Tomorrow’s SFA Youth Cup match between Tynecastle and Hibs has been postponed for a fortnight after the Easter Road club’s development side were ravaged by injuries.
The second-round tie, Tynecastle’s first ever in the competition, was due to take place at Saughton Enclosure this weekend. However, the Hibees have been left short of under-20 players and, with no option to plug the gap with over-age players, they sought permission from the SFA for the match to be rescheduled and duly provided supporting evidence. Their request was granted and the match will now take place on Sunday, October 9.
The decision hasn’t gone down well with Tynecastle, who put a statement on their website outlining that they were “bitterly disappointed” and that the “expense and considerable effort of making sure that the tie was a spectacle and a unique day in our history counts for nothing”.
Tynecastle felt Hibs should still have been able to cobble together a team from their academy but the Easter Road club, keen to ensure they didn’t undermine the integrity of the tournament and wary of overplaying their teenagers, were reluctant to pitch in players from younger age-groups so soon after their involvement in Thursday’s East of Scotland Shield match against Hearts.
Tynie chairman Douglas Dalgleish said: “Judging from other clubs that have played Hibs Under-20s, we could have had a crowd of 500 plus, so we had security and catering arranged for that possibility.
“We had printed posters and programmes, and considerable time and effort had gone into it which is not measurable by cash.
“We wanted to make it a success, simply because we’re in it for the first time. It would have been such a euphoric day for us and it’s so disappointing that it’s been postponed.
“I think Hibs have got it in their heads that we’re all under-20 players. We’re not – we’re a mixture of 16, 17, 18 and 19-year-olds.
“They could have put out players from any age-group and would still have been hot favourites to beat us.”