Heart of Midlothian 1-3 Rangers
Friday 3rd May 2019, KO 14:30 | League | Oriam
Despite a strong second-half showing, John Rankin's under-18s could not complete the comeback against Rangers as they lost 2-1 at the Oriam on Friday afternoon.
First-half goals from Nathan Maxwell and captain Kyle McClelland effectively won it for the Gers, who've had a tough few weeks following bruising encounters from their city rivals Celtic.
The visitors started the stronger of the two teams, with January signing Nathan Young-Coombes getting the first chance away. He was played through and goal, twisted and turned away from Chris Hamilton but couldn't squeeze a shot past Harry Stone.
Hearts then came close twice. Scotland under-16 cap Ryan Schiavone sent a deflected effort just wide before Broadie Strang had the best chance of the game.
The midfielder took the ball on the edge of the area, shimmied it onto his left and curled a shot towards goal than Kinnear could just tip past the post.
They were made to pay for those missed chances soon after. Just before the half-hour mark, Rangers got their opening goal through left-back Nathan Maxwell.
A long ball to the left found the marauding defender and he chested past his marker before hitting a right-footed effort past Stone.
They doubled their lead just four minutes later. Kai Kennedy hit an outswinging corner into the box and Kyle McClelland rifled a volley high into the net.
Kennedy had a chance of his own towards the end of the half as he was played clear through on goal, but this time Stone was equal to the effort.
Hearts had one more chance before the whistle as Dean Ritchie teed off Jay Charleston-King from a free-kick, but the youngster could only hit his drive wide.
Rangers continued the second-half on the front-foot as Kennedy missed another chance to score, this time from a header.
The visitors would rue that missed chance as they halfed their own lead just before the hour mark. O'Connor played the ball back to his keeper, Brian Kinnear, who took a touch that ended up trickling into his own net.
Hearts then made a defensive gaff of their own, through captain Chris Hamilton. The skipper was cuaght on the ball by Young-Coombes and the striker was one-on-one seven yards out, but he could only shoot wide.
The hosts threatened to equalise a few times, with Aaron Hickey coming closest. The left-back, who had now been pushed further up the pitch, took aim from 30 yards and fired inches over the bar.
Hearts had strong claims for a penalty turned away before Hamilton then tested Kinnaer with a header but the next goal came to Rangers.
Kennedy was fouled just outside the box in added time, and stepped up to curl the free-kick into the top corner and seal the game for Rangers.
Hearts: Stone, Sandison (Denholm, 62'), Watson, Darge, Hamilton ©, Hickey, Schiavone, Ritchie (McGill, 62'), Logan, Charleston-King, Strang (Mitchell, 62')
Subs: McFarlane, Ramos, Somers
Rangers: Kinnear, Patterson, Maxwell, O’Connor, McClelland, King (McKechnie, 53'), Balde (Butterworth, 62'), Williamson, Young-Coombes (Yates, 72'), Dickson, Kennedy
Subs: Muir, McKinnon, Budinauckas