B team

Two pre-season wins out of two for Wee Jambos

10 July 2024

Hearts B made it two pre-season wins from two on Tuesday night as they defeated Kelty Hearts 5-2 at New Central Park. 


Callum Sandilands opened the scoring after just three minutes for the Wee Jambos, after cutting in off the right wing and picking out the far corner.


The home side had the ball in the net inside the opening 90 seconds when Tam O’Ware headed home Robbie Cole’s cross, only for the flag to go up for offside. Besides that, Kelty struggled to create and were looking to hit on the counter.


Lyndon Tas in the Hearts goal made his first save on the 20-minute mark after bright play from former Jambo Lewis Moore saw him advance down the left and find Chris Johnston, whose low strike was beaten away by the stopper.


Sandilands was at it again just after the half hour mark. A Hearts corner from the left dropped at the feet of the number 10, who, with his back to goal, backheeled the ball from close range and into the net.


Kelty halved the deficit two minutes later from the penalty spot. Cole was adjudged to have been fouled by Tas and Moore tucked away the spot-kick.


In the final minute of the half, Craig Johnston restored parity. Ross Cunningham’s free kick crashed back off the post and Johnston was first to react to tap home the rebound to send the sides down the tunnel level.


It wasn’t the liveliest of beginnings to the second period, but Hearts regained the lead midway through the second half. Good work down the right saw the ball pulled back for Ryan Duncan and after his shot was blocked, Gus Stevenson was on hand to fire home on the rebound.


Three minutes later, Stevenson restored Hearts’ two-goal cushion. Again, coming in off the left flank, he rode an initial challenge before expertly curling the ball into the far corner.


An impressive performance from midfielder Matty Gillies was rounded off with the final goal of the night. It was initially good ball-winning from Gillies, who skipped past a Kelty shirt, before reversing his shot back across goal and in off the foot of the post.


Speaking to the Official Hearts Website, Hearts B manager Liam Fox said:


“It was a really good workout. We knew tonight was going to be a real challenge for the players. They’re playing against guys that have played at the top level, like Scott Allan for example.


“There are other boys in that team that have consistently played at a good level, so that was a real challenge for the kids tonight. We want to expose them to different challenges and that’s why we chose to play these types of games. Ok, it’s pre-season, but you’re still playing good players.


“I thought for the first 30-minutes, we were really, really good. We scored a couple of good goals and then we had a wee period when we made a couple of mistakes and we got punished.


“The big thing the boys can learn from tonight is when you’ve got momentum in the game, it can swing so quickly. They’ll have seen that tonight as we end up going in at half-time 2-2.


“They’re the small things in football, so it’s good for them to play against this level of opposition, who will capitalise on your mistakes. In the second half, we started a wee bit sloppy, but then we get the goal, and it settled us down and we went on to pass the ball really well.


“What pleased me most tonight was the aggression. Making contact with people. We know this group can pass the ball and look good on the eye, but there’s more to football than just that. I thought they stood up to that challenge tonight.


“We’ve got a really young group to start with, but we got everyone on the pitch again, I thought the older lads really helped the younger ones tonight. We had a 16-year-old goalie in Lyndon Tas playing tonight, he had some good moments and a couple of moments to learn from.


“Overall, really pleased with the performance and the result. I know it’s only pre-season but it’s another good step for us in where we want to get to.”


Kelty Hearts: Trialist, Miller, Owens, O’Ware, Flatman, Allan, Cole, Trialist, Johnston, McCarvel, Moore

Subs: Cunningham, Owens, Garvie, Trialist, Adamson

Hearts: Tas, Smith, Drysdale, Smutek, Stevenson, Duncan, Sandilands, Plank, Gillies, Forrester, Kirk


Subs: Lyon, Ross, Trialist, Muirhead, Trialist, Dall, Osborne