Hearts B made it two pre-season wins out of two with a 3-0 victory against Preston Athletic at Pennypitt Park on Wednesday night.
With a few of last season’s B Team regulars on first-team duty at Fleetwood, many of the U18’s were given the chance to impress.
In what were extremely challenging conditions, it was Hearts who started the better of the two sides and they went ahead after just two minutes. Owen Muirhead was allowed too much time and space out wide, and his cross was perfect for Makenzie Kirk to head home from close range.
Hearts continued to enjoy large spells of possession and although the hosts didn’t get too many sights at goal in the early exchanges, Sam McIntosh came close when firing a shot over the crossbar.
Despite their dominance, the Wee Jambos couldn’t strengthen their lead before the interval and at half-time, their lead remained a slender one.
Much like in the first half, the men in maroon were again quick out the traps as they went in search of a second.
Mackenzie Ross had a pop at goal but couldn’t keep his shot down as it flew over Sam Gray’s crossbar, but it was Kirk who came closest. This time Gray was called into action, producing an excellent reaction save to tip the Hearts striker’s effort behind.
At long last, the Wee Jambos got the second goal their play deserved, but in rather fortuitous circumstances. Rocco Friel made ground down the right and although his cross was punched away by Gray, it came back off his unfortunate teammate, Kerr Allan. Both were helpless and could only watch on as the ball rolled into the back of the net.
That goal rather knocked the stuffing out of the home side and the men in maroon added a third, ten minutes from time, and there was no good fortune about this one. Kirk received the ball 25-yards from goal and lashed it home to cap off another successful outing for the Wee Jambos.
At full-time, B Team manager, Liam Fox said: “I was pleased with the attitude of the players in what was another good workout. The full squad including the two Trialist goalkeepers got more important game-time, which is so vital in the build up to the new season.”
HEARTS: Trialist (Trialist 67), Friel (Burn 81), Dall, Flatman (Smutek 46), Muirhead (Chisholm 60), Nair, Ross, H Gordon, Kirk (Plesiewicz 81), Stevenson (Duncan 46), Thomas (Selfridge 77)
By Bill Smith