Kilmarnock 0-5 Heart of Midlothian
Monday 15th April 2019, KO 14:00 | League | Rugby Park
Andy Kirk's reserves ran out worthy winners at a cold Rugby Park where they put a young Kilmarnock side to the sword.
Callumn Morrison was undoubtedly the man of the match, scoring two goals and setting up another - but his day was dampened when he was stretchered off with just a few minutes to play.
Hearts started on the front foot straight away as David Vanecek and Harry Cochrane tested goalkeeper Ross Miller but it was Connor Smith who had the best early chance. Miller was put under pressure with a slack back-pass and ended up giving it straight to Smith but the youngster failed to chip the keeper from 25 yards.
It wouldn't take Hearts too much longer to find the breakthrough. A well-worked corner routine saw Smith chip the ball into the back post where it was met by Chris Hamilton who powered a header on goal to open the scoring - on the same pitch he made his first team debut 11 months ago.
Miller was tested again soon after, this time by Andy Irving who controlled Ryan Edwards' cross at the back post and blasted towards goal but the keeper was equal to it.
The Jambos were still able to find two goals before half-time. The first came from the penalty spot, courtesy of Callumn Morrison. The ball was laid off to him by Vanecek and he was clattered by Kilmarnock left-back Euan Deveney. The winger dusted himself off to slam the penalty straight down the middle and double the lead.
Morrison then turned provider for the third. This time he was played in behind the defence and cut a low cross into the area where it found an unmarked Vanecek at the back-post, who finished from a narrow angle.
The second-half was a duller affair as Kilmarnock tried to shut up shop and prevent any more goals going in - but they were powerless as Hearts scored two on the counter.
The fourth was a textbook counter attack. Kevin Silva collected a corner under pressure before immediately hitting a long ball forward that put Morrison clear through on goal. The winger collected and despite the best efforts of the Kilmarnock defence to put him off, he fired high into the top corner.
With five minutes left, substitute Lewis Moore made it five. Irving found Euan Henderson with a brilliant right-footed through-ball and the forward cut inside before back-heeling to Moore, playing him through on goal. The sub shifted onto his right and curled it into the far corner, wrapping up the scoring.
Unfortunately, that was not the final action. Another long-ball was clipped over the top and the enthusiastic Morrison chased it. He was beaten to the ball by Miller but the two collided as Morrison stuck a foot out, resulting in the winger needing medical attention. He was stretchered off as the referee brought the game to a close and hopefully will make a speedy recovery.
Kilmarnock: Miller; Barr, Barlow, Lynch, Deveney; McDonald, Frizzell ©, Higgins, Brindley; Monk, Scally (Taylor, 64’)
Subs: Walker, Shields, McCracken
Hearts: Silva; Logan, Hamilton ©, Petkov, Hickey; Morrison, Cochrane, Irving, Edwards (Moore, 69’); Smith, Vanecek (Henderson, 75’)
Subs: Mason, Baur, Sandison, Ritchie
Referee: Ross Menzies