Hearts B picked up a hard-fought three points on Saturday afternoon as they defeated Cumbernauld Colts 2-1 at Broadwood.
Liam Fox made one change to the side that was defeated by Cowdenbeath last time out as Mackenzie Ross replaced James Wilson on the right wing.
It was the home side who started the brighter of the two teams and Liam McFarlane was called into action after just five minutes when denying Cole McIntyre from point blank range.
Seven minutes later, Colts were awarded a penalty. Rocco Friel was adjudged to have fouled his man on the left side of the box. Colts skipper Stephen O’Neill stepped up but fired his effort high over the bar.
The hosts were dominating possession as we passed the half hour mark and the Wee Jambos were struggling to gain any controlled possession of their own, although they fashioned their best chance of the half, twelve minutes from the break.
Makenzie Kirk did well to hold the ball in on the edge of the box and wait patiently for the run of the onrushing Harry Gordon, but after Kirk’s neat layoff, the Hearts midfielder sliced his effort wide.
Into the second half and although Hearts now had the strong breeze behind them, the game started in a similar manner with McFarlane again coming up big to deny Billy Mortimer after he was sent clean through on goal.
The men in maroon were always going to fashion a chance for Kirk at some point, it was just a question of whether the Hearts forward could take it when it did.
That question was answered eight minutes into the second half. Rocco Friel had been largely restricted to defensive duties in the first half however he made good ground down the right before crossing for Bailey Dall, who laid the ball off for Kirk to drill the ball into the bottom corner and open the scoring.
That lead was doubled 20 minutes from the end. Mackenzie Ross danced past Colts’ shirts on the right-hand side of the penalty box before unleashing a low shot which was well saved by Ryan Adamson in the Colts goal, but he could only parry it into the path of Bobby McLuckie who was following in to slam home the Wee Jambos’ advantage.
Hearts had their tails up at this stage and they nearly added a third on a lightning counter-attack. McLuckie put the afterburners on down the left and his low cross was perfect for Kirk, who opened up his foot just an inch too much, as his effort came back off the far post.
Just as it looked like the Wee Jambos were going to see out the closing stages with relative ease, a short back-pass was charged down by Connor McLaren and he tapped the ball into the empty net to halve the deficit, seven minutes from time.
Cumbernauld Colts: Adamson, Adams, Dickson, Home, O’Neill, Churchill, Mortimer, McIntyre, Trialist, Kirkpatrick, McCarvel
Subs: Kearney, Ballam, C.McLaren, Hatfield, R.Mclaren
Hearts B: McFarlane, Dall (Drysdale, 60), McLuckie, Sandilands, Kirk, Gordon (Tait, 60), Nair, Duncan (Wilson, 80), Rathie ©, Friel (Forrester, 60), Ross
Subs: McConnell, Tait, Wilson, Stevenson, Drysdale, Forrester, Smutek