DALE CARRICK scored a hat-trick as Hearts Under-20s beat Spartans 19s 6-1 in the second round of the Scottish Youth Cup at Tynecastle.
With five of Hearts’ starting XI having played for the first team and Spartans’ side made up of mostly of last season’s Scottish Cup-winning 17s side, it was always going to be a big test for the Ainslie Park boys.
Hearts took an early lead when Gary Oliver forced the ball home after Billy King’s effort was parried by Spartans goalkeeper Blair Carswell. Carrick then nodded in from a corner to double Hearts’ lead.
Spartans pulled one back before half-time through striker Blair Atkinson and they were still in the game going into the last 20 minutes. However, further goals from King and Carrick knocked the stuffing out of the visitors before substitute Rhys Craigie scored and Carrick chalked up his hat-trick to seale a third-round trip to Hamilton Accies.
Spartans coach Gary McClelland said: “A lot of our guys have come from last year’s under 17 team and they did really well. The Hearts coach Darren Murray was really impressed with some of our players, including our goalkeeper, Blair Carswell.”
Hearts: Hamilton, L Smith, McGhee, A King, Ford, Beith, B King, Nicholson, Oliver, McKirdy, Carrick. Substitutes: Buchanan, Sneddon, Craigie, Jones, I Smith.
Spartans: Carswell, Imlah, Mair, Dickson, K Buchanan, Irving, Brown, Dishingston, Atkinson, Stewart, McIntosh. Substitutes: Carruthers, Lackie, Oliff, Doig, Tait.