Hearts B came from two goals down at half-time to take a point from an entertaining contest against Berwick Rangers at Shielfield Park on Tuesday night, thanks to a brace from Makenzie Kirk.
Liam Fox made two changes from the side that drew with Linlithgow Rose last Friday. Macaulay Tait missed out with a knock, meanwhile Kenzi Nair dropped to the bench, in came Harry Gordon and Kai Smutek.
It wasn’t the best of starts from the Wee Jambos, who found themselves two goals down inside 13 minutes.
The opening goal arrived on ten minutes. Hearts didn’t clear their lines on the far side and a cross from the left was headed in by Drew Cummings.
The home side doubled their lead three minutes later. Lewis Barr was slipped through on the right-hand side of the box and finished smartly past Liam McFarlane.
Berwick squandered a golden opportunity to kill the game on 25 minutes. A brilliant cross from Graham Taylor found Barr unmarked at the back post but he couldn’t tap home from a matter of yards.
After a sluggish start, the Wee Jambos were slowly getting a foothold in the game and they almost halved the deficit when the ball was laid off to Callum Sandilands on the edge of the box, but he curled just over.
The men in maroon almost halved the deficit in the final minute of the half. A mixup in the Berwick backline allowed James Wilson in behind, but his shot was saved by Calum Antell.
Into the second half and there was always going to be an improvement from the Wee Jambos, and they got their reward, four minutes after the interval.
Ryan Duncan’s front post corner was met by the head of Makenize Kirk who powered his header past Antell to halve the deficit.
The home side were given a good opportunity to restore their two-goal cushion just five minutes later. Harry Gordon was adjudged to have fouled his man in the penalty box, but when Lewis Baker stepped up, Liam McFarlane leapt to his right to beat his spot-kick away.
Understandably, the Wee Jambos had their tails up at this point and substitute James Wilson almost provided the equaliser, 11 minutes into the second period but his effort was neither a shot nor a cross and it slid just wide of the far post.
Up the other end, Berwick were still a threat and Barr almost bagged his second of the evening but after being teed up on the edge of the box, he struck the bar with his curling effort just after the hour mark.
The Wee Jambos were then given a penalty of their own, 20 minutes from time. Harry Gordon found Kirk in the box and when he had his legs swiped away from him by a Berwick defender, the referee pointed to the spot. Up stepped Kirk to send the goalie the wrong way and restore parity.
Into the final ten minutes and both sides were pushing for the winner. The home side were first to go close, when Liam Buchanan’s clever backheel was stopped down low by McFarlane.
Buchanan then came up with heroics to save his team at the other end. Adam Forrester got his head to Harvey Chisholm’s corner, but Buchanan was in the right place to hack the ball off the line.
The Wee Jambos again went close, six minutes from time. A smart move down the right saw Mackenzie Ross tee up Kirk, but Antell got a strong hand to shot to prevent him from bagging the match ball.
That was the last chance as both sides had to settle for a point.
Berwick Rangers: Antell, Nelson, Ferguson, Travis ©, Stevenson, Taylor, Barr, Buchanan, McCormack, Cummings, L. Baker
Subs: Kay, Harris, Graham, Mohammed, Mackay, K. Baker, Klimionek
Hearts: McFarlane, McLuckie (Wilson, 40), Sandilands, Kirk, Gordon, Drysdale (Dall, 46), Forrester, Duncan (Chisholm, 70), Rathie © (Friel, 70), Smutek (Nair, 28), Ross
Subs: McConnell, Dall, Wilson, Stevenson, Nair, Friel, Chisholm