Match Reports

Cup joy for U20s

29th October 2017

The Wee Jambos beat Ayr Utd 5-1 in Sunday's Scottish Youth Cup tie at Oriam.

Hearts U20s booked passage into the fourth round of the Scottish FA Youth Cup after a 5-1 victory over Ayr United at the Oriam Performance Centre.

Despite the scoreline, the Honest Men provided extremely robust opposition and can count themselves unfortunate following a fine second half display.

Andy Kirk’s side lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Aidan Keena being supported by Rory Currie, the very impressive Anthony McDonald and Jamie Brandon, fresh from playing in Tuesday’s first team Edinburgh derby.

And it was Brandon who started the game off with a bang for Hearts. Following two attempts in two minutes that were both saved by the keeper, the full-back made no mistake from close range following a cut-back from the starting right-back Jay Sandison, with whom he would soon swap positions on the park.

The Wee Jambos doubled their lead a few minutes before half-time. McDonald played a one-two inside the area with Currie, spun his marker by selling him a dummy, and was tripped up by the defender. Keena sent the keeper the wrong way from 12 yards.

After the interval, Keena came close again, following a lovely through ball from Brandon. The striker effort was net-bound but another top save from keeper Ellis Reid denied him. However, a minute later, he got his second. Following a slick move involving McDonald and Currie, the ball was fed to Keena inside the area, he stepped inside and curled a shot into the far corner.

The hard-working Currie was then next to test Reid, as he burst through on goal following a slack pass, but the keeper stood up to him well to block. From the resulting attack, Ayr won a penalty following a skirmish in the box, and Leon Murphy buried his effort into the corner.

Ayr had their tails up now, and a series of shots from distance tested Kelby Mason, while the Ayrshire youngsters suddenly seemed to be first to every ball in a frantic period of play that saw Hearts struggle to impose themselves on the game.

Chasing the game, however, had left them vulnerable to the counter and Hearts put the game to bed when McDonald flew down the right wing, slipped in Keena and the striker delicately chipped it over Reid into the net to claim a fine hat-trick.

A minute later, Brandon played a delightful one-two with Currie in the area and rifled the ball high into the net to put some gloss on the victory. Currie almost managed a sixth goal, but Reid saved well after the striker tried to round the keeper.

Hearts U20s: Mason; Sandison (Ward 73’), Gajda, Baur, Reid; Petkov, Ritchie (C. Smith 86’); Brandon, McDonald, Currie; Keena. Subs not used: W. Gajda, Logan, Makovora.