B team

Match Report: Hearts B 2-1 Albion Rovers

08 March 2024

Hearts B moved up to second in the Lowland League table on Friday night following a 2-1 victory over Albion Rovers at Ainslie Park.


Liam Fox made two changes to the side that defeated East Kilbride a fortnight ago. Lennon Thompson replaced Kenzi Nair in the centre of defence, meanwhile Bobby McLuckie replaced Finlay Pollock on the left wing. 


It was a fast start from the Wee Jambos, and they were ahead inside just two minutes. Murray Thomas skipped past his man down the right wing and delivered a wicked cross to the back post, where McLuckie came charging in to tap home from close range to open the scoring. 


The men in maroon continued to create dangerous opportunities and they almost doubled their lead on 18 minutes. McLuckie was again involved but he was denied by the crossbar after receiving the ball from James Wilson.


McLuckie was enjoying himself, as he so often has done this season, down the left-hand side, he again breezed past his man, before curling just wide on a swift Hearts counter.


The visitors hadn’t offered much in the final third in the opening half hour, but Dom McMahon spurned a half chance when Hearts failed to deal with a bouncing ball and when the ball dropped to the Rovers number 8, he dragged his shot wide.


Rovers put Hearts under a lot of pressure with cross balls towards the end of the half, but it was the Jambos who had the final opening of the first 45. Excellent play from Callum Sandilands down the left wing saw him get to the byline and after his cut back saw Bailey Dall’s effort blocked, Murray Thomas curled the rebound over from the edge of the box.


Into the second half, the visitors were given the perfect opportunity to level the scores just three minutes after the interval. Sandilands was punished for a foul in the box and Niyah Joseph found the bottom corner from the spot to restore parity.


The men in maroon were awarded a spot kick of their own, just five minutes later, but James Wilson's effort was saved by Ross Connelly.


The Wee Jambos didn’t let this knock them off their rhythm however and they were back in front after 64 minutes. Much of Hearts’ play all night had come down the wings and this time it was Bailey Dall who made it to the byline, before cutting the ball back for Harry Gordon to drill the ball low into the bottom corner.


Rovers were direct in the closing stages as they again pushed for an equaliser. The visitors thought they had been handed their second penalty of the evening when the referee pointed to the spot, however after consulting with the linesman, he changed his decision and it was play on.


Albion continued to pile bodies forward, but the Wee Jambos dealt with all the long-throws and corners that Rovers delivered and after seven minutes of stoppage time, the whistle sounded on another precious three points for the men in maroon.


Hearts: McFarlane, Dall, McLuckie, Wilson, Sandilands, Thomas (Ross, 77), Stevenson (Duncan, 57), Gordon, Forrester ©, Smutek Thompson (Smith, 47)


Subs: McConnell, Duncan, Ross, Crookston, Smith, Walker


Albion Rovers: Connelly, Fernie, Hannah, Quigg, McMahon, Joseph ©, McCaw, Reid, Brown, Duncan, Okosun


Subs: Walker, Kasa, Paton, McColl, Tran, Fellows, O’Neill