they searched desperately for an equaliser.

There were just about kitchen sinks from the Gorgie tenements being tossed into the mix but despite getting in behind their opponents on numerous occasions they couldn’t deliver the decisive ball as Dundee stood firm against the torrent. Jake Mulraney fluffed a great chance late on which summed up the general profligacy as Hearts’ bid for a third successive win was scuppered.