Hearts B came from a goal down to defeat Gala Fairydean Rovers on Friday night, thanks to a hat-trick from Makenzie Kirk.
Liam Fox made three changes to the side that faced Cowdenbeath last weekend as Bailey Dall, Callum Flatman and Harvey Chisholm replaced Kenzi Nair, Harry Gordon and Bobby McLuckie.
It was the visitors who started the brighter of the two sides and they took a deserved lead on 8 minutes. Ben Lamont showed good composure to get on the end of a neat Gala move down the right, before curling the ball past Liam McFarlane to open the scoring.
That goal seemed give the Wee Jambos a shake and they restored parity eight minutes later. Callum Sandilands has been enjoying a brilliant campaign in the number ten role and after working the ball out to Adam Forrester, he continued his run, making it to the byline before pulling the ball back for Kirk to tap home from close range.
The men in maroon were the better team for the remainder of the half, but they struggled to create too many clear-cut chances in the opening 45.
The chances Hearts did create mainly fell to the league’s top scorer, Kirk, who after blasting into the side-netting from a tight angle midway through the half, dragged an effort wide after neat play from Ethan Drysdale down the left.
Half-time: Hearts 1-1 Gala Fairydean Rovers
After an uneventful 15 minutes to start the second period, Hearts took the lead just after the hour mark as Kirk doubled his tally for the evening.
Substitute Bobby McLuckie was providing a real threat down the left for Hearts and when Kirk latched on to a ball down that side, his first effort was stopped by Jay Cantley but the ball rebounded straight back to the number 10 who fired the ball home at the second attempt to complete the Hearts comeback.
McLuckie was involved again on 67 minutes, dancing past the challenges of two Gala defenders before firing in a low delivery for Murray Thomas at the back post, but the winger couldn’t keep his shot down and Hearts’ lead remained a slender one.
The visitors saw plenty of possession and to their credit, they had tried to play out from the back all evening, however it was almost to their detriment seven minutes from the end. The ball was presented to Forrester on the right and his cross was met by Kirk, the striker was up early, but couldn’t hit the target with his header.
Gala huffed and puffed and although they had a few dangerous set plays, the Wee Jambos defended them well and they sealed the three points in stoppage time. A neat corner routine on the left was tapped home at the back post by Kirk, who bagged his fourth hat-trick of the season.
Hearts: McFarlane, Dall (McLuckie, 53), Flatman ©, Sandilands, Kirk, Thomas (Nair, 85), Drysdale, Forrester, Duncan, Rathie, Chisholm (Stevenson, 72)
Subs: McConnell, McLuckie, Stevenson, Nair, Friel, Ross
Gala Fairydean Rovers: Cantley, Lyons, Rodger ©, Smith, Lamont, Galbraith, Rielly, Mitchell, Kazoka, Greene, Watt
Subs: Semple, Suleyman, Scott, Drammeh, Shankir