Hearts Under-20s cruised to a 3-0 victory over Motherwell at New Victoria Park, Newtongrange last night.
Due to Youth International call-ups and injuries, both sides fielded particularly young sides, with many Under-17s and Under-18s in the two line-ups. Hearts, however, were able to give first-team midfielder Jason Holt a further 90 minutes as he continues his comeback from injury.
The Riccarton youngsters enjoyed the lion’s share of the early possession, but struggled to create clear chances, with only two wayward efforts from Angus Beith and Sam Daniel in the first 25 minutes to show for their efforts.
Hearts’ early superiority paid off in 35 minutes, albeit in controversial circumstances, when Beith slotted home a penalty kick after the assistant referee ruled that a Motherwell defender had handled a cross-ball from the right flank.
The visitors, rarely seen in attack, had two efforts from Dale Shirkie brilliantly saved by Jack Hamilton towards half-time, but on 40 minutes Robbie Buchanan added a second goal for Hearts with an angled shot from 14 yards out.
The second half was more even, although Hearts continued to look the more dangerous side. In 62 minutes, Robbie Neilson’s side added a third goal, and it came from another penalty kick.
This time there was no doubt about the award as Buchanan was sent tumbling in the box by Danny McNulty, who received a second yellow and was duly sent off. Beith kept his cool to score his second goal of the game from 12 yards and ensure the young Jambos ended a run of four league games without a win.
Hearts Under-20s: Hamilton (Sneddon 87), L Smith, K Wilson (Page 80), Gordon, Ford, Simpson, Holt, Beith, Daniel (Craigie 80), B King, Buchanan.