Hearts Under-20s wrapped up their League campaign with a 2-1 defeat by Kilmarnock in a re-arranged fixture at a wet and miserable Rugby Park last night.
The Tynecastle line-up included first-team squad players Jordan McGhee, Gary Oliver and Angus Beith, gaining some game time in preparation for next week’s Youth Cup final against Rangers at Paisley.
Hearts began positively, Robbie Buchanan having an early shot saved, but Killie took the lead on six minutes, Jack Whittaker taking advantage of slackness in defence to fire a 25-yard shot past Jordan Millar.
On 25 minutes, Killie doubled their lead, Ross Davidson again in acres of space to crack home another long-range effort, while in reply Gary Oliver and Angus Beith saw efforts go past the post.
Coach Robbie Neilson, clearly not impressed by the first-half performance, made a few tactical changes that was to alter the play, with Hearts having by far the bulk of possession after the interval. Jack Simpson, Oliver, Buchanan and Beith all had efforts saved, before Oliver scored with a header from a Beith right-wing corner kick on 78 minutes.
Hearts dominated the closing stages, but could not score what would have been a deserved equaliser.
Hearts: Millar; Ford (K Wilson 78), Gordon, McGhee, L Smith, Simpson, A Scott (Daniel 72), Beith, Craigie (McKirdy 37), Buchanan, Oliver;