Craig Wighton stars as Hearts reserves thump Dundee United

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Craig Wighton scored his first Hearts goals with a double in a 5-1 reserve win against Dundee United. The recent signing also claimed a backheeled assist and was only denied a hat-trick by an offside flag.

Wighton is staking a strong claim for a place in Hearts’ first team after joining from Dundee last week. He made his competitive debut as a substitute in Saturday’s 4-1 Premiership victory over St Mirren and showed his goalscoring abilities in Monday’s reserve fixture with United at Oriam.

Craig Wighton scored two goals and set up another as Hearts thumped United

Craig Wighton scored two goals and set up another as Hearts thumped United

Rory Currie opened the scoring on eight minutes and Wighton doubled the advantage from 18 yards 60 seconds later. The visitors could easily have drawn level but contrived to miss two penalties – Paul McMullan’s effort clearing the crossbar before Hearts goalkeeper Kevin Silva saved Matthew Smith’s spot-kick.

Luc Bollan’s header for United nine minutes before the break did reduce the deficit, but Wighton scored again with a powerful finish from Arnaud Djoum’s pass before half-time.

Seven minutes after the restart, Connor Smith’s through ball was fired into the net from an angle by Wighton but an offside flag left the forward frustrated.

His final act of the afternoon was a clever backheel for Anthony McDonald to score Hearts’ fourth. Wighton was then substituted for Euan Henderson with 17 minutes left, and Henderson struck the fifth in the final minute.

Hearts: Silva, Sandison, Gajda, Baur, Hickey, Djoum, Cochrane, Smith, McDonald, Currie, Wighton. Subs: Mason, Ritchie, Henderson, Logan, Leddie, McGill, Grigor.