Dale Carrick brace helps Hearts U20s triumph

Dale Carrick scored twice
Dale Carrick scored twice
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Dale Carrick grabbed a double as Hearts Under-20s returned to winning ways with a comfortable 3-1 win over St Johnstone at Newtongrange.

Miguel Pallardo gained more game time following 60 minutes for the 20s last week, and a first-team substitute appearance against Queen of the South on Saturday, and strolled through last night’s 90 minutes.

First-team members Scott Gallacher, Kevin McHattie, Brad McKay and Carrick were also given the full game.

Hearts made a slow start and fell behind after five minutes, when Connor McLaren netted from close range after being picked out by a Dylan Easton cutback. Adam Morgan and Craig Thomson also went close for Saints in the opening ten minutes.

However, the Jambos soon weathered the storm and for the next 30 minutes or so, the game developed into a midfield scrap with few chances created by either side.

Hearts equalised after 35 minutes courtesy of a defensive blunder as Carrick latched on to a loose ball and lobbed goalkeeper Mark Hurst from the edge of the box.

Saints were reduced to ten men shortly before half-time when Morgan was cautioned for dissent on 43 minutes and then sent off for stamping less than 60 seconds later.

McKay, with a header, McHattie and Carrick, both with shots, all went close before Hearts added a second goal on 62 minutes.

Substitute Greg Page, who had come on in the first half for the injured Liam Gordon, 
headed home a Nathan Flanagan corner kick from close range.

Hearts dominated the closing stages, with the ten-man visitors rarely threatening.

Flanagan had a shot brilliantly saved by Hurst, and soon after the goalkeeper gave away a penalty when he fouled Ian Smith just inside the box. Carrick stepped up and expertly converted the spot-kick into the corner of the net.

Hearts: Gallacher; L Smith, Gordon (Page 36), McKay, McHattie; Flanagan, Pallardo, Scott (I Smith 65), Henderson (McKirdy 78); Buchanan, Carrick. 
Unused sub: Brown.