Plucky Hearts Under-20s edged out by league leaders Celtic

Hearts striker Russell McLean hit the post with a second-half effort

Hearts striker Russell McLean hit the post with a second-half effort

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A solitary first-half goal gave leaders Celtic the points in their Development League fixture against Hearts at Riccarton.

There were no over-age players in either line-up and it was Celtic who began the brighter. However, it was Hearts who had the first two serious attempts at goal with Angus Beith firing a shot well over the crossbar and Alistair Roy hitting an angled shot just past the post.

The visitors opened the scoring on 29 minutes, central defender Jamie McCart netting a Joseph Thomson free-kick at the back post.

Six minutes later, Hearts keeper Kelby Mason produced a brilliant save, turning a Sam Wardrop header over the crossbar.

Hearts came more into the game towards half-time with Beith again hitting an effort too high and Ian Smith sending a strong angled shot just past a post.

The home side began the second half strongly and, within 15 minutes, had two efforts cleared off the Celtic goal-line, Fiacre Kelleher stopping a Beith shot while Robbie Buchanan had an effort from the rebound deflected just past the post.

Six minutes later, Lewis Moore also had a header cleared off the line as Hearts dominated.

On 73 minutes, substitute Russell McLean hit a shot against the post following a Moore corner, but this was Hearts last serious attempt at goal as Celtic finished the contest on top.

Hearts: Mason; L Smith, Jones, L Henderson, Reid, I Smith (McDonald 76), Beith, Baxter (Irving 85), Moore, Buchanan, Roy (McLean 65). Unused subs: Cargil, Howlett-Mundle, K Smith.