Hearts kids show resilience with stoppage-time derby victory

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Hearts coach Darren Murray hailed his team as they scored twice in stoppage time to beat Hibs 3-2 and move to the top of the SPL Under-19 table.

Murray, who saw his team take the lead and create several chances at Riccarton on Saturday before their late breakthrough, said: “I think we started the game very well, we then sat off Hibs a little and it gave them a territorial advantage in terms of possession.

“If I am being honest I could see their goal coming and they got it right on the half-time whistle. We told the guys at half-time to squeeze the game up as we needed to get more pressure on them in the second half. We hit the woodwork three times and we had various chances at close range so I was happy with that.

“Hibs then had a counter attack and a long ball was played through the middle and Hibs scored from it and we found ourselves a goal behind. I was standing there with two minutes to go and I thought we’d get a chance. I thought we wouldn’t lose. I am delighted for the lads.”

Hibs almost got of the perfect start when Daniel Handling broke away following some slack defending and he went through one-on-one and his powerful shot was turned round the post by the advancing Jack Hamilton. Fraser Mullens then almost put Hearts ahead from a free-kick but his effort hit the woodwork.

Jason Holt then put Hearts in front when he was left unmarked in the box and as the ball came in he headed it into the back of the net from close range leaving the keeper with no chance.

Hibs levelled before the interval when Ross Caldwell broke down the wing and he squared to find Handling, who smashed into the net. Caldwell then got on the score sheet when he picked the ball up on the edge of the box and his shot nestled low in the net.

Hearts levelled in injury time when Callum Patterson got on the end of a cross and his header crashed in off the woodwork. Just as it looked like both teams would get a share of the spoils, Hearts scored when Billy King was played in at the back post and his shot beat the keeper.

Murray added: “James McDonaugh is a great young up-and-coming coach and he works tirelessly with Hibs and he gets his team shaped up well and we had to be at our best. It’s a good time to score goals in any game never mind a derby, to enjoy the moment at the end is great. They are a great bunch of lads we have. I thought we won the game in the correct manner, we passed the ball about really well and the lads worked hard. We are on a good we run and we now go top of the league and a point ahead of Celtic and we will enjoy the moment”

Hibs coach McDonaugh said: “It was typical derby game and I am gutted, really disappointed in the outcome. We started slowly but we could have been one up in the opening minutes. We played well and scored a good goal in the first half.

“We started the second half well, we got in front and then let Hearts take control – we didn’t pick up and they scored from a header then we switched off then before we knew it we were a goal behind.

“We shouldn’t be two-one up in stoppage time and get beaten.

“The players showed me two things on Saturday – they showed me we can play good football and compete but they also showed me they can throw away a game in the space of two minutes.”

Hearts Under-19s: Hamilton, Mullens, McHatty, Patterson, McKay, Kane, Stewart (King 61), Tapping, Smith, Holt, Walker. Subs: B King, Scott, Thomson, A King, Nicholson, McGhee, Carswell

Hibs Under-19s: Grant, Doris, Monaghan, Forster, Verth, Horribine (Donaldson 90), Gold, Caldwell, Handling (Addison 61), Smith, Stanton. Subs: Lancaster, Addison, Donaldson, Harris, Todd, Mitter, Horne.