Hearts Under-20s suffered at St Mirren Park, losing 7-0 and having a man sent off in their SFA Youth Cup fourth-round tie with Saints.
Hearts had only Jordan McGhee as a senior experienced player.
On 21 minutes Robbie Mitchell touched home a long range Mark Barrowman shot, and, 60 seconds later, Hearts keeper Robbie Brown misjudged a Lewis Morgan right-wing cross which clipped the far post on its way into the net. Two minutes later Brown again spilled a cross that fell to Saints’ Connor O’Keefe.
Liam Gordon, in attempting to clear the ball was adjudged to have fouled his opponent and was sent off with Adam Brown scoring from the resulting penalty kick.
Hearts suffered a further blow when captain Shaun McKirdy limped out of the action four minutes from half-time.
Saints added further goals through Jordan Stewart 50, Brown 55, Mitchell 64, and Stewart again in the final minute.
Hearts: Brown, Gordon, McGhee, Page, Henderson, Flanagan, McKirdy (Stevenson 41), Scott, Baxter, Roy (Morrison 80), I Smith (Baur 75). Unused substitutes: Mason (GK), Gullan.