Hearts Under-20s led 2-0 through a Nathan Flanagan double last night, only to lose 4-2 at Falkirk, with Botti Bia-Bi grabbing a brace for the hosts.
The Jambos opened the match brightly, scoring on nine minutes as Flanagan netted from close range after goalkeeper Michael Fairbanks had spilled an Angus Beith shot.
Two minutes later, Flanagan netted his second goal, with a 12-yard shot from a Gary Oliver cross. On 21 minutes Scott Shepherd pulled one back for the Bairns with a penalty after a Kai Wilson trip in the box.
Robbie Neilson’s side were dealt a blow when Flanagan had to be replaced at half-time after suffering a hamstring injury and Falkirk came roaring back after the break.
The hosts equalised within three minutes of the restart when Ryan Blair shot home from the edge of the box.
Bia-Bi then edged them ahead when a clearance from Hearts keeper Jack Hamilton bounced into the net off the striker’s leg. Oliver then went close with two fine shots as Hearts tried to grab a point.
But with five minutes left, Bia-Bi latched onto a through ball, rounded Hamilton, and sealed the hosts’ victory.
Hearts: Hamilton, L Smith, K Wilson (Page 79), Gordon, Ford, Simpson (Craigie 69), A Scott, Beith, Flanagan (I Smith 46), B King, Oliver. Unused sub: Sneddon.