B team

Match Report: Tranent 0-1 Hearts B

17 February 2024

An early strike from Bailey Dall proved the difference as Hearts B defeated Tranent 1-0 to leapfrog their opponents in the Lowland League table.


Head coach Liam Fox made four changes to the side that was edged out by Caledonian Braves last weekend.


Bobby McLuckie and James Wilson are currently on international duty with Scotland, whereas Ryan Duncan and Lennon Thompson dropped to the bench. Murray Thomas, Gus Stevenson, Kai Smutek and Mackenzie Ross all came in to start.


The ‘Big T’ were looking to bounce back from a painful defeat to East Kilbride during the week, but it was the Wee Jambos who started the brighter of the two teams and they opened the scoring after just 11 minutes.


Tranent had struggled to get forward in the early stages and when the ball broke to Bailey Dall on the edge of the box, he shifted the ball on to his right foot and curled the ball past Kelby Mason to give Hearts a deserved lead.


The home side almost levelled three minutes later. A long ball over the top sent Broque Watson clean through on goal, but he was denied at point-blank range by Liam McFarlane.


The men in maroon continued to dominate possession in the first half and Finlay Pollock was giving Dean Brett a torrid time down the Hearts left. He skipped past his man before pulling the ball back for Callum Sandilands, but his effort was deflected behind.


Two minutes later, Pollock was at it again, this time cutting inside and curling an effort just wide of Mason’s goal, before Brett was perhaps fortunate to stay on the pitch following a very late challenge on the Hearts midfielder, which saw a yellow card brandished in the direction of the full back. 


Tranent were slowly growing into the game and another point-blank save from McFarlane kept the Hearts lead intact in the final minute of the half.


Half-time: Tranent 0-1 Hearts B


After the interval, the game continued in a similar fashion with Hearts creating some good openings at one end, and snuffing out much of what the home side could create before it reached McFarlane's goal at the other.


Despite a difficult pitch, the men in maroon managed to produce some lovely football on occasions and after a neat interchange between Callum Sandilands and Adam Forrester, the ball was lofted to the back post for Murray Thomas, but Mason spread himself well to deny the winger.


The hosts continued to huff and puff, but they struggled to carve out much in the second half, as the Wee Jambos backline continued to block most of the efforts fired goalwards.


Hearts had chances to wrap up the points towards the end on the counter, the best opening fell to Mackenzie Ross, but again, Mason was on hand to thwart the Jambos.


After six minutes of additional time and one final long throw from the home side, the final whistle sounded to hand the men in maroon a hard-fought three points.


Tranent: Mason, Brett, McIntyre, Duncan, Somerville, Murphy ©, McRory-Irving, Ward, Ross, Walker, Watson


Subs: Scott, Higginbotham, Miller, Hill, Greig


Hearts: McFarlane, Dall, Sandilands, Thomas, Stevenson, Gordon, Forrester ©, Rathie (Nair, 78), Smutek, Pollock (Duncan, 75), Ross


Subs: McConnell, Nair, Duncan, Thompson, Gillies, Smith