Heart of Midlothian 4-2 St Mirren
Monday 22nd April 2019, KO 14:00 | League | Oriam
A strong Hearts reserve side battled to a 4-2 win over St Mirren at a sun-soaked Oriam.
Both teams had first-team players on show with Ryan Edwards and Marcus Godinho starring for Andy Kirk's side and Kyle Magennis, Duckens Nazon and Cody Cooke all featuring for the Buddies.
Hearts started on the front foot with every move flowing through Andy Irving, the midfield orchestrator. After shooting from distance himself, he turned provider in Hearts' best chance of the opening exchanges.
A disguised pass through to Edwards saw the Australian slip it through to Euan Henderson, but the striker couldn't get his shot past keeper David Wilson.
Connor Smith then took the reins as lead attacking threat, troubling the St Mirren goal before eventually opening the scoring in Roy-of-the-Rovers-type fashion.
After hitting the side netting, he was more lethal with his next chance. Receiving the ball on the egde of the box, the 17-year-old danced past a few defenders and arrowed a shot into the corner.
The next Hearts' goal was also a moment of inidivual brilliance, this time coming from Euan Henderson - who was a constant menace to the Buddies defence.
Picking up a loose ball around 25 yards from goal, he shifted onto his right foot and sent a stunning strike into the top corner to double the Jambos lead.
Henderson almost got his second moments later but his close-range header was denied by a world-class save from Wilson, who kept the score down in the first-half.
The closest the Saints got themselves came through Cameron MacPherson, who forced Kevin Silva to tip over a powerful free-kick effort.
Half-time arrived with the Jambos well on top, but they took a while to get going in the second-half and it was St Mirren who got on the scoresheet first.
A ball in behind saw a footrace between Hearts skipper Chris Hamilton and Saints' striker Nazon, who got their first and Hamilton was adjudged to have fouled him. The Haitian picked himself up and dusted himself down to slot the penalty past Silva, who had guessed the right way - and St Mirren were back into it.
Chances started to dwindle but Lewis Moore looked to have killed the game off in the 77th minute. He was on the end of a magnificent Andy Irving cross-field pass and cut inside, skipping past two defenders and firing past Wilson to make it 3-1.
However, the Saints hit straight back with a brilliant goal of their own. Laurentiu Corbiu controlled a switched-ball brilliantly with his chest before cutting back to Cody Cooke and the English striker rifled the ball past Silva to make it 3-2 going into the final few minutes.
Hearts were able to kill the game off in the dying moments though, when Wilson was not able to gather Connor Smith's left-footed strike and Ryan Edwards - who appeared on the first-team bench on Saturday - slammed home from close range.
There was still time for MacPherson to test from another free-kick, this time rattling the crossbar as Silva dived across helplessly, but it was not to be for the Buddies who were unable to recover from Smith and Henderson's moments of brilliance.
Hearts: Silva; Godinho (Baur 75’), Hickey, Hamilton ©, Petkov; Irving, Edwards, Moore, Smith; Vanecek (Ritchie 83’) Henderson (Charleston-King, 88’)
St Mirren: Wilson, Corbiu, Walker, Glover ©, Girvan, MacPherson, Magennis (McCaw, 55’), Kellerman (Frew 64’) , Nazon (S. Jamieson 64’), Cooke, Breadner (L. Jamieson, 55’ )
Subs: Beadea, Miller, Henderson
Ref: George Calder