Hearts B inflicted East Kilbride’s first Lowland League defeat of the season courtesy of a 4-2 victory at K Park on Saturday.
Liam Fox made just one change from the side that defeated Edinburgh University prior to the international break as Harry Gordon replaced Ryan Duncan in midfield.
With the match being contested by the top two teams in the division, this always had the feel of an entertaining match.
The opening goal almost arrived inside 60 seconds. Sloppy play at the back from the home side allowed Makenzie Kirk in on goal but he took a heavy touch, allowing Christopher Truesdale to come off his line and smother the ball.
Even at that early stage, it felt like a moment the men in maroon may live to regret and indeed just three minutes later, Kilby took the lead.
Nathan Flanagan was allowed too much space to cut in off the right and finish low into the bottom corner past Liam McFarlane.
For the next 20 minutes or so, the Wee Jambos had to weather a bit of a storm with the home side dominating possession.
Having said that, this appeared to be part of the game plan as Hearts were effectively choosing their moments to press high and this did see them get chances throughout the half.
None better than on 26 minutes when Ethan Drysdale blocked an attempted clearance and when the ball spun into the path of Kirk, he rounded Truesdale but fired wide from an acute angle.
Hearts were growing in confidence, and they got their reward on the half hour mark. Gordon did well to dig out a pass with the ball caught underneath his feet. Bobby McLuckie had timed his run well and after racing on to the through ball, he kept his cool to slot the ball low past Truesdale and into the bottom corner.
The men in maroon were beginning to get the upper hand and they took the lead in the final minute of the half. Murray Thomas beat his man down the right wing and his low cross was tapped home by Kirk to send the Jambos down the tunnel with the half-time lead.
Into the second half and Hearts continued to play the better football. After McLuckie danced past his many he had Kirk and Thomas waiting to tap home in the middle but his cross evaded both his fellow attackers as the Jambos lead remained a slender one.
It had been a professional second half performance from the Wee Jambos and they added a third goal 13 minutes from time. The ball found its way to Callum Sandilands in the penalty box and the number nine lofted the ball over Truesdale to give Hearts breathing space.
That breathing space didn’t last long however as Scott Ferguson lashed the ball home to halve the deficit and ensure a nervy ending just three minutes later.
The men in maroon dealt with everything the home side threw at them before Kirk broke up field in stoppage time. Despite having options left and right, he let fly from 25-yards and his shot had all sorts of movement on it, leaving Truesdale with no chance to wrap up the three points in style.
East Kilbride: Truesdale, Lockie, McDonald, Eadie, Ferguson, Flanagan, Brown ©, Samson, MacDonald, Biggar, Balde
Subs: Cowie, Kelly, McGowan, CR. Truesdale, Ferguson, Stirling, Arnott,
Hearts: McFarlane, Tait ©, McLuckie (Duncan, 74), Sandilands, Kirk, Thomas (Wilson, 66), Gordon (Stevenson, 86), Nair, Drysdale, Forrester, Rathie
Subs: McConnell, Dall, Wilson, Stevenson, Duncan, Ross, Gillies