Hearts U20s ran out comfortable 5-0 winners against Queen of the South U20s in tonight’s Little Big Shot Youth Cup encounter at Ochilview.
First-half goals from Robbie Buchanan, Callumn Morrison, Angus Beith and Dario Zanatta, with Buchanan netting late on in the game, booked the Wee Jambos’ safe passage through to the Semi-Finals, where they will meet Dundee United.
Hearts started brightly, with Zanatta latching onto a long through ball to cut inside from the left, but Doonhamers ‘keeper Jack Leighfield got down quickly to block his low drive.
It took only ten minutes for Jon Daly’s side to take the lead. Callumn Morrison’s quick pass down the right flank released Liam Smith, who crossed for Buchanan to nod home from inside the six-yard box.
Two minutes later it was 2-0. Zanatta’s low ball into the middle found Morrison, who fired home first time with a sweet left-foot shot.
The game threatened to become a rout after 17 minutes when Zanatta was bundled over inside the box by Rhys Evans. Birthday boy Beith stepped up and sent Leighfield the wrong way to make it 3-0.
Hearts were utterly dominant by this point, barely giving the visitors a touch of the ball.
Eight minutes before half-time the Wee Jambos put the game to bed. Ayrton Sonkur’s attempted header back to his own ‘keeper fell short at the edge of the box, allowing Zanatta to nip in and get a touch, before rolling the ball into an empty net.
The visitors came out with a point to prove and started the second-half well. Ryan Nelson got beyond the final defender and cut inside from the right only to blast clean over the bar from outside of the box.
Dean Brotherston was next to try his luck from 18-yards but his curling effort deflected wide. From the resultant corner, Aidan Smith’s back-post header failed to find the target.
A tremendous crossfield pass from Liam Henderson set Lewis Moore free, he skipped past his man but saw his high shot saved by Leighfield.
Substitute Ally Roy was causing all sorts of problems for the away defence, and in the 78th minute his early, sweeping shot from just inside the box fell just wide of the post.
Three minutes later Buchanan grabbed his second goal of the game. A long ball forward sent him clean through, and with all the time in the world he slotted low beyond the ‘keeper and into the back of the net to make it 5-0.
The Wee Jambos weren’t finished there though. Daniel Baur’s raking pass saw Roy cut inside his man before cannoning a shot off the post, while Morrison prodded inches wide from deep inside the box.
Bang on 90 minutes substitute Ian Smith surged forward and dragged an effort wide of Leighfield’s left-hand post, and that was all she wrote as Hearts booked their place in the Semi-Finals in style.
Hearts: Mason, L. Smith, Reid, Baur, L. Henderson, McKirdy, Morrison, Beith, Zanatta (Roy, 46'), Buchanan (Baxter, 84'), Moore (I. Smith, 73'). Subs: Cargill, Howlett-Mundle.
QoS: Leighfield (Armstrong, 79'), Evans, Brannan, Bell, Sonkur, R. Murray, Nelson, Moxon (C. Murray, 32'), Brotherston, A. Smith, Munro (61'. Subs: Gourley.