Darren Bent celebrated his move to Sunderland by opening his goalscoring account as Hearts were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw against the Barclays Premier League side.
The Jambos surged into the lead in style when David Obua opened the scoring with a lovely opportune strike, before being pegged back when Sunderland's latest recruit found the back of the net shortly before the interval.
A large and vocal travelling support were given their first glimpse of record signing Bent when he was handed his debut at Tynecastle following a protracted £10million move from Tottenham.
However, Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon was not risked as he continues his recovery from knee surgery, despite taking part in a pre-match warm-up with the rest of the squad. Martin Fulop started between the sticks, with Trevor Carson named on the bench.
Summer signings Suso Santana, David Witteveen and Ismael Bouzid were all handed starting roles for a Hearts side hoping for another decent result following Tuesday's respectable 1-1 draw with Bolton.
It was Hearts who took the lead after 31 minutes when the Sunderland defence failed to clear Santana's corner and the ball broke to Obua who caught the visitors off-guard by lashing a superb left-footed strike past the helpless Fulop.
Campbell could have restored parity when he pounced in the box but he screwed wide of target and it was Bent who hauled the Black Cats level five minutes before the break.
Phil Bardsley - familiar to Scottish football fans from his time on loan at Rangers - saw his effort blocked by goalkeeper Marian Kello. His rebound then cannoned off a Hearts defender before falling kindly for Bent to poke home from close range.
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