A very young Hearts Under-20s side, including no over-age players, and with 14 and 15 years-olds in the starting line-up, notched up a convincing win against an equally young Dunfermline side at East End Park.
hile the hosts began the brighter, pinning Hearts into their own half in the opening ten minutes, it was the visitors that opened the scoring after 16 minutes, Ian Smith netting with a 22-yard free-kick that took a slight deflection past Pars goalkeeper Cammy Gill.
Five minutes later Callum Morrison had a shot saved for a corner and Liam Henderson had a header saved low at the post. Apart from an early fine save from Kelby Mason, Hearts had the upper hand.
Morrison missed a great chance to add Hearts second 60 seconds into the second half, blazing a Robbie Buchanan pass over the bar from close range, and the Pars celebrated this let-off by equalising ten minutes later, James Thomas netting a Cammy McClair headed pass from close range.
On 68 minutes Lewis Moore gave Hearts the lead, converting a Henderson pass from close in as the visitors started to dominate.
In the final minutes Alistair Roy steered home a Buchanan pass, with Buchanan himself adding a fourth goal on with a left foot shot.
Under-20s manager Jack Ross said: “The youngsters did very well, as they have done the last few games. This was always going to be a difficult season, for a few reasons, and they did me proud today.”
Hearts Under-20s: Mason, Gregory (K Smith 70), Hutchings, Baur, Reid, Morrison (Flanagan 53 ), McKirdy (Roy 63), Henderson, I Smith, Moore, Buchanan. Unused subs: J Brown, Baxter, Stevenson.