Wee Jambos held by Strollers

22 June 2023

Steven Naismith made three changes to the side that was defeated by Caledonian Braves on Wednesday night. Harry Stone, Kenzi Nair, and Lewis Neilson replaced Liam McFarlane, Arron Darge, and Leo Watson.

It had been a quiet beginning with both sides struggling to get the ball down and play on a fairly bobbly Christie Gillies Park turf.

The first real opening for the Wee Jambos, came after 18 minutes. Callum Hambrook was leading the line in the absence of Makenzie Kirk, and he forced the first save of the afternoon from Macallan Whyte in the Strollers goal, after latching on to a pass through the middle of the defence, his low shot was well held by the stopper.

The first half continued in a similar fashion with both sides continuing to struggle to gain any real controlled possession in dangerous areas until Hearts were awarded a penalty six minutes before half-time.

Bobby McLuckie had looked lively on the left wing and after he cut inside Baris Ozturk, the Strollers defender couldn’t resist a nibble, and after he brought down McLuckie, the referee showed no hesitation in awarding Hearts a penalty.

Callum Sandilands stepped up and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to give Hearts a half-time lead in an opening period with few chances.

Just four minutes into the second-half and the home side drew level. Hearts looked for a flag that didn’t arrive, and Innes Lawson fired home a sweet volley from inside the box.

The Wee Jambos had a golden opportunity to retake the lead just after the hour mark. Hambrook was sent clean through on goal, but under pressure from Conrad Balatoni, he skied his effort over the bar.

It was nip and tuck for the majority of the second period, but the Jambos had two great openings to steal the points in the final few minutes.

Firstly, Callum Flatman got on the end of McLuckie’s in-swinging free kick, but his back post flick went agonisingly wide before the latter had the ball in the net only to be denied by a late flag from the linesman.

That was the last action as despite numerous second-half opportunities at both ends, the spoils were shared.

Civil Service Strollers: Whyte, Ozturk, Balatoni, Clarke, Cunningham, Kasa, Laird, Sandford, Lawson, Kennedy, Irving

Subs: Cole, Girdwood, Young, Duffy, Valentine, Shaw, Clapperton

Hearts: Stone, Flatman, Neilson, Tait ©, Sandilands, Duncan (Dall, 46), Forrester, Hambrook (Ross, 75), Rathie, McLuckie, Nair

Subs: McFarlane, Dall, Ross, Chisholm, Crookston, Friel